Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Turning back the hourglass

November 2nd, 2008

Have you ever just felt something that just curled your toes, made you smile without so much as an after thought....well on October 31st, 2008 I felt just that. I landed in Kugaaruk,NU with just a slight apprehension but with no weight on my shoulders - sure there was some nerves and the definite need for a hot shower (it was -25 with windchill) but I didn't feel like the odd woman out. But let me back up....

On Monday, October 27th, 2008 the packers showed up bright and early in the morning -and in 4 hours they had all our possessions packed up in multiple brown boxes.
It felt weird sleeping in a house surronded by boxes larger in both size and width that I am...I'm glad my pups were at Seneca; they don't do well with major upheavel.
On Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 three beefy looking guys show up with a nice size United truck and managed to fit all our items into it, in one nice little package. We walked around our empty house - and saw.... MOUNDS OF DOG HAIR!! - and we went off to the hotel; Selkirk Inn.

At this point and time, I was starting to feel the pressure - it almost seemed like we were fighting an uphill battle and we were pushed down two steps for every one that we took. Everytime we completed a task (Selling the car, truck...making sure our flights were booked correctly; and after H being on the phone for almost an hour with the Amex people we finally had permission from all three airlines to take our pups!...Noteworthy: Aircanada sucks Ass when it comes to travelling with pets... WestJet ONLY FOLKS) it seemed like two more would pop up. I'm not sure if that was all in my head..or it was from the greasy amount of gross disqusting food that we were eatting, since we were in a hotel.

October 30th - MOVING DAY, today was by far our busiest day of them all - I woke up with a million butterflies - nice pretty ones...but still butterflies; I think the hardest part of the day was just relinquishing control of my pups to the airline, you hear so many bad things about flying dogs. I was worried about Chakotay; my oldest - he has some seperation anxiety and well, he doesn't do well with change..Sekaya is a seasoned pro, she has been kennel trained for for a good couple of months but she has a bit of David Blane in her - she can escape from the most hightech contraption if and when she wants too.

So we arrive at the airport with about 2 hours to kill; and in roll'd Chakotay and Sekaya - although we would have definitely heard Chakotay if we didnt see him, not a happy husky!! I was never a big fan of WestJet and their happy go lucky additude, even at 7am in the morning...but they way they treated our pups when we were checking them in, and when we put them thru security made me have a huge change of heart!. Waiting to get on the plane was a huge test of my emotions, worried about my dogs getting loose on the tar mats to having someone drop their kennels, or just forgetting the mound of luggage we had checked; the way our schedule was that we couldn't have one glitch or we were messed up all the way to Kugaaruk. I know I was driving H crazy paceing back and forth from the big window to our seats numerous times just waiting to see my pups get loaded.
As messed up as it sounds, when I saw them getting on the plane I could have broken down in tears, and I'm not sure if that was from relief or from fear - our first leg of our adventure has begun.

I wish I could say that something exciting happened from our flight thru Edmonton, however it was pretty uneventful - I guess that is what everyone wishes for - there was a bit of turbulance and that was it - some diet coke and some bitsnbites and we were on our way into Yellowknife.

Landing in Yellowknife, I was not sure what to expect and what did I see...... SNOW and SNOW PLOWS!! I was in udder shock, when we left Winnipeg only hours before it was +14 sunny and warm - we got ourselves landed without to much fuss and into the terminal; All along, H and I attended to grab a Cab to the Super 8 where we were staying for the night until our 10:45am flight the following morning, unfortunately our goodluck up to this point was starting to fizzle...Not a cab on that would take pups and/or didn't have a VAN that would have the room. So it was getting on to about 11pm, and I will admit I was moody cranky and starting to get a little frazzled and worried that I would have had to spend the night in the Yellowknife Airport. H went off to the Super 8 with all our luggage with full intentions to knocking on every door to find someone with the means to bring us to the hotel for the night. While he was gone, a guy name TED came into the airport, " I was sent to help you, how can I get you to where you are going" apparently, although
at this time I wasen't aware, he is the owner of TED TAXI'S - me being the ever aware mountie's wife I was in full..."Don't trust anyone" mode. When H arrived back and he spoke to Ted we finally decided to put our trust in him and he was going to offer to pick us up in his cube van. Once again I stay'd behind with our pups while H went off with this seemingly nice guy to pick up the cube van. Although I would have never expected to see what I saw when he came back, TED offered H his own truck for the night and for the morning to drive our dogs back to the airport!! What a guy and we will forever be indebt to him for the hospitality and kindness he offered to seemingly two unknown travellers stuck in the airport for the night, I felt like our luck was back in our favor.

A semi-goodnight sleep and we were back to the airport via Ted's truck. We arrived 2 hours before our flight was due to take off and was able to book the pups and our luggage with little fanfare, apparently piling on luggage in the North is expected - we arrived to Gjoa Haven almost 3 hours from take off, head some strong headwinds - Gjoa (Joe) Haven was my first taste of northern life, some friendly people and some stares, although I didn't feel like I was an outsider as most of the looks were just from curiousity. It was a quick turnaround and when we boarded our plan again Hughie and I realized we were the only TWO passengers, a couple of snacks and lots of photo's later (Check out my facebook page in the near future, once I get some internet here at home I'll post them) we were told we were about to land in Kugaaruk...dang butterflies.....

I don't remember my initial thought when we landed in Kugaaruk, but I do remember a grin breaking the surface and feeling like I stepped off the plane to my home. After a quick
meet and great with Fish and Pyatt (relief member) we were off to grab the pups off the luggage truck! MY DOGS!! They seem'd very pissed at this point, and cold..(-25 with wind
chill at this point). We took the short route home, all the while chatting it up with Fish and Pyatt - Our home loomed in the distance, home...the place that I will call home
for the next two years had this comfy quality to it; 1100 square feet with warming colors and warming furnace!! As I got settled and unpacked the house Fish and Pyatt swiped Hughie for an hour and a bit to get the lay of the land.

That evening, Hallowe'en. I had the chance to greet about 50 kids at my door - we haven't had the opportunity to celebrate trick or treating in the last couple of years, as all our houses were off the tnt path. After treating was over, the community had a costume contest at the Hamlet Office's gym - we arrived to a few stares and curiousty but before long we had kids coming up to us "What is your name" and kidding around about the Vancouver Anucks (My first inuit word "Anucks" means POOP!!)

We have been here now 4 days and I'm enjoying my time here, it is light out about 8am and here I am sitting here typing my blog at 3:30 in the afternoon and it is pitch
black outside - the sun was starting to set about 1pm when H was heading back to work after his lunch break.
I hope you have all enjoyed this long overview of my adventure; I have another one to tell - my trip that my favorite person in the world surprised me with the weekend prior
to us moving. I woke up on the 25th with H saying "Do you trust me...go get dressed"! But that is another adventure, one I will tell in the next post.

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