M-A's Musings and Travels

A place where I can ponder and remember wonderful trips, camping excursions and hiking adventures.

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Location:Whitefish, Montana

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Day Eight - May 23, 2005 - NW Territories

On Day 8, we woke up to strong winds and a very cold 29 degree temperature. There was hardly a hint of any buds on the trees and bushes around Yellowknife.

City of YellowknifeThis day was strictly going to be devoted to sightseeing in the city of Yellowknife (pop. 18,000) and the surrounding area. As in Alaska, there were very few roads in the outlying areas; instead, there were lakes and rocky knolls everywhere. We were again struck by how an entire city could be built on these pink rocks-especially the Old Town portion, which juts out in to the mostly frozen Great Slave Lake. It is truly a city of contrasts with modern high-rise towers overlooking the rustic heritage buildings of Old Town.

View from Pilots' MemorialIn Old Town, we stopped by the Pilots’ Memorial, situated on top of a knoll, overlooking the bay, and after much cris-crossing, we found the famed and very picturesque Ragged Ass Road, hidden among some one-way streets. We also passed another famous Yellowknife land mark, the Wild Cat Café, however, it was not yet open. We stopped and perused the Gallery of the Midnight Sun and saw lots of interesting arts, crafts and novelties. Finally, we checked out all the local grocery stores, including a Wal*Mart (albeit, not a super center). The Coop was by far the best.
Ragged Ass Road
Wild Cat Cafe
We had intended to drive to the end of the 70 km long Ingraham Trail, which is only partially paved-the reason we ended up not driving the entire stretch. This “trail” winds through Precambrian landscape with scenic vistas of lakes, forest, ancient rock , and a variety of recreation opportunities. From the end of the trail, the Winter Access road begins, enabling the supplies to be brought up to the diamond mines in the Northwest Territories back-country. The diamond industry promises endless riches to this part of the otherwise forgotten world.

Bullocks BistroAs a treat in the evening (after returning to the Fred Henne Territorial Park to bake scones in the afternoon), we sampled the local fish at Bullock’s Bistro. Dale had Pike & Chips and I had Char & Chips, accompanied by a delightfully “naughty” garlicky/Roquefort salad. The Bistro was a very small “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant with one cook and one waitress who hailed from Dresden. We had to wait for our meal as the waitress “forgot” us, but it was well worth the wait. We can highly recommend this restaurant to visitors.

We returned to the campsite amidst snow flurries & 37 degrees temperature to watch a movie with Sophia Loren in the evening.


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