InuvikFebruary 16, 2018 in Canada
After 3 days, I made it to Inuvik and I was not disappointed. Recently, an extension of the road, which is partly on ice, was finished to Tuktoyaktuk (yep, it's as fun to say as it is to read!) so Inuvik sees tourism in the summer and now winter.
As I mentioned before, the town has about 3200 people. Unlike Nunavut communities, there is road access to Inuvik. The difference that makes is profound. Whether it's a 'good' or 'bad' difference is debatable.
There are many clear effects of being "accessible" for so many years. There is a lot of diversity. The Aboriginal/Native/Inuit/Inupiat people do not make up a majority of the inhabitants. There are people from everywhere up there. Everyone speaks very good English. Again, it depends on your end goal as to whether this is positive or negative.
Personally, I was having a ball walking on sidewalks and having a library to wander into. I enjoyed such conveniences as a convenience store. Yes, those little entities that have nearly anything you'd want and need for your convenience at any time of the day. I stood around like the Clampett's on their first foray into Beverly Hills. There was cinnamon spice tea, black beans, whipped cream and other such luxuries. Coriander spice. A bit overwhelming actually. I dragged myself out with only about $30 of "conveniences". lol
The town also boasted some of the creepiest friendly people I've ever met. I was starting to expect to be ushered into the famous church and invited to drink the KoolAid or something. I do not think I passed one person on the street that did not either smile or vocally say hello. Again, a little overwhelming. I mean, I'm kinda used to that stuff from growing up in the famously hospitable U.S. south, and even I was freaked out. However, it did have a great side effect....I smiled in return and thought, "Wow, what a fun little town." lol.
Compounding all these great little hellos and conveniences was the fact that it was WARM! I didn't wear my parka, ski pants, mitts, or neck gaiter once the whole week. I was able to move freely and happily about in my hiking boots and fleece with down zip up. This is big yall!! I felt so free and light! To be able to just walk out the door without making a federal project of getting protected (I don't think the work "dressed" fits here---it's really much more about protection).
Each morning I made my way to a nearby restaurant. Yes, RESTAURANT! With like, real glasses and menu options. I had the eggs benedict basically every single day. One day even with fruit! I made myself sick on the cherry tomatoes brought in for our afternoon snack during the meetings. They were so good that after putting a normal reasonable amount on my plate, I slunk back to the back of the room and proceeded to gorge myself on them like a starving chipmunk. Apparently, they are acidic. Apparently, pH balance of your stomach is a thing. Ouch. But so YUM.
Stuck in Inuvik an extra day because of lack of flights, I explored their interpretive walking tour and met more friendly people, had lunch with the elders and got invited into a cribbage tournament.Read more