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> A Day in Yellowknife
post Jul 4 2005, 04:22 PM
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Yellowknife is the capital of the Northwest Territories of Canada. There are about 20,000 people who live here, which make up ˝ of the entire population of the Northwest Territories. We arrived in Yellowknife, got our rental car, found our hotel and then went to check out the town. There are two distinct parts of town, the new section and then there is the old town. In the 1930’s Yellowknife became a center for mining gold. Then, in the 1990’s diamonds were discovered here and that is really when the town took off. There are many people here from all over the world who come to work for the diamond minds, so the city center really has a bit of an international feel to it. The old town was my favorite part—even though historical here means 1920’s which to someone from New England doesn’t seem that old.

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However, my favorite part about Yellowknife is the landscape. It sits on the Great Slave Lake, which is one of the largest lakes in the world. It is really rocky all over the place and there are also lots of evergreen trees mixed in with the rocks. In a lot of ways the landscape reminds me of the coast of Maine except with freshwater instead of the ocean.

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The other neat thing about the lake is that there are tons of float planes on it. Yellowknife is a big outdoors recreation center, so there are a lot of fishing trips that use float planes to access some of the other even more remote lakes in the region. We happened to be in Yellowknife during a festival of the float planes, so there were an extra lot of them. We also got to witness a dedication and fly by of a bunch of the planes which was fun!!!

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Waiting for the float planes to fly by.

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One of the "Water-Bombers"

We also spent our “day off” going to the Legislative Assembly. This is a building where all the representatives from the different regions of the Northwest Territories meet to govern the territory. The building was filled with symbolism and it was fun to learn more about the area.

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Finally, we went to the Northern Heritage Museum and spent some time there. There was a whole exhibit about global warming, but my favorite exhibit was about the Canadian Arctic Expedition in the early 1900’s. What caught my eye was the very first display reading piece. It seemed very appropriate for exactly what we were doing up here and will be doing in Alaska in the coming days.

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