checking out yellowknife!

Sep 9, 2012

My alarm went off. It was 4:30 am. I contemplated quitting my job, as I do every morning that begins so ridiculously early.  I decided against it, seeing as how I really do love my career with the exception of sleep deprivation.  I ran around the house like a crazy lady trying to ensure that I had absolutely everything that I'd need... I was going to be gone for a few days this time!
At the airport, I met my crew... the pilots and one other flight attendant. Yes, one other. The concept of only 2 of us working an entire pairing was mind boggling for myself, as a former A380 crew member.  Fortunately, my fellow flight attendant was awesome and all of my worries were gone as soon as they'd arrived. Even more shocking was our passenger load of 14 up to Yellowknife. 14?! Was this a dream? It was perhaps the easiest flight (with passengers onboard) of my life.  We continued on, flying to Kugluktuk, Nunavut. This was a far cry from the massive cities that I'm used to flying into, but interesting nonetheless. I think a huge part of the allure is the fact that I've been to all of the major tourist spots and I'm finally getting off of the beaten path like I've always wanted to do. How many people do you know who've been to, let alone heard of Kugluktuk? That's what I thought.
 This was also my first experience landing on a gravel runway.  It's incredible that a big jet plane is capable of such a feat. I stepped out of the plane to take a few photos of the shore just off the runway. Adding to my list of firsts for the day was the fact that I was seeing the Arctic Ocean!

We re-boarded and headed further north, to Cambridge Bay. Seeing as how we were in Nunavut, I was now required to do the safety demo in English, French, and... Inuktitut. That was interesting, to say the least. After Cambridge Bay we fly back to Kugluktuk, and finally we were on the last leg of the day, bound for Yellowknife. 
Upon arrival we caught the shuttle to our hotel, and I was free to do what I pleased for the evening. It was a beautiful day, and I opted to explore on foot. I'll admit that I don't always know a lot about a place before I visit. I learn as I go, and often have different expectations of places than the reality. I didn't expect Yellowknife to be beautiful.  In all honesty, I'd envisioned a small, cold city in the middle of nowhere. As it turns out, it was a city surrounded by gorgeous lakes and the colours of autumn were prominent in the many forested areas.  

I decided to go for a walk, despite my fatigue from having such an early morning.  I headed to Frame Lake and began to walk the trail around it. It was a 7 kilometre trail that primarily consisted of rocky boulders that I hiked over in flip flops.   Halfway around the lake and the furthest distance from the hotel, it began to rain. Of course. The temperature dropped a few degrees, but the rain didn't last long. A bright rainbow shone over the city across the lake.  What a nice evening it was! I took many photos with my phone, kicking myself for the decision to leave my real camera at home. I continued walking until I was back to the hotel, where I proceeded to laze around and call it an early night. 9 hours of sleep awaited me!
I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed. I can't remember the last time that I had a decent night's sleep! I got ready for my day and made a coffee, just because the hotel room was equipped with a Keurig Brewer.
I met the crew and just like the day prior, we flew to Kugluktuk, Cambridge Bay, back to Kugluktuk and then back to Yellowknife.  We arrived to beautiful weather and since I was feeling ambitious I decided to walk around the lake once again. I was joined by the Captain, and we made it around much faster than I had slowly wandered the night before.  We chatted about airplanes and travels, and it was nice to have company since I tend to miss my husband and puppy on long walks alone. We made it back to the hotel and upon sitting down on my bed, I immediately lost all ambition to do anything else that evening. I made the most of my evening with nothing to do, as they are few and far between lately.
I woke up the next morning, and did the exact same flights as the previous day. This time, however, upon landing in Yellowknife we got on another plane and deadheaded (rode as passengers!) back to Edmonton. It was rainy and miserable outside, but I was home! It doesn't matter how long I'm gone for, I'm always happy to return! First layover down, and it was better than I'd expected!    


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