What a week it's been. I went to Whitehorse from Thursday to Monday to say bon voyage to Kelly and Danny who are moving back to Ontario after seven or so years in the Yukon. The drive there was beautiful as usual. I saw three moose, about three dozen Arctic hare, two hawks ( I almost crashed trying to watch them, three porcupine (one was dead), one ground squirrel, eight elk, one caribou and a lynx. The lynx was the coolest. It ran in front of the truck and at first I thought it was a fox until I noticed it had no tail. The huge cat stopped on the other side of the road and I screeched to a halt. We both just sat there for about 10 minutes watching each other. Very cool. The Alaska Highway is in the worst shape I've ever seen. I spoke with a woman in Beaver Creek who has lived there all her life and she too said she'd never seen it that bad. The frost heaves are almost bad enough to lift your vehicle off the ground and the pot holes are big enough to swallow you whole. It was pretty much a bone-jarring ride from start to finish with the worst of it being between the border and Haines Junction...that's about 450 kilometres. I also got caught in a freak blizzard outside Beaver Creek but not before I stopped and ate some rancid caribou sausage that made my stomach gurgle for the next few days. (Sorry about the tooting, everyone) I had beer with some friends and coffee with others, catching up on the latest news and goings on. I met Grant, my friend from Scotland, there and he hung out with us a little. I took him out to meet Frank Turner, a pretty famous musher in the north. We had coffee and chatted and I think Grant was pretty impressed with Frank's stories of the Quest and beyond. (He had to catch the bus down to Homer, so he didn't end up riding back with me, which was a pity because I was pretty knackered on the way home. I had to stop and sleep about eight hours in.)
Saturday morning I helped Kelly with her yard sale. She and Danny are getting rid of most of their possessions before the big move. The sale was hilarious and they made about $1,000. That evening was Kelly's going-away party which started with a scavenger hunt. We were divided into four teams of three and given a list of 61 items or photos that we had to retrieve or take around the city and bring back to the house. We only had two hours. There were random things like: 'a fortune cookie' or 'a take-out menu' or 'blue eyeshadow' or a picture of a team member playing air guitar in front of a certain store. I had a Cheryl, a new CBC reporter in town, and Andrew, a friend's boyfriend, on my team. We were the only team that got a full 50 bonus points for 'mooning' a Yukon mural (thanks again, Andrew) and, god dammit, we still came in last! Last! I couldn't believe it. I demanded a recount, but to no avail. Anyway, I think it was really a great idea and I'm hoping to plan one for someone's birthday in the near future. After the hunt, we sat around, drank beer, ate cake and generally, well, partied, in a low-key sort of way. Oh yeah, Juliann made up T-shirts for everyone to wear (since Kelly and Danny are moving back to Ontario) that said 'Ontario Sucks.' Pretty funny.
I returned to Fairbanks on Monday night with mucho Canadian chocolate and beer (As we all know, American beer is watery by comparison) and lots of crap from Kelly's yard sale including a big, plastic snowman named Gahree that I made her take when I moved from Whitehorse. Gahree has come full circle and is now a beacon of hope for all who enter my yard...actually he's just another thing for my dogs to pee on.
Yesterday I, as the maid of honour for Meg, helped her get ready for the wedding. It took place in a little park by the river last night and was a really nice little ceremony, followed by drinks and cake at Ivory Jack's. Love those Alaska weddings: casual, with dog hair on everything. I wore a dress for the first time in years and, yes, I even shaved my legs for the occasion. That is true friendship.
Here are some photos of the trip to Whitehorse with more of the wedding to come.
PeaceOk. Don't get me wrong. I love the CBC, but the photo of Andrew mooning the mural for the scavenger hunt had to go on the blog. By the way, we all had to wear these paper hats in the pictures.
Juliann's girl Laker.
Juliann's boy Leif (they're twins).
Laker and Leif.
Random dude leaving the yard sale with some booty.
When Superman asks you if want cake, you freakin' take it.
The gang sporting our 'Ontario Sucks' shirts.
I took Grant sightseeing. This is Miles Canyon in Whitehorse.
Kelly workin' it outside the new, freakin' giant Canadian Tire in Whitehorse. This was a new promotion: free skanks.
Random kid trying on some earmuffs at the yard sale. He bought them.
A random lady trying out the 'Six-second Abs' at the yard sale. She bought it. Hilarious.
I made signs for all of us to wear whilst peddling our wares at the yard sale. This was Danny's. Most said 'Staff' except mine said 'Team Leader.' YEAH!
Andrew and Cheryl 'kissing the giant beaver' during the scavenger hunt.
Jules and kiddies saying goodbye to their new fav aunt: Me.
Andrew, me and Cheryl dancing on Main Street....yes, it was part of the scavenger hunt but we might have just done it anyway.