The Untamed North

My latest adventures take me north, far, far north. We hopped a slightly smaller than normal plane in Edmonton and took a 3 hour flight north to White Horse, Yukon. IMG_4022After that we crammed ourselves into an even tinier plane for another hour ride north to the side of a mountain. The plane was the tiny kind that fit our crew of 6, all of our luggage was strapped in front of us with webbing, and the pilot’s head was just barely visible over the top of it. It felt very Indiana Jones-esque, I was well-pleased; a few of the others in the group did not pick up on this and were instead rather green around the gills for most of the bumpy flight.

IMG_4027The scenery has been fantastic, I’ve never been this far north before. The mountains we flew over looked like something out of Lord of the Rings, I feel a bit as though we are on a quest to Mordor. The mountains don’t look at all like the Rockies that I’m used to, they look older somehow.

We’re staying at a mining camp (supposedly the nicest one in the Yukon, I’m not sure how much that is really saying though), and mitigating (excavating) several archaeology sites that were identified two years ago.

The hill they've ravaged looking for (and finding) minerals in

The hill they’ve ravaged looking for (and finding) minerals in

Basically, they need us to get out everything awesome so that they can get on with the business mining gold and copper.

The wildlife of the north had me slightly concerned; in nature, the further you go north, the bigger the animals and insects are. This is a survival tactic, they have to be heartier in order to survive the extreme weather conditions of the north. Perhaps this explains our first day out:

Day 1 in the field, wildlife count:

1 Squirrel

1 PtarmiganIMG_4047 (it’s a bird, in case your weren’t sure)

4 Black bears

Why are there not more squirrels?!

 

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