My Trip to Iqaluit: Day 1(the day I met a dog sled team)

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We had driven up the winding hills that make up Iqaluit to see the different neighbourhoods. A bit of a car tour to get the lay of the land. I was tired enough from only getting 4 hours of sleep the night before that my brain was wandering in and out of the conversation. I looked down at the buildings below and imagined that they were Lego pieces, strewn over the ground. It’s almost convincing. I said it out loud but my friend just laughed. It’s funny how the strangeness of a place goes away when it becomes your home.

Colourful and boxy houses and low buildings make up the bulk of the Iqaluit. The city has a definite ‘look’ with it’s Lego-like structures,  all proped up on various lengths of stilts. I was thinking about whether I thought it was ‘beautiful’, and I do. It is foggy and rocky,  and the ground is covered in a thick tuft of lichen that’s extremely pleasant to walk on, or just sit and enjoy the view of Frobisher Bay. I touched the water. It was very cold.

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We went to the museum and Visitor’s Center and I’m glad I did. There were old photo books from the 50s and 70s that put the landscape of today’s Iqaluit in perspective. Running water only arrived in the mid 50s,  at which time the landscape was speckled with tents. The bulk of the houses here today were built in the past decade, and the many structures on the  Plateau only in the past 5 years.

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Here some things that I wanted to share:
– A while back, someone brought up some Corgi dogs to breed with the Huskies. Today, you’ll see the result: A dog with a husky-like head and legs that are abnormally short for its thick torso. Exactly what you’d imagine. My friend told me they’re called “town dogs”. They’re silly.
– The sled teams are kept alongside a river that runs through town during the summer. They generally have structures to escape the wind and rain, and otherwise live fairly comfortable lives wherein their humans come and feed them seal meat or kibble twice a day.
– There are something like 100 sled dogs from various teams along that river. Sometimes, one will start to howl and then they will all start to howl. 100 howling dogs. I would like to hear that but so far it’s just a lot of barking. I’ll get some photos for you tomorrow, or the next day. Hang tight!
– Saturday night is radio bingo night. The cards are $20 and the jackpot is $15000. Obviously, I already have mine.
– Dumpcano is the name of the smoldering garbage dump. Some conspiracy theorist believe it was a started by the city, in an effort to address their growing concern about waste management. More likely, it has to do with with the fact there are no real standards for how the waste is piled or sorted.
– You can eat wild blueberries, hidden in the cushy lichen, while you watch the ocean. It’s pretty good, folks.

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Today we’re expecting a couple more people to arrive, then doing a small hike,  and prepping for our camping trip in a couple of days. I can’t wait to show you some of the videos I have of the dog teams and buildings. I may not get around to editing those until I’m back in Ontario. We do what we can.

I have now been tucked behind my little tablet way too long, and the fog over the ocean has lifted to reveal a beautiful, sunny day. I’m thrilled. 

Avoid the beaten path, friends! Enjoy your day.

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