Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hometown Tourist

I have internet again! I confess...I have had internet back for about a week now and have just been neglecting the blog. For no particular reason other than just not feeling it.

Attempting to Ice Fish
I have been quite the little Hay River tourist these past two weeks! GC was visiting so we did a whole bunch of fun Northern things that I don't normally do and that you can't do back home. We went Ice Fishing and Dog Sledding and Aurora Hunting and snowshoeing and skiing.  It was really really cold while he was here so we didn't get to ski as much as we would have liked but we still managed to get out to the ski club a few times. All of the above were awesome and worth the money and I would definitely do it all again. If you ask anyone in Hay River about dog sledding or ice fishing everyone will point you in the same direction, and for good reason.  Both guys are really great and know everything there is to know about their respective industries / line of work.

We didn't get to drive the dog sled, we just sat in it and got a 8km or so ride. Still really cool to see how much work goes into getting the dogs harnessed up and ready to pull the sled, and how well trained the dogs are.

The ice fishing hut wasn't out on the ice but we got to see how commercial ice fishing works and we caught one Whitefish in the net.  We had a hole drilled into the ice for us outside of a cabin where we ate dinner (fresh fish and bannock) but it was so cold that the hole kept freezing over and too cold to stand outside with the line for the hour or so it could take to catch a fish.

Frozen Eyelashes Mid-Snowshoe
The Northern lights were really bright this weekend because of a solar flare but every time we went out to see them there was nothing, or only very very faint wisps of them that were not quite worth standing out side for.  One night though, Stacey texted me and said the lights were super bright and dancing above her apartment and so we hoped in the car and drove over to see them.  There were the brightest I've seen to far but still not nearly as bright as I know they can be.  We missed the majority of the show unfortunately, but it's still better than nothing!

The ski club hosted a 'Get Active NWT' snowshoeing event followed by warm moose stew and bannock.  We went out despite the freezing cold temps and ended up snowshoeing on the ski trails across the river which I had never been on before.  We also went out for a night ski one night but the trails weren't groomed and weren't as well lit as I had thought they would be.  There was also about 4- 6 inches of fresh powder on the trails which isn't ideal for skate skiing. It was cold too, and a really tough ski since I'm not a great skier and I was barely moving the whole time.  It was actually pretty creepy...I kept thinking I was hearing things and about to get eaten by a pack of hungry wolves or a lynx - I was following GC's tracks who was much much faster than I was. Obviously it was all in my head, but I'm not in a hurry to go out for another solo night ski anytime soon.

It's crazy how many fun things there are to do in your own town or in a nearby city.  I know I'm still relatively new here and so I am technically still a 'tourist' but the same is true for home.  There is so much going on in Toronto that I've never tried or places I've never been. I've never been to a TFC game for example.  I'm always in such a hurry to leave the city to explore a new far away and exciting city when in reality, it would be very easy to take a 'staycation' and spend an entire week or two exploring home and doing things I've never done before and going places I have yet to experience.

I have internet back but my satellite is now gone.  I have a feeling that was on purpose since it's not technically included either.  It was all a little grey when I discussed rent and what was included and not included before I moved in here.  I've heard nothing but bad things about how sketch my landlord is and how often she rips people off so I really don't want to get on her bad side.  I've decided to give myself 1 month (February) without the TV to see how I do.  I'm hoping that it encourages me to be more active since I won't have anything else to do.  It's also forcing me to read and knit more, both of which I've been meaning to do anyways.  TV has a tendency to just suck you in, even though there is nothing worth watching on, you just can't turn away.   It helps that Stacey has a ton of movies and shows on an external hard drive that I can watch.  I've already watched the first season of Californication and we're 5 episodes into the first season of Friday Night Lights.  I have a feeling I won't be missing the TV at all.  I will splurge and pay for satellite this summer during the Olympics though.  That is a must watch and worth the cost of a month or two of satellite.

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