This past weekend I visited Yellowknife where my boyfriend is currently working on a job site (he’s away two weeks of the month. He calls it the perfectly relationship). With this hopefully being his last month working in Yellowknife it seemed like the perfect last-ditch opportunity to cross the Great North off my travel bucket list.
The never-ending sunshine and majestic Aurora Bourealis make Yellowknife a truly beautiful place! In between weather gazing I had a great time browsing the quaint shops, visiting local pubs and walking on Great Slake Lake checking out the eclectic houseboats dotting the frozen surface. However there are some things I couldn’t help but notice that made me appreciate living South of the Fraser that much more, the main ones being expenses and weather.
When I arrived Friday night the temperature in Yellowknife was -15, however with the wind chill it felt more like -23. The air is so biting cold in wintertime that even if you’re just running out for five minutes to get milk you still need to wrap yourself up in a thick scarf covering half your face, ski-hill gloves, long John underwear, a big furry toque and an ultra heavy jacket for your best chance of staying warm.
On top of that, most people in the north wear animal fur, not for the “elite” look but literally because fur is the best protectant against Mother Nature. Fur hats. Fur gloves. Fur warming patches to put inside your winter gloves. You name it, they have it in practically any animal. Still, no matter how much I wrapped myself up in layers upon layers, my nose was still red when I got home, mascara running down my cheeks from the ferociousness of the wind.
(Video attempting to walk on Great Slave Lake)
The second surprising factor was the price of food. Everything has to be trucked into Yellowknife which is why a 24 pack of beer is $58! 58! I love beer but no brew is worth that amount of money! My boyfriend Deryck and me had three drinks each at a pub and the bill came to $94. Deryck stocked up on rice and beans when I left to give his wallet a break from our extravagant weekend.
Surrey may have problems of its own (gangs, high cost of living, traffic) but since my return I’ve come home with a fresh set of eyes on the perks of our city and South of the Fraser in general. A moderate climate and comparably affordable restaurant food being two of them. Now if only we could steal Yellowknife’s sunshine....