Life in the Mad Trapper Pub

Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
Trip End Jun 31, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , Northwest Territories,
Friday, June 25, 2010

We drove to the hotel where my jacket, (the one that I won at the draw at the oil and gas convention) was being held for me. It was a sturdy, well insulated coat built for winter in Inuvik so I was very happy.

Light rain encouraged us to look for indoor activities, and, after a quick drive around town, we decided on the Mad Trapper Pub. We sat at our own table beside the appropriately named Rat River Room. On invitation we joined the only other people in the room. The friendlier of the two told us that the room would soon be filled with people. There was a soccer team visiting from Pakistan who were heading this way. I expressed surprise but, when I saw the smile on his face, I realized that I had been fooled. A soccer team from Pakistan visiting Inuvik? Really?

The group at our table grew and included an Inuvialuit fellow who told me that he and a responsible position with an oil company for 20 years. "But" he said "no offence, I didn't trust these white guys". I don't blame him. Large companies don't really care about their employees as much as neighbours would care for each other in the northern environment. So he left the company and started his own business to maintain rental housing. Unfortunately, the band started to play making any further conversation almost impossible.

The Inuvialuit people are very different from the Gwich'in. They don't even classify themselves as one of the First Nations in Canada. They are a very positive and alert people and often smile. I was told by both groups that intermarriage was not allowed by either group but now there are some exceptions.

We made bannock for breakfast, using saved bacon fat and a recipe from Dawson City. We found ground musk ox from Banks Island in a grocery store called Stanton's (it's cheaper than beef). The price of gas was 1.44 $/litre and the gas attendant (noticing the horror on my face) said that if I was driving south, it would be 1.39 in Fort McPherson.

On the way south I stopped at Campbell Creek to do a bit of fishing. I caught two pike, each about 20 inches long and released them both because Rosamund had been told that they are very bony and didn't want to eat them. Then I went to the other side of the road to the same creek and caught another one. As I was slowly bring him to shore, I noticed that he seemed much heavier than the others. To my amazement, I had caught another 20 inch pike, but a huge pike, at least 40 inches long, had bitten into his side. The big one let go when he was close to shore and the smaller one, when released, swam away with many tooth marks on his side.

The road south was slippery due to the rain and mud so we drove cautiously as we looked for a camping spot in the open to foil the mosquitoes. We settled for the parking lot in front of the Arctic Circle sign.
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