Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What makes Yellowknife Unique

There is nothing unusual about Yellowknife, except it is built on a rock. Oh, and it has a thriving downtown with lots of tall buildings. (Grande Prairie had one tall building.) 

 This says it is the hottest Nightclub in Yellowknife. 

Oh, it has about 10 lakes in the city limits. 

 Aerial Photo of Niven Lake Phase VII

This subdivision is on the edge of town and shows some of the lakes and ponds just surrounding it. You can also see the large outcroppings of rocks.

There are people from many parts of the world here. We have met people living and working here from Trinidad, Viet Nam, Philippines, South Africa, Mexico, England, Scotland, United States, France, Germany, Greece... There are 11 dialects of First Nations also spoken here.

Yellowknife has a blend of life embracing modern, frontier, vibrant arts, history, language, exotic. Food in Yellowknife is not plain, normal, or bland. Year round Festivals showcase the diversity of this place. Winter and summer sports thrive. 

Even something like golf is not done in the normal way. 

There is not much natural grass at the 18 hole golf course. There is a layer of sand on this rock. The greens are astroturf. You rent an astroturf mat to use to play your ball as you golf. 


We went to the golf course and Elder Brown hit a bucket of balls one P-day. 

People live in apartment buildings and they also live in mobile homes and fabricated homes. They have to fit in the landscape somehow. 

 Don't know where the prefabricated or manufactured homes are made, but there are lots of them. Notice the rock statue? It is an Inukshuk. They are very popular in Northern Canada. Inuk means human being. A way for humans to communicate where there was safe passage, cached food, good hunting, way home, or other messages. 
 Rocks are incorporated into landscape and structure.
 Really can't build at the water edge. Niven Lake is a boggy lake with permafrost that is normally  found in the tundra.
 Mobile homes have to be level.

Just go with the flow when confronted with a challenging landscape.
House on Yellowknife Bay.
Can't build at the water's edge.

There is space under this house this house with a skirt around it.

This house has no skirt.

 All houses have tanks on the side or back for their heating oil.

 Quite a few homes have a teepee. They dry meat in them for one thing.

They don't typically have basements. The houses don't normally sit on foundations.

 This is a Habitat for Humanity Project. The home is built on a frame.

This building has steel posts drilled into the rock.  Then a girder platform is attached to the things drilled into the rock. Then the building is framed on that. These are two new apartment houses. They are a continuation of the ones you can see in the background.


    Strange things we have seen in Yellowknife. 

This is the first plane to land at the North Pole.

We took this bear's picture as he was strolling the Ingram Trail. Yes, we were in the car, but he was right there.

Other (tamer) Wildlife


 Red-wing Blackbird


Tent Caterpillars

Trees grow out of rock and are very spindly.
                                                                             Very dense and spindly near the boggy lakes.

Being protected from beavers in the area.

Beaver Lodge                                              

Things we have done in Yellowknife.

Went to a Northwest Territories Diamond Showroom. Robyn "helped" polish a diamond.

Mobile ATM
Attended the first Farmer's Market of the season. We got there early and left early. They don't sell products from farms. The local restaurants set up booths. There were entertainers. Actually, there aren't farms here. There is no grazing land or farm land, or livestock of any kind. There are some community garden spots with grow boxes. All the produce is flown in. That would account for $6.99 a pound for cauliflower and $1.79 for one ear of corn. "Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore." But we can fish, or get fresh fish from the store, or buy fresher fish from one of the commercial fisherman.

There is everything unusual and special about Yellowknife. It is such a unique place. There is a lot to do. Today is the longest day of sunshine of the year, the summer solstice. The sun will be up for 19 hours, 59 minutes, and 14 seconds. It will be light for the other 4 hours. We have good blackout curtains so we can get some sleep. But, not tonight. We have to experience all of this, eh? Bruce was made the Branch President two weeks ago. He is keeping busy. We really want to help this branch grow and there are a lot of people we are trying to bring back. Living in a small place, and everyone knows each other, can be a Hatfield and McCoys environment. We love these people. And, Heavenly Father loves these people. They are all so special. We have a convert baptism this Saturday. He has lots of friends and there will be lots of support. People are flying in. Sunday we will have a Linger Longer (potluck) after the block. Looking forward to a great weekend.  

Love, Sister Brown, Grandma, Mom and Robyn

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Santa Claus is in Yellowknife Branch

This is a screen shot of our mission from the LDS Church sight. We are being told that our branch takes in the North Pole. The dot with the cross is Yellowknife. The place that is marked Wetaskiwin is one of the wards in the Millwood Stake. Yellowknife is in the Millwood Stake. There is a lot of space between the two. Yellowknife branch borders Grande Prairie Stake which goes to Hay River. In order for Grande Prairie Stake to service Yellowknife branch, they would have to fly south to Edmonton and then fly north to Yellowknife. Millwood is the closest stake to the Edmonton airport and that is why Yellowknife is in Millwood stake.

Yellowknife is an amazing place. Yellowknife is on the north edge of the Great Slave Lake. Great Slave is the 9th largest lake in the world. It is also the deepest lake in the world, at 2,014 ft. (614 m.) It has been inhabited by First Nation people for 5,000 years. The name Yellowknife comes from the tribe of people that was living when Europeans came here. The tribe made their knifes from the copper found in the area. The name "Slave" derives from "Slavey" - a word sometimes applied to a major group of Dene people indigenous to the region. 

On P-day, June 6, we went to Old Town, less than a mile from our apartment and walked up to the top of Bush Pilot Monument. It honors all the bush pilots who mapped and serviced the Northern Canada Territories. It gives a view of the area from a peninsula and an island.

 This picture is looking towards the downtown of Yellowknife.

You can clearly see Yellowknife is built on rocky ground, the Canadian shield.

This huge rock is in a residential yard.

 Rock cliff downtown parking lot.

These are apartments on the other side of Back Bay.

This is the Giant gold mine on the other side of Back Bay, north of Yellowknife, that closed in 2004.
This is the elevator shaft of the mine and the back of the building seen from the Ingram Trail.

 Looking at Old Town across Back Bay from Giant Mine.


 Old things left over when the mine closed.

                                            An old tank and something on sled runners.

This is the Sailing club just down from the old Giant mine.

 This is a boat house on the other side of Back Bay.

There are boat houses on Yellowknife Bay as well. The island is Jaliffe Island.

Look beyond those houses into Great Slave Lake past the Yellowknife Bay. That is ice and it is the sixth of June. Below is a close up. They say the ice will be gone the end of June, maybe the first part of July.

We watched a guy push his little barge of wood over to Jaliffe Island.

This boat is coming from Yellowknife Bay, entering the Narrows.

 This is the other side of the Narrows entering Back Bay.
Can you see that narrow strip of water that is the Narrows? On the other side of the Narrows is Latham Island. It was the Dene Village. Where we are standing is Old Town where Yellowknife originally resided.

A little house in Old Town

The oldest, longest running restaurant, Wildcat Cafe.

Across the street from the Wildcat, on Back Bay, a residence.

Cores from drilling into the rock.

Someone lives in this little house. The shed behind is leaning.

But the leaning shed has a strong lock.

Oldest store and yes, it is still open for business.

The store and the little house.

Houses and businesses along Yellowknife Bay going to downtown.

Park with art and sculpture in Old Town.

Since Yellowknife is the only municipality of any size, it is the capitol of Northwest Territories.

     There will be more about Yellowknife coming. I think with all the pictures the blog may be to big for some people to receive. Everything we have seen so far we have loved. Nothing is out of town. We thought Grande Prairie was far from everything. Yellowknife is very far. We are as far from Edmonton as Edmonton is far from Salt Lake City, Utah, our home. We are twice as far as we ever thought we would be on this mission.

     We know we are where Heavenly Father wants us to be. This is a small branch. We already love the people and feel so welcomed by them. The Stake President flew up here Saturday night and reorganized the Branch Presidency. Elder Brown is the new Branch President and he doesn't have counselors. He has a Branch clerk, and the Elder's Quorum President will be helping out. There are not enough people to go around. We have five active families and two single sisters. We have about 20 people at church, counting us and the Elders.

     We love all of you. It would be nice to hear from any of you once in awhile. We are excited for the young men and women who will be leaving on their missions very soon. We would like to be included in the e-mail they send home and gets sent to friends and relatives. I haven't figured out a way to read the comments to this blog, so don't write a comment here. You can reach us by email - elder.sisterbrown@gmail.com. There are other ways and you can contact us any way that works for you. We read them all. We love, love, love and miss all of you.

Sister Brown, Mom, Grandma, and Robyn