Maybe you read the Yukon Elite Squad blog. Maybe you’ve heard enough Yukoners say Whitehorse is ‘the greatest place ever’. Maybe you’re starting to believe it.
This week my ski operations are coming from the remote Whitehorse office. Very few people in Ontario have noticed I’m missing. I chalk this up to the magic of cell phones and internet. My dad keeps saying it’s because I have a fake job I made up to impress him. Dammit.
Here are 6 things I managed to forget about living in Whitehorse.
1) There’s no point in trying to eat vegetables in this town. Everyone just eats lots of meat.
For one, it’s almost impossible to get good fresh produce. Even if you do manage to organize your life around getting to Superstore early enough to snag some good lettuce, you’re probably not going to be able to get it home before it suffers frostbite & your salad looks like it has the plague. That and everyone here hunts. The other day at dinner Colin and Knute showed up with three grouse they shot earlier in the day. These grouse were not the main course just ‘appetizers’. As a side note- everyone here is pale and looks like they may have scurvy.
2) It’s cold.
Even in the early winter of mid November it’s -30. There’s no point in wearing anything other than ski pants, a down jacket and several toques everywhere you go. Yukoners distinguish the formalness of their attire by how many patches are on their down jackets. Going to the sawmill? Better pull out the down jacket I found in the garbage can. Going to the Arts Centre for Jazz night? Get out the down jacket that only has elbow patches.
3) It’s dark.
These days the sun comes up at 9:15 and sets at 4:15. This may lead you to believe that people with office jobs never see daylight- that would be false however. Most people in the Yukon are employed by various Federal and Territorial government departments which means they are either in line at Baked Cafe, are on an extended lunch break ski, or are off work early.
4) My Dad may be trying to kill me, or just burn down the Ski Club.
The first day back Rudy takes me ‘in search of good skiing’. This means lake skiing in search of thick enough ice. The good news is Rudy leads this ridiculous expedition. The bad news is I weigh about 40lbs more than him. We’ve been skiing for just over half an hour when a section of lake Rudy sailed over collapses under my weight. Rudy outlines my options as ‘you either need to weigh less or ski faster.’ Thanks Dad.
But I have to cut Rudy a bit of slack. A few days ago he was told he was being ‘phased out’ of his role as head track setter at the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club. This has been a big blow to dads ego. Lately he started trying to calculate how old he is. I have also noticed he’s stockpiling jerrcans of gasoline and collecting free match packets from local hotels. Also- his latest google search history turned the following results ‘hew to evoit erson’ which is either a misspelled variation of ‘how to avoid persons’ or ‘how to avoid arson.’ I’m not too worried. Ok, just a little.
5) My mother is definitely trying to kill me.
I’d love to say my mother is the rational link in the family but everyone in town agrees that she’s the crazy one. Worse than being crazy- Roxanne is of the strong conviction that the primary value of children is free slave labor. Ever since she realized I won’t be producing grandchildren anytime soon she’s been finding increasingly dangerous chores for me to tackle. This morning in the midst of 80km/h wind gusts she demanded I climb onto her roof and sweep the chimney. Afterwards she unveiled a full cord of wood she’s been saving for me to split.
6) The Yukon is the best and most beautiful place in the world.
I mean, just look at it. Plus the wax is always two layers of Rode Superblue covered with Multigrade Green [or Multigrade Purple if it’s spring].