an amateur attempt at the blog phenomenon and a way to give people an idea of life in whitehorse, yukon, sarah and jole style...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

3 for the road...

hey folks, for those of you who still bother to check this antiquated blog thingy, we are happy to announce to the internet world that our family of 2 is scheduled to become a family of 3 towards the end of July 2008. we are expecting a bambino to arrive sometime around that date!

Monday, March 19, 2007


Well it's now nearly the end of another Yukon winter and spring is nowhere in sight. We have lots and lots of snow. It is the snowiest winter on record! The Canada Winter Games have come and gone and everyone else in the country is stuck with our northern tv advertisements while we are stuck with lots of orange jackets. All the volunteers were given orange jackets to wear during the games. a pretty good deal as these are heavy duty gore tex jackets!

We escaped the games for a week and went to do some surfing and wave watching in Tofino. Unfortuntely we brought the snow with us and were nearly stranded on vancouver island after a snow storm on the pass between Tofino and Port Alberni. That sloppy coastal snow is no fun to drive in!

There was lots happening after we returned from the south including a (free!) great cultral festival with everything from rap to fiddle music to northern inuit throat singers.

The infamous burning away the winter blues festival (you can watch this event LIVE on the web!!) is on Saturday March 24th at 8:30pm and it looks as though this year we'll have to have quite the bonfire to melt all the snow. The river is still frozen over and it was -25 this morning. At this rate ski season will last until sometime in August. We are going up on the roof tomorrow night to shovel it off as a few of the pipes have actually been covered completely by snow and we have large icicles forming the attic!

On the bright side (the yukon spring is literally nice and bright) with daylight lasting until about 8:30pm we can get out for some longer skis after work and even after dinner.

Enjoy the rain in vancouver and elsewhere and here's to hoping that we emerge from our winter hibernation with at least a small remnant of our european sunburns/tans from last summer!


Monday, February 19, 2007


No, this is not some Rendezvous tradition. It's exactly what it sounds like. WE had a short power outage due to the unfortunate death of a raven, our territorial bird. It happened right behind our house! What an exciting weekend we had!

Well, now that we have solved the power outage problem, we are trying to dog ourselves out of the snow. We are burried in 3 feet of snow. It just keeps coming, just in time for the Canada Games. We are all getting ready for a mass exodus because , in a few days, all the athletes will be here and our tiny little city will be overrunned by tourists...outsiders!!! The good news is that the days are getting longer and longer and before we know it, we will be in to 24 hours of daylight!

We enjoyed our busy visit with Aaron, Jen and Tatum. They did so much in so little time! They went sledding and cross country skiing and snowmobiling and skating and dogsledding and shopping. WE had great weather, with the exception of the cold day for the start of the Yukon Quest Dogsled race. What excitement! Tee only thing they didn't get to do was see the Northern lights. And, yes, they do exist, we just can't manage to get them to appear for our visitors!

Two more days until break and I can't wait..... hope all of you are well.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

All Northern Pond Hockey

For the second year, Whitehorse played host to the all northern pond hockey tournament at chadburn lake. And for the sencond year the temperatures were below -30 C. This year, almost 40 teams braved -40 (!) temperatures to pit their pond hockey skills against one another for yukon pond hockey supremacy.

This year, our valiant team of super heroes (which included superman/woman, flash gordon, a large stuffed dinosaur and a brown M&M - how can you top talent like that!?) made it to the quarterfinals only to lose in a close fought game. Good times were had by all. Despite superman's cape continually getting in the way, flash gordon's bummed knee and rastaman being far to laid back the team had a great goals for/against ratio. Only one toe was lost to frostibite, that being the big toe of the flash.

The mother of all pond hockey tournaments is in Plaster Rosk New Brunswick, World Pond Hockey Champioships, in February. Perhaps one day the Yukon champion can travel to NB much like to Dawson City Nuggets of old to play against southern foes.

Well, it's still -43 here so no one's going outside today despite the sun.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Current Weather Conditions...

wishing it were fall. Due to Jole's lack of blogittment, the Gone North presence in the blogosphere has turned into a Sarah-only project for the past 12 months, but I am ready to reclaim cyberspace.

Lots has happened, including autumn. It lasted for...about a week. Actually, that's not true, we had an amazing fall and were out on the roadbikes and mtn bikes until the third week of october. We had snow for halloween and it is currently very cold and very snowy. As a result of said snow, ski season has started and we managed to make use of our passes once so far as we braved the -35 degrees with windchild last night.

Jole just returned from Indianapolis where he attended the International Dyslexia Association Conference. It was a very good conference and in between hearing highly educated people give workshops, jole even got to experience all the americana that the middle-american city had to offer including the meals with choices that included red meat, red meat and red meat. The meat hangover is still lingering.

Other highlights included the restaurant/bar/arcade/dance club/bowling alley - 3 floors of pure enjoyment - and the "mall". Hanging out in droves at the mall were literally hundreds of highschol students who were visiting Indianapolis for the Bands of America High School Marching Band Grand National Championships.

This was simply one of the most interstingly bizarre things I have ever seen. The event took place inside the 70,000 seat RCA dome (Like BC Place) and saw dozens of 200-300 student marching bands strut their stuff with trombones, tubas, saxaphones, flutes, trumpets, flags, dancers, rifle twirlers and drummers in highly choreographed routines that amazed and dazzled the accumulated throngs of spectators. It was truly an experience from another planet. The costumes, the makeup, the hair, the white

Another highlight was the the Eiteljorg (pronounced eye-tell-j-org...???) Museum of American Indians and Western art. Hmmm...a "cowboys and indians" museum...the irony is far too tempting.

All in all the midwest was an experience that was pleasantly surprising. I was blown away by how friendly people were. It was almost creepy friendly. almost. But the funny accent made me chuckle to myself before I could be creeped out. And then there were the people who asked me if i had problems with polar bears in my front yard...

here are some photos too - we missed the polar bears , they were grazing a few hours before we took these shots. One is Sarah in the leaves, one is Todd Cunningham and I shooting the "Gums of Death" rapids (Class 3 eh!!) on the Takhini River and one shot is our uncompleted (at the time) shed. Enjoy rainy November for those of you in Vancouver. We'll be down at Chirstmas and hope to see all of you then.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Let it snow!

It's quite strange and disturbing how the snow falling has set us at ease. Winter is here, with snow and -30C windchill to boot! Why are we welcoming the snow so much this year?

As soon as the snow starting falling on Joel's birthday, all we could think about was cross country skiing. It's now the first week of November, and we are still waiting for just the right amount of snow.....but we feel so much better now that it's here. We feel so much better despite having to pull out the heavy winter boots and parkas!

Jole is preparing for a trip to Indianapolis next week and I am working on report cards and our mosaic course homework. (Joel signed us up for a course to learn how to do mosaic tiling so we can finally finish our bar top. We are trying to create one piece of art together while all the ladies in the class complete their art piece. We can be quite entertaining at times.....) Claire is busy playing with our power tools. Time is flying and pretty soon we'll be down in Vancouver for Christmas! Can't wait.

Have to run....Hope everyone is well!



Sunday, September 17, 2006

one teacher, one carpenter and a monkey in a pear tree!

Ahhh... Fall!

Greetings everyone...sorry for the long delay in updating the blog. We are just having too much with the wonderful Fall we are having this year.
It was such a busy summer with our trip to Europe, Joel's Ironman, Ronnie's visit, Anne's visit and Mirna and Jon's visit that we are just now taking the time to enjoy the Yukon again. This has been the most beautiful fall since we've been here.

A quick update: Our trip to Europe was great, even though our bags got stolen in Croatia! Joel completed another Ironman and still has the sunburn lines to prove it. Our deck, built by Ronnie, is still standing even though part of it had to be dismantled to retrieve the spooked cat. Claire has started her carpentry course and can now plane - We've already put in our order for end tables and new kitchen cabinets. I have almosted completed my first month of teaching grade one and I'm absolutely exhausted! These kids are demanding. We are busy planning our visit to Vancouver for Christmas and February break and we are very excited. The Canada Games are here in February/March so the schools get almost 3 weeks off and instead of volunteering for the games, we are planning our exit!

Will try to get some photos from our Europe trip and everyone's Yukon visit posted on our photo album website soon. Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Greetings everyone! Hope you are all doing well. We are all well here. Claire finally has a means of transportation, other than her feet. She bought a bike to get around town and complete the bike relay from Haines Junction to Haines, Alaska. Joel is also preparing for this bike race. I am preparing for the Mayo Midnight Run, on that same weekend. That's right , we are starting the run just before midnight. It is very bright now....those above 2 photos of us were taken just before midnight!

On the May long weekend, we went to Kathleen Lake to camp. As you can see, the lake was still frozen and the mountains were covered in snow. However, we both managed to get a sunburn. The rest of the weekend was spent with report cards and bike rides. Joel has pretty much dropped of the face of the earth right now with his training....hence, all the recent entries posted by me!

Not too much new here.....I am now truly into the 21st century-Joel gave me an ipod for our anniversary. (I don't know how to use it yet.) There's less than a month to go until we are off to Europe. Claire has survived her first winter here, but sometimes it still feels like winter! It remains to be seen if she will stay for another. Ronnie is days away from joining us here in the Yukon. He will be just in time for the bugs! We are really looking forward to his visit. Hopefully he can do some relaxing and get himself on Yukon time or he won't last too long in the big city here. I have a job for next year teaching grade 1- should be great fun.

Not much else to udpate on. I hope to have time to update once more before we go, but if not, I hope everyone has a great summer and our thoughts are with all those expectant friends!

Take Care,

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
Here we are in the middle of the April. Two days ago we were out on our bikes and enjoying the running trails in the wonderful sun. We awoke to this at 730am and it is now 9pm (still bright out) and it hasn't stopped snowing. The worse part of it is that this is wet snow. Yuck. Joel has slipped into weather depression and I almost got pulled into it with him. However, I am, instead going to pull out my skis and go for a ski tomorrow. Can't wait! There will be plenty of time to ride and run this summer!
Hope you are all having a wonderful Easter weekend.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

An Update from the NORTH!

Greetings Everyone!

Now that we are all back on the healthy track, it's time for an update. However, I am not feeling all that motivated to sit inside and type when it is so beautiful outside. Can you blame me? After six months of the weather above (Claire after a run), I am excited to see the sun and not have to dress up in 10 layers before going outside!
I am off for another ski. The spring skiing is wonderful this year and the increase in daylight is doing wonders for the city's spirits.

Check out some of our winter photos at the link below in the album winter 2006.

PS- Our tickets to Europe are booked and I am just counting the days now!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Yukonitis Strikes Again!

Well folks,

Yukonitis is at it again. We will update once we've recovered! Hope all of you are well.


Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

We hope that your holiday season was safe and happy.

Check out our Christmas photos in the album "dec 2005" and our trip to Haines in the album "haines alaska". Click here:

The yukon christmas was a nice treat although we weren't treated to any fresh snow on christmas morning. the weather for the Woods' visit was pleasant (i.e. not too cold) and alas, they won't have any stories about wild polar tempertures and blizzards and such. It was very enjoyable to have guests from the south who regaled us with stories of deluges of rain, warm tempertures and greenness.

However we did get to take in many yukon adventures including dogsledding, the takhini hotsprings, the inn on the lake, and the longest night festival on December 21, when we experienced about 18.5 hours of darkness. Curiously, this induced an urge to consume copious amounts of baked goods, cheeses, meats, stuffed mushroom caps, beer, wine, egg nog and honey garlic chicken wings.

We also were fortunate enough to go deep into the forest to slay a christmas tree. we selected one that smelled like cat pee when we got it into the house. Interestingly, an unbeknownst trait of white spruce trees...the smell dissipated after a day or so.

much merriment ensued and we ate our roast beast and sent the guests off on their way on boxing day, hopefully to be back sometime when the days are a lot longer and you don't need to put on five layers of fleece, down and goretex prior to venturing outside. But it's all part of the fun!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sounds like Canada in the Yukon

If you want to discover more about life in the Yukon, tune in to CBC Radio 1 this week from 10am -1pm. Shelagh Rogers, host of Sounds Like Canada is broadcasting from Whitehorse all week and will be talking to, hearing from and listening to yukoners of all sorts including poets musicians, normal people, goldminers (yes, I'm insinuating that gold miners aren't normal).

AM 690 for those of your from the lower mainland


Sunday, November 20, 2005

From Report Cards to Christmas Concerts!

Greetings everyone!

I hope you are all well. Joel, on the other hand, is feeling a little hard-done-by because he feels that no one appreciates, or reads, his blog entries. All I can say is - keep the comments coming because I can't put up with him anymore! Sometimes, it is nice to hear from people because it can get a little lonely up here....

I am now walking to and from work in the dark. There was a ton of snow but some strange warming phenomenom hit and we are feeling a lot like Vancouver. We've had rain, sleet and sheets of ice on the road. These Northerners are discovering the sacred winter secret of Vancouverites- it is difficult to drive in wet snow! Even our pond hockey tourney was cancelled because of the warm weather!

Yes, that's right, pond hockey, and no, I don't know how to play, or skate, for that matter. I bought hockey skates and a junior hockey stick and practiced last week to gear up for the tourney. I already have the nickname, U-turn Sarah, because I can't stop, only turn around and around in circles. I must agree with my wise sister - hockey skates are much easier to skate with than figure skates. I'll will let you know how it goes on Dec.3rd, the new date for the tourney.

I finally got to Haines, Alaska for my birthday last weekend. The town itself is a dive but the sights are amazing! The eagle fest was on and there were over 2000 eagles on the Chilkat river in one week. We were able to watch eagles rip salmon after salmon apart and eat their fill. There were so many eagles, you could see black dots in every tree. I rememer when I used to get excited over 1 soaring eagle. We also saw seals and elk. Did you know that elk make a really funny squeaking sound? We stopped on the road, with a group of elk on either side of the car and enjoyed the elk calls.

The renovations are...coming along. We've painted the living room and dining room and Joel has "completed" fixing the hole in the wall. We have a basement filled with Tom and Karen's stuff. (They moved to Ottawa last week!) Stella especially likes this because she can spend hours chewing and pulling on their taped up boxes.

I completed my report cards before the long weekend and was the first teacher to get them done! Some brownie points were earned, but these points are now going down the gutter as I am falling behind with my Christmas concert and Pasoda celebration stuff. I'm not going to let this stuff break my Christmas spirit because I am really looking forward to having mom and dad w. up here for Christmas.

We are definitely going to Europe this summer because Jole has officially registered for Ironman Switzerland. The painful reminder hangs on our fridge. After weeks of deliberation over Joel's ironman written proposal and addendum, I finally "agreed" that it was "okay" for Jole to do the race. To quote Joel, it truly is " a chance of a lifetime" (yuck!). Joel has a new job starting in January - Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association. So, between his new job and the training schedule, I will never see Joel again. (That isn't always a bad thing!)

That's all that's new up here in the great white north. As soon as I down load our Haines photos, I will post the link.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

the slick, new, high-powered olsen BML-80 super furnace. sounds like a Boeing 747 taking off in the basement.

the haul of wild blueberries from white pass summit

there's a blog entry in this somewhere...

well we are beginning to realize the perils of owning your own the yukon. We've been in our new place for about 4 months now. We have managed to spruce it up a bit, mowed the lawn, chopped a hole in the wall and so on.

When we got the place inspected before we purchased, we were informed that the furnace was the original (~30yrs) so we were anticipating that over the next couple years, we would have to replace it. What we weren't anticipating was that we would have to replace it this year.

Now, as with living in any region of the country, there are times when you love it and times when you curse it. And indeed, living in a city 2500km from the nearest large canadian city has perks and it's drawbacks. one of the drawbacks is that getting someone to look at your furnace isn't as easy as selecting at random from the several dozen "furnace/heating" listings in the yellow pages. In whitehorse, there are a grand total of about 4 furnace/heating places in the yellow pages.

Now, this all goes back about 2 months when we called one of the smaller outfits to come by and clean our ducts (the ducts in the house that is). He kindly informed us that he was quite busy and that it would be about 3 weeks or so until he got to us. 5 weeks later, we haven't heard from him so we decided to call him to see where we are on the list. Sure enough, we're the "next" house on the list...but oops, mr. furnace cleaner has to go to Pelly Crossing for "work" for a week and won't be back in whitehorse until next tuesday. Now, if you look at Pelly Crossing on the map you'll see that it's not really a place you go unless...well, it's not really a place you go. The only reason one would go to Pelly in early September is to stock their freezer full of fresh moose meat.

We decided that we would let Mr. furnace cleaner go on his hunting trip and we'd just call someone else. 0 for 1. When we called that someone else we found that they couldn't get out to clean the ducts and service the furnace until the beginning of November. hmmm. 0 for 2.

Now, all this time, we hadn't had the furnace running because the ducts are really dirty. so we decide just to do some impromptu cleaning and turn the old beast on and hope for the best. temperatures had already been dipping below 0. So, we turned the furnace on and voila, hot air. It was about 13 or 14 degrees in the house prior to turning the furnace on so it was nice to be warm.

Two weeks later, i am in vancouver and sarah and claire are at home and kaput, the furnace stops working. nothing will get it going again. sarah call us the emergency line for the third furnace/heating place and leaves a message. the "emergency line" guy doesn't call back for 4 days. 0 for 3. all this time we are wondering if it would classified an emergency if it was minus 40 degrees and the furnace stopped working at night while we were sleeping. was the furnace place thinking " ahhh, no worries, it's only -1 degree, still balmy, call them back on monday??

We decide to call back the second outlet and tell them we need to get someone to come out to have a look as we can now see our breath inside and the indoor temp is down around 5 degrees C. They tell us that they have some "emergency time' that they can book us in for in 10 days. and why is it that you have an "emergency line" again? If you move to the yukon and have a furnace emergency, make sure to pre-book it with your local furnace guy.

once we tell the guy we are willing to drop some coin on a new oil guzzling heat machine, he relents and "discovers" a cancellation in the schedule. one quote for a $4000 furnace later and we're booked in to have the install completed in 3 days. just wave around a few g-notes and you'll get your way with the furnace guys. $4000 is for the low end model, mid efficiency unit.

we had one other quote from another place for $5000. They faxed this quote to us 4 days after doing the on site estimate and me telling the guy that we would appreciate a quote promptly as we are willing to make the purchase asap. it's nice to know that as a potential paying customer, your business is valued...

so for those of you taking notes:
1) pre-book your emergencies in the yukon
2) if you're in the yukon in september, go moose hunting in pelly crossing
3) be prepared to spend a ton of money on a furnace if your's dies!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

taking a breather

Hello everyone!

I finally had a few free moments to add some photos to our yahoo website. Check out our "summer 2005" album at:

We had a territory wide teacher conference on Thursday and Friday so things were a bit less hectic for me.....but I still feel really busy. I love my class, even though I have a kid who consistently announces that he needs to go to the bathroom really badly because he has to take a number 2...and we have a chronic farter! I do love the teaching part, it's just all the administrative crap that comes with it. I will be coaching the grade 7 girls volleyteam starting in a few weeks and before I know it the evil time of Report Cards will be upon us.....and so will the snow.

Joel and Claire will be down in Vancouver for Thanksgiving so hopefully they will have time to visit with everyone.

Take care! Sarah

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

together again!

The ladies at Lake Louise AB.

caribou with a nice rack.

The lush, tropical jungle of Liard Hot Springs on the Alaska Highway

Claire and Megan on top of the "Dome" in Dawson City. The smoke is from forest fires in Alaska.

what we did on our summer vacation part 2...

well, sarah's on to her second week of school now and we're still talking about our summer vacation....sheesh.

well, after vancouver we embarked on a kootenay/rockie mountain vacation rapido style. with stops in castlegar, nelson, cranbrook (with a triathlon thrown in), fairmont hot springs, radium hot springs, lake louise, jasper, grande prarie, liard hot springs and whitehorse. whew, it was quite a trip.

as noted, we hit up a number of hotsprings. we found liard hot springs, although the most rustic, to be the best. fairmont was like swimming in someone's bathtub, with several hundred other people you didn't know, radium was especially nice in the evenings when the crowds died down.

as you can see from the photos above, emily appeared out of thin air and was able to accompany us for a few days of the trip (from cranbrook to radium). that was nice.

it was sure nice to get home to whitehorse to see the cat which hasn't quite forgiven us for leaving her for so long. she attacked our feet without warning in the wee hours last night as latent punishment. she continues to exhibit peculiar behaviours at all hours. we may have to call in the resident pet psychologist. it's a booming business in the yukon what with all the sled dogs up here. the politics and interdog communications within a dogteam can be a handful. they often need to talk it out with their therapist.

claire has landed work at mac's fireweed books, the local book store and instantaneously received a promotion to downstairs. one might think that's actually a demotion but she insists it's not. hmmm.

sarah has whipped her grade twos into shape. jole and claire haven't seen her for almost three weeks as she's been diligently preparing her classroom. she has even been spotted at school working on the weekends. such is the life of a beginning teacher.

the leaves are beginning to turn their brilliant yellows and the bite of fall is in the air.

enjoy the photos.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I Made It!

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I survived my first week of school without the use of a 2 by 4 with nails! In fact, although it was one of the most tiring weeks of my life, I had some brief moments of enjoyment. One of the best parts is being able to walk to school! I am so exhausted tonight that I have nothing more to say right now....stay tuned for the saga of school life, Whitehorse style. Off to the rum and cokes!

Take care, Sarah

PS- We had our first frost the other morning.....Fall is upon us.

Friday, August 26, 2005

the prodigal daughter returns...then promptly leaves again.

being photogenic

camping before the kluane chilkat bike relay at Haines Junction Yukon, the foot of Kluane National Park.

no hole...

hole. what jole did when sarah went away

what we did on our summer vacation pt. 1...

ok, we're back from the dead and have an update for eveyone, of life and summer in the north. hope that this post finds everyone doing well and re-energized after holidays and vacations.

sarah didn't actually get to experience a yukon summer this year as she decided that she'd had enough of the mosquitos by early june and left for the tropical balminess of vancouver for 6 weeks. she participated in a few weddings (congrats carmen and michelle!) and graduated with highest honours from the Orton-Gillingham Tutor Training Course for reading instruction for kids with learning disabilities. she drove her parents nuts for three weeks of this intense course and surely they are quite happy she went back up north! we sincerely hope they don't change the locks on us for the next time we visit.

while sarah was gone, jole chopped a hole in the kitchen wall that he hopes to have repaired by sometime in the fall of 2009. it was great to be able to test the reciprocating saw out though. i am proud to confirm that indeed it works. we'll be buying a chainsaw sometime this fall and i hope to have something to test it on as well. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

fearful of being mysteriously complelled to chop more holes in walls, i drove down to vancouver at the end of july to pick sarah up. it was a long drive. I gathered remnants of my family (UK citizen sister & father RJ) and a badly limping truck in lac la hache and we caravaned the rest of the way to vanocuver where husband and wife were reunited joyfully (and inlaws doubtlessly joyful that the end was near!) after 6 weeks of forced "apartness".

We tried to soak in as much visiting as possible and take in all that vancouver has to offer including pick up lines from speedo-clad older men at the pool (ask me about that one sometime). apologies if we didn't connect with you but we only had 4 days to cram in everything.

When we finally got everything crammed in, to the car that is...claire, mirna, teaching supplies, teapots, it barely cleared the curb as we set forth to complete a halfiron triathlon in cranbrook and a rendezvous with emily in the rockies. some photos above to keep you interested until part 2! stay tuned. please note the afore mentioned artfully designed and crafted hole.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

still alive and kicking

hey folks,

we haven't frozen to death yet or been eaten by bears. Lots has been happening including sarah starting her new job and a trip to vancouver and...well...we'll post some photos and an update soon. I'm sure you've all been hovering over your computers for months waiting in earnest for our next update. what can we say, summer in the yukon is a busy time!

jole & sarah

Monday, June 13, 2005

the gang, joel, brian, sarah, tom, karen, hugh and sue at kluane lake

relaxing and enjoying the back 40...after (at 12 midnight...note the lack of "nightime")

the back 40...before

canoeing the yukon river

back in the saddle

well, it's been a while since you folks received an update from us so here's a news flash.

we've been busy clearcutting the back forty (as you can see from the photos) and fighting over paint colors. luckily we don't have cable anymore so we don't have to torture ourselves with home reno shows hosted by pretentious british "decorating gurus". the BBQ's going strong and ready to feed whoever wants to stop by this summer.

sarah is getting ready to head south for 6 weeks. she arrives for carmen's wedding on thursday and will be in vancouver until the end of july returning to the yukon to prepare for her new grade 2 teaching job in september.

joel's going in all the big yukon events this summer including the mayo midnight marathon, the kluane chilkat bike relay and the yukon river trail marathon. there's lots to do over the summer.

the daylight hours are getting longer and longer and longer and longer. right now it's not even getting dark at all at night (see photo at 12am) and the longest day of the year is still a week and a half away.

let us know when you're planning to visit and we'll set up a bed for you. the new address is 56 klondike road, whitehorse, yt Y1A 3M1.

Monday, May 09, 2005

spring in the yukon overlooking the yukon river

wild crocus

spring in the yukon overlooking the yukon river



chez macht-woods

so we took the plunge into irreversible debt and purchased a house last week. we'll end up paying less for a mortgage than we will for rent so financially it's worth it. plus the housing market up here is going crazy. not quite vancouver style but getting there.

Our house is about a 15 minute walk from downtown and is in the whitehorse suburb known colloquially as 'riverdale'. how quaint. we're 100 metres from mountain trails and 10 minutes walk to the yukon river.

3 bedrooms, unfinished basement. if we watch one more home rennovation show on tv we're gonna puke. domesticity here we come.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Whitehorse top 10...number 7

The daylight. there are no words that can describe what it's like when the clock says 11pm and it's still light outside. your circadian rhythms completely lose their beat, your body thinks it's time to wake up at 4am, and you feel like running 10 miles at 10:30pm. work is just an annoying little inconvenience that gets in the way of you enjoying 20 hours of light.

and we ain't seen nothing yet. it's still 2 months away from the longest day of the year. All that sleep we got in december and january will come in handy now. that expression, "there's never enough time in the day" isn't valid north of 60. in fact between April and September, there's toooo much time in the day. this permits procrastination of unparalleled proportions. what you don't get done outside by 7pm, no worries you can finish it off after midnight when you have a little more time on your hands, but no less light.

i think the price of a winter from the frozen depths of hell, was a small one to pay for a summer of eternal sunshine.

joel came down with yukonitis this week so he hasn't been able to enjoy the balmy 20 degree days as much as ubercyclist sarah. sarah hasn't gloated too much.

House hunting has been fruitless but there are some promising abodes on the horizon.

Have you ever clicked on the "Next Blog" button on the top right of the screen? you can instantly view the personal blog of a fundamentalist christian in san diego, or a navy officer in japan or an evironmentalist in iceland or a highschool student in singapore or a bush-hating canadian. it's wierd how easy it is to "connect" with a stranger on the other side of the planet. kind of scary-weird, entertaining, and addictive at the same time.

the good, the bad, the internet.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

dogsledding action

it's 9pm and it's sunny!

oh my darling spring

Oh my darling spring......where are you????????

After a week of snow and gray cloud, I am finally seeing blue sky. The new snowfall was quite discouraging for those of us who got very excited with the early warm weather with a balmy average of 8 degrees C. Everyone keeps saying this is the worst winter us to move up here for it!

I hope the blue sky today isn't just a tease. Joel has already been riding on the highway and we might go out today. When I ask him where he's going it's quite funny b/c there really is only one road here...the alaskan highway! You have your choice of north or south....

We are still adjusting to the time change here....there is talk of a petition to throw out daylight savings.... Anyway, we are having some trouble with it being light until after 10pm now. We are gaining daylight very quickly.

Joel seems to have found this new energy and is training like mad. The good news is is that he didn't get into Ironman Hawaii. Yeah! The other good news is that I have officially confiscated his mastercard and I am now on the road to saving!

I'm looking forward to the end of the school has been hard getting back into the swing of things after the 2 wk spring break. I will be back in Vancouver for the end of June till the end of July. I look forward to seeing all my old pals down south!

The house hunt is still is the cat, but I don't know how much longer I can put up with her...By the way Mom and Dad, there's a package in the mail for you!!! HA HA

Hope everyone is well....will update more later. Nelson, I only update if I know people are reading it. The only way I know people are reading it is if they post a comment!

Mirna's 5 day visit over easter was great! We finally had a chance to visit the takhini hotsprings, go dogsledding, go "clubbing" whitehorse style (2 bars, 1 of them country) lots of fancy dinners and Mirna contributed her superior culinary skills to a leg of lamb easter feast. It's too bad she was only here for five days but we think she'll be back soon (she's addicted to country music now).

Bye for now......

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

the bonfire

Winter goes down in flames...cyclist with fire extinguisher to the rescue!

burning away the winter...?

yesterday was the first day of spring. March 21st, 2005. we did it. we survived the yukon winter.

it was fitting that we should chase the winter chill from our bones yukon burning it in the largest, gasoline-powered bonfire of bonfires.

the annual burning away the winter blues festival takes place every year in whitehorse on the spring equinox. people dress up, people dance, they beat on drums, they carry gas torches, flags, lanterns, wear masks, glowsticks and dragons.

several hundred people gather and march in a torch/candle lit procession along the banks of the yukon river to robert service campground where a huge papier mache effigy of winter is burned in a massive bonfire. people are encouraged to bring their paper representations of winter and cast them into the fire to burn baby burn.

the event started calmly enough and the big winter effigy was unveiled to the ohhs and ahhhs of the gatherred throng. that was where events went awry as the big paper dude prematurely burst into flames when one of the organizers tried to stick a lit flare into his head to make his eyes glow. old man winter really wanted to burn and his body caught fire. a fire extinguisher came to the rescue after winter stopped-dropped-and rolled to safety. see above photos. it was a comical scene as children ran screaming and parents shrieked in horror at the carnage. winter was salvaged with only 2nd degree burns to 45% of his body.

the march was about 1km and we were blasted by 50km/hr winds on the banks of the ice-jammed yukon river. who said winter was on the way out!!?? a candle-lit pathway led us to the 40 foot-long bonfire that was radiating incredible heat. Fire dancers were on hand to welcome the festival-goers.

after everyone had gathered, it was time to cast the big effigy of winter on the fire. Chants of "BURN HIM! BURN HIM! BURN HIM!" echoed throughout the campground. (ironic during easter week no?) finally, the time was at hand and the big dude was tossed into the middle of the swirling flames. old man winter wasn't going down with out taking someone with him however. soon, some flying embers from his face landed in a nearby tree and lit it on fire. aghast, the crowd all pointed up into the trees as we feared fire was going to consume us all!

not to worry, the fire department was on hand quickly to extinguish the danger and all was safe. all except for sarah that is as her nice wool coat was the victim of many a hot spark. jole cast his beard clippings in the fire and is officially beardless in whitehorse until next year's beard growing contest. we couldn't stick around for long as the heat from the fire was singeing our eyebrows.

we are looking forward to having some guests as mirna comes to visit this week. happy easter and bring on the spring!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

greetings from rendezvous

whitehorse top 10 - number 8

sourdough rendezvous (with a mummified cat)!

on the last weekend in february every year, whitehorseans and yukoners gather for a celebration of heritage day and a festival of drunken debauchery to stave off the remaining few weeks of winter.

this year of course was our first rendezvous experience. tom the 3 year sourdough veteran was our guide as we navigated the twisted streets of intoxication and impersonation. we had our garter. we had our hat. we had our boa and we had feathers in our hair. we looked like real old time locals. all we needed to do was get wasted and we'd fit right in.

right then, on to the spirits. we made our way to one of the finer drinking establishments in town and proceeded to make friends with the mummified cat, preserved for all eternity in the bar (they found it under the floor boards several years ago while rennovating). we were there for the coup des gras, the big dance, the main attraction...the beard growing contest. i had managed to grow quite a mane of facial hair over the past 6 weeks and was pretty confident that i could out-testosterone the best of the best in this annual competition of manliness. daily applications of rogaine with monoxodil didn't hurt either.

much to the crowd's dismay some greek guy showed up (with a beard emanating from his chest) and took the prize right from under my nose (literally!). following up on the beard contest was the "hairy leg contest". the woman who won had more hair on her legs than i had on my face. it reminded me of going in to MEC in vancouver.

although we lost the beard growing contest there were still many things to see and do over the weekend. we also took in the log saw and chop, the chain saw chuck, the one-dog pull, the airshow, the flour packing contest, the sourdough pancake breakfast and the cabane a sucre and last but not least the fantastic filipino BBQ.

february is a great month to visit with so much going on. it beats a vancouver february anytime! bring on spring!

Check out more new photos at here.

Monday, February 14, 2005

the start line

ready to go!

the start