Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Seriously Northern

Good morning, Yellowknife!

I'm doing research for my RCMP character (Greg Farr) in Outer Planets, who joins the mission out of a small town in the Canadian Northwest Territories called Yellowknife.  In doing various Google searches to learn more about the town and the area--population approximately 20,000...way, WAY north of Edmonton...big lakes...big trees...very cold--I stumbled across a photo blog that features some really unique photography taken by a resident of the town.  I love the flavor, insights and detail offered by these glimpses into everyday life of a town some...what?...3,000 miles north of my homestead in a very different environment. 

The title of my article today is the motto of a local airline.  And wow, does it fit.  Where I grew up in northern Michigan it was called "Up North" (I even have a t-shirt) but Yellowknife?  That's "seriously northern."

I don't need to know every detail about Greg's backstory, just a greater sense of where he came from and what forces shaped him. A feeling for the community where he lived prior to being packed off on a planetary research vessel. 

A picture is truly worth a thousand words but a collection is priceless.  Especially to a writer!  Just want to share a few of the postings (Sharon, I know you'll appreciate these):

sky  (And I thought WE had the bluest skies on Earth)
Inuit art  (I heart ptarmigans)
Yellowknife from the air  (Toto...we're not in New Mexico anymore.)
mural   :)
new mural   :) :)
logo   On Dasher....Oh, wait!  That's a caribou.
footprints in the snow  (Not sure why but this "coming and going" snapshot fascinated me.)
dizzy??  (Um...YES!)
courthouse window  another view  << what character!
chillin'   Mocs?...or mukaluks?
Yellowknife City Hall 
Greenstone building  (no relation)
Monday  (Want to know how to spell 'Monday' in Dene?) (I'm not sure what Dene is.  Inuit?)
Metal sculptures  (represents Drum Dancers on the lake side)
tree benchtable  (Cool!)
plane I will board  (First Air, based in Yellowknife)
Yellowknife turns 75   (Here's trivia for you.  What's the original name of Yellowknife?)

I look at these pictures and try to imagine this place thirty years down the road.  What will the population be?  Will many of these buildings still be standing?  Renovated?  Torn down.  The Great Slave Lake will most certainly be there, but what about the abandoned cabin on Main Street? 

Loved this! Yellowknife has an Aurora Forecast!

I'm no fan of the snow and the cold, but between this photo blog and the coverage of the Olympics today, I have this sudden an urge to go experience the culture of Canada.  Beauty, eh? 

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