Saturday, February 7, 2015

North

Touching down in Whitehorse was a strange feeling. Not quite a homecoming. I felt a little empty-handed being here without Rich, or my babies. But I definitely teared up seeing the familiar landscape from my airplane seat. Grey mountain, my neighbourhood, the downtown buildings. My old 'hood.


I've been really busy since arriving, with race briefings, interviews, media events, but I absolutely carved out time to go watch the start of the Yukon Quest sled-dog race. It was cold, cold enough that everyone was dressed like I was: beaver mitts, Canadian Goose down jackets (the hefty ones, not the kind Toronto hipsters wear), giant boots. There was so much exhaust from our collective exhales, that a fog floated over the start line.


 The dogs were magnificent, as ever. Raring to go, literally chomping at the bit to get out on the trail.



Another quick meeting, some yoga in my hotel room to stretch out my hips after that flight (cannot promote Air North enough- they fed me hot meals, snacks, and provided Yukon magazines and newspapers for free!), and then off to load up on supplies because tomorrow, we hit the trail.




It's not getting any warmer out there. I can't wait for the race to start tomorrow. After getting to know some of the athletes, I am very aware and humbled by their motivations, and commitment to give the race a go, -40 or colder.


2 comments:

  1. The practices Canada Goose uses to trap & kill the coyotes is inhumane, and banned in many parts of Europe and the US. There are countless synthetics that work as well - and better - than coyote fur. The fur trade is unsustainable, exploited by non-indigenous groups to the detriment to traditional communities, and cruel.

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  2. Thanks for your contribution to the conversation. It's really important for people to speak up for what they believe in. Wearing fur is not for everybody. I bought my parka second-hand from a musher up here, and believe buying second-hand is always more sustainable, and further honours the animals' sacrifice by prolonging the parka's life. The fur trade is a big part of first nations traditions in the Yukon, and while the coyote fur on my parka is not local, I can vouch for the continuing tradition of living off the land, including traplines set to snare animals the first nations then sell to make a living.

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