My First Four Days in Whitehorse

Hello friends!

I recently decided I needed a change of scenery. I have also become obsessed with the polar environments of our planet, and the history and natural ecology of these places. Snow Owls, Muskoxen, Ptarmigans, Polar Bears, Reindeer, Penguins, etc. etc., all of ’em excite me to no end. John Franklin’s expeditions, Samuel Hearne, the Inuit, the Dene, Sir Robert Falcon Scott (his middle name was FALCON!), Roald Amundsen (!), Alexander Mackenzie, William T. Vollmann’s post-modern historical fiction masterpiece The Rifles, Ernest Shackleton, Frank Hurley, etc. etc. REALLY get me going.

[How can you not love them (Ptarmigans)?]

Frank Hurley ship
[The Endurance (Shackleton’s ship) stuck in the ice]

So I decided I’d move North. Despite loving the North, I didn’t actually know much about the towns and Territories in Canada, and so decided to move to Whitehorse, Yukon, because: a) it was a capital, so it would probably be pretty populated (baby steps); and b) it had MOUNTAINS.

So far I have been here four days. I arrived on Friday around 4pm Pacific Time, got to the hotel that my job has me staying in for now, and unpacked a bit.

View from the airplane window as we were descending:


View from my Hotel room:


My climbing friend Andrew from Hamilton introduced me to another Whitehorse residenct friend of his through facebook, and she invited me out that night. So I went out that night and met Julia and some of her friends. The next day I got a new cell phone number and did some errands (groceries), and then hung out with Julia and some of her other friends again that night, playing charades. Julia, being possibly the kindest person I have met in a long time, invited me out for Summit Sunday, where we went on a hike to summit Mount Lorne (we didn’t have time to fully summit it, but we were close):

The hike itself was close to 19km. It started with a very long and gradual incline through the boreal forest.


Julia’s friend brought her dog Penny, who found a decapitated grouse in the woods:


Later we came upon an old cabin, at which point the trail turns a sharp left and the real climb begins.




The view from the top. New best friends! hahaha:

P1040323 P1040324

This morning, Julia, AGAIN, took me out for a walk out to Miles Canyon. This is very close to town, and again is very beautiful (sorry for the cell-phone quality pics):

IMG_20131111_113958 IMG_20131111_114009 IMG_20131111_120125IMG_20131111_120131

Now I’m sitting in a Starbucks (of all places) writing this blog post and getting ready for my first day of work tomorrow. Hope it’s as great as the city has been so far!


About dontdontoperate

28 year old originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. H.B.Sc. from UofT with a major in chemistry and a double minor in philosophy and math. M.Sc. from UofT in physiology and neuroscience. Finished my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at McMaster in the fall of 2013.
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7 Responses to My First Four Days in Whitehorse

  1. Robin Freeman says:

    Looks beautiful mang! Bookmarked so I can keep track cousin!

  2. Andi says:

    Yay! I’m so happy you are having a great time and meeting awesome people!

  3. Dan says:

    Yay! Looks like things have started well!

  4. Ashlea and Mark says:

    Hey Al, Dad and I are reading your blog here at work…. Looks beautiful there- albeit a bit chilly. Stay safe and warm. Lots of love, dad and ash

    • dontdontoperate says:

      Hey! Good to know! I have more to write but haven’t had time. I may have something up on Thursday, so stay tuuuuned 😉

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