Bright New World

We made it to town! 10 hours of travel in the dark, 160 miles/ 255 km down the Yukon and over the mountains, 5 glaciers and 2 lakes of overflow to traverse, rolled the new machine twice, bust the side windshield but we had to get to the Post Office and we made it!
If only I’d remembered the fucking PO Box key. 

"What do you mean, it's not there?" said Neil, with a face like an angry emoticon.
By lucky, lucky chance, I had brought the letter from Canada Post assigning us our PO box in case we needed it at the bank. We have no utilities here so it is one of the few things I have with proof of our address.
I said “I’m sure this will be fine,” hoping very much that it would be. 

Actually, they did kindly give us our mail, even though they shouldn’t really, and thereby perhaps saved our marriage.

Temps have got so warm here (we’ve been above freezing twice) we thought we’d take advantage and try to make it town. And we needed to run in our brand new Skidoo. We’ve been fighti…

Wolves at the door

You get used to the wilderness. It begins to feel familiar, even a bit suburban and then wolves attack a caribou at the edge of your yard and you remember just how wild it is. We took the snowmachine for a swim in the Yukon that same day, so have been thoroughly shaken out of our complacency.

I nipped out for a pee in the evening and heard a commotion. When the temperature drops to 30 below, sounds distort. They bounce off the frozen surfaces and become brittle and hollow. It was pitch black. Neil came out and we both heard a volley of crashes and cracks very, very close. We are ever so brave and so ran inside in a panic, grabbed the guns and went up to our raised back porch, where we would be safe from the intruder.

Something was thrashing the willows right at the edge of the yard. It was grunting and snorting. The creature was big, very big- so most likely a moose, but why so much noise? Males will thrash the brush with their antlers in rutting season, but that was finished. I know…

The Bolshevik husky

How do you explain the rules of capitalism to a dog? That’s the question we were pondering the day the river stopped.

We’ve been watching it for weeks. With the recent cold spell, the passing ice pans turned to chunks, and by Saturday there were sheets as big as tennis courts drifting past.

In the afternoon, the ice shelf began to rise as water oozed beneath it. We guessed the river had jammed somewhere below us and the water was backing up. We took a quick ski down to take a look but Neil bust a ski through into the seeping green slush and so we scooted back, faster and faster, the ice popping and buckling beneath us.

By dark, we could hear a continuous rumble as the moving ice sheets ground against the edges. We ran out in parkas, pyjamas and headlamps to peer at the slow, rumbling mass of jagged ice. At 30 below our breathing formed a fog of ice crystals in the beams, so we held our breath and listened. I wish I’d recorded the sound. Imagine a freight train of broken wine glasse…