Little did I know what would await me while in Yellowknife when a friend at home shared that “shopping at the dump” is a popular past-time in this northern community.
The day begins with a guided walk around town and includes stopping into one of the locals schools right across the place I was staying. The purpose of checking out the school was to experience how the rocky surface of this Canadian region is an integral part in contemporary architecture. This exposed rock surface is a vital part of the school experience I find out.
The Cultural Cross roads are a must stop on our way to Dettah, a small aboriginal community on the other side of the ice road. At the foot, a stunning bronze sculpture I also saw in the Legislature Building.
Human and animal “prints” encircle the silhouette of the eagle, an indigenous power symbol.
Another stop to ensure that the ice road was indeed still closed sent us on our way out of the city to Dettah.
It’s a little after 2:30 in the afternoon but it looks close to sunset. The sun is hiding behind low cloud and is at our backs.
We pull off the road near the abandoned mine along the highway. I turn myself to capture as much sunlight as possible with my camera before the return to the warmth of the car.
The signs inform us that is only 21 km to Dettah on the Ingram Trail.
With little traffic on the road we soon arrive in Dettah, a small aboriginal community not far from Yellowknife. The community school is our ultimate destination. I refrained from taking images of the children and great teachers. The energy in the school was one of joy and positive energy. Here is an image of the band council and community building near the entrance to the ice road.
The rocks at the entrance to the ice road greatly enhance this image. Thick ice envelope the boulders but the lake is is still open and waves thrash onto the shore. (This was Nov. 14th, 2013)
A close up conveys why I am so mesmerized by the scene despite the cold wind.
My ice spider frozen in time – dried up grass covered with ice make for a mysterious natural sculpture.
A trip to Dettah is not what the local population will make on a regular basis. The principal at the community school shares with us as we depart: “Thank you for visiting! Now you can be proud of the fact that you have visited a place most Yellowknifers will never come to.”
Next we are off to a destination many Yellowknifers frequent regularly, the local dump. We drive up to the guard house. It is getting dark and the attendant cautions us that we only have 30 minutes before the refuse station closes. Minnie responds cheerfully “Thank you! I have two visitors here from away and they have never gone shopping at the dump.” and drives on.
Here we are, twilight with a full moon rising at the Yellowknife dump… idyllic!
Minnie and Marjorie are checking out the offerings in the blue light. Aside from wire squares that will be great for the Arts and Crafts Guild we find a colorful little ceramic dish and Nepalese printed cotton cloth that are now residing in Calgary with Marjorie.
A mountain of tires captures my attention briefly. The blue light reflects off the snow covered spheres to emphasize the tread textures.
This little worse for wear figure is a reminder that the holidays are not far off…
…when suddenly a swift red fox appears out of nowhere to check out the offerings nearby.
My time in Yellowknife has been action packed so far. This diary entry has to stop here. It is time to grab some dinner before I head off to teach one more session of my workshop. Packing suitcases is also on the agenda for later that night. I plan to set up my camera on the balcony during the night to make one last attempt to capture the Aurora Boeralis.
And here is the last shot from my time in Yellowknife. Captured on my balcony at 3 a. m.
If you have been following along you will be asking the question: She went all this way and didn’t try to see the Aurora Borealis? Don’t be disappointed. I have reserved an entire post for the magic of the Aurora Borealis. To upload the slide show I need to find a reliable internet connection. Check back soon for my adventure.