We didn't stop too long in Gameti, just a quick drop off at the airport and a de-icing of the plane (nothing like the way they do it in the big cities). I was really surprised to notice from the
air that there was so many hills in the area.
On to Fort Smith and what a beautiful flight it was now that the sun was rising. Frozen Great Slave Lake looked decorated and designed by it's glacial tectonics and icy zigzag patterns. Meandering
Slave River was covered with snow, and we followed it from the air. Spent a little time walking around the city which was almost named the capital of NWT back in the 60s. Looked like a lovely little community: beautiful fresh-looking produce at the two stores (Kaeser and Northern), churches and a massive Roman Catholic cathedral, a museum (unfortunatly closed), and a pizzeria (also closed for the holidays). Another highlight was a part of the TransCanadaTrail the runs through the town and past a nature feature called Pelican Rapids. Our colleague drove us back to the airport when it was time and told us that yes, real Pelicans do go to the rapids - I would have thought it was be to cold but I guess now. Along our drive, our 'guide' told us that we were three hours away from Fort McMurry by Ice Road, we actually took a little detour to the Alberta border (two minutes drive from downtown Fort Smith) so we can say we were in Alberta today too! Fort Smith is right on the northern edge of the Wood Buffalo Park which I would love to see. Now that I've seen a bit of the area, I know I would like to go back to those tall trees, big river, and buffalo park again in the summer.
On our fligth back I saw a perfectly circular rainbow in the air, I've never seen that before and didn't
even know it existed! I could hardly believe my eyes!! Then flying in to Yellowknife the pilot took us on the 'scenic route' - we first flew low to the 'ice fields' of Great Slave Lake and the we did a spin around the city in the setting afternoon sun. A perfect start to the New Year! Hope there are many days as beautiful as this to come in 2012!!
Hopped on a flight to Gameti and Fort Smith as the plane was going and had extra space available.