Category Archives: Rambles

Bits and pieces provoked by moving through space, history, and the calendar.

National Treasure #156: Dempster Highway

Sign marking southern start of Dempster Highway.

All photos courtesy of John L. Whitman

I’ve never driven the 736-km Dempster Highway, but I know someone who has.

The Dempster Highway, also referred to as Yukon Highway 5 and Northwest Territories Highway 8, is a highway in Canada that connects the Klondike Highway in Yukon to Inuvik, Northwest Territories on the Mackenzie River delta. – Wikipedia

Much of the highway follows an old dog sled trail and the highway gets its name from Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector William John Duncan Dempster, who, as a young constable, frequently ran this dog sled trail from Dawson City to Fort McPherson NT. – Wikipedia

I’m familiar with highways built on top of logging roads, but a dog sled trail?  All right, then.  The Dempster goes back a ways, but the highway as we know it today officially opened on 18 August 1979, making it 38 years old today. Officially.  It’s Canada’s only all-weather road that crosses the Arctic Circle and it’s gravel.  On gravel.   Continue reading

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Clark’s Lookout, MN

I don’t remember when I first heard of Lewis and Clark, but I have a clear memory of their expotition from my first trip to Astoria – Dismal Nitch and all – before the turn of the millennium.  Astoria was one end of their great out-and-back trek.  I’ve also been to Harper’s Ferry – at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers – where they received their weaponry, and through St. Louis, where they launched the Corps of Discovery Expedition.  Having been to those defining points, I have some sense of connection with these guys.   Continue reading

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National Treasure #155: John Tuzo Wilson

Welcome to post #777. Just sayin’.

With a geophysicist for a father, I heard relatively early about John Tuzo Wilson, who was the first person to graduate from a Canadian university in geophysical studies.  In our house we sometimes simply called him Tuzo, but we never referred to him as Jock, leaving that familiarity to his intimates.   Continue reading

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National Treasure #154: Knight Inlet

This one is kind of a two-fer.

Knight Inlet or Tsawatti or Tswawadwi is one of the principal inlets of the British Columbia Coast, and the largest of the major inlets in the southern part of the Coast. It is fifth in sequence of the great saltwater inlets north from the 49th parallel north near Vancouver, but it is the first whose outflow points away from the Strait of Georgia, opening into Queen Charlotte Strait at the Kwakwaka’wakw community of Memkumlis (often known by the name of the group who were based there, the Mamalilaculla) on Village Island. – Wiki

Ah, you’re thinking, “That Knight Inlet.  The fifth (in sequence) of the great saltwater inlets north from the 49th parallel near Vancouver.  Of course.”   Continue reading

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National Treasure #153: Susan Aglukark

Singer; songwriter.

Victim of sexual abuse as a child; mentor in the Inuit community as an adult.

Nunavut’s first Juno Award winner; winner of three Junos in all.

Founder of Arctic Rose Foundation; Northerner of the Year in 1995.

Giver of two command performances for Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II; recipient of Governor General’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award.

Recipient of Honorary Degrees in Law from University of Alberta and University of Calgary; winner of first Aboriginal Achievement Award in Arts and Entertainment.

And a performer . . .

Amazing Grace

Songbird

O Siem

 

 

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