Merry Christmas from the North Pole! I don't know a place that gets in the Christmas spirit quite like Inuvik, so I took some photos of the lights around town. Enjoy!
I’ve recently been wearing the mukluks that I made a couple of years ago – see the blog post here about how they were made.
It’s surprising how warm and comfortable they are, even for walking outside in cold temperatures. The bottoms are made of moosehide, and the other leather on the upper portion is deerhide (it’s cheaper, but not as durable).
I put some thin insoles in them to give more support. As long as I’m walking on snow, they are very comfortable, but I wouldn’t want to walk over sharp gravel... it’s a good thing we have lots of snow here!
Yesterday was December 21st ... the winter solstice ... the longest night of the year. That means it was our darkest day up here in the land of midnight sun (and noontime dark), and also means that the sky will start getting lighter from now on.
So that you can see what our “darkest day” looks like, I took these photos from my front door (I like blogging, but I am lazy on the weekends, so I make minimal effort sometimes!).
The photos are spaced about an hour apart, starting at 10 am.
For the first time in many years, Inuvik held a Santa Claus parade yesterday. It was an impressive show, and the floats came complete with flashing lights, Christmas music, and candy thrown into the crowd.
The community and local businesses really pulled together well and did a great job bringing Christmas cheer to the north. It seemed like everyone in town was lined up along the main street, and both kids and adults enjoyed themselves.
Below are some pictures of the parade, but I must lead with the star of the show ... a real live reindeer! Read more about the reindeer called Addjub here (Addjub means ‘grandson’ in the language of the Sami, the traditional reindeer herders).
These pictures were taken around 2 pm – we don’t get any sun these days, so that’s why it looks a bit hazy in the middle of the day.
Yesterday was our last day of sun… all eight minutes of it hiding behind the clouds. Starting today we won’t see the sun for a month. Below are some pictures of our last sunrise (at 1:41 pm) and last sunset (at 1:49 pm).
In case 24-hour darkness sounds intimidating, it’s not quite as bad as it sounds. It’s not dark the whole time ... it's more like 24 hours without sun, but with hazy light in the middle of the day. We still get dawn and twilight. If you want to see what midday looked like on the longest night of the year (December 21 last year), click here.
For good measure, I’m also including a photo of the beautiful full moon we had today and the sun just below the horizon.
Last week we experienced the coldest temperatures so far this winter... almost -30C. When you factor in the wind chill, it felt closer to -40C (which is the same as -40F for you Americans). Brrrrrr. We have "warmed up" this week to -24C or so, which feels amazing.
The other exciting development is that we are now down to 1 hour and 37 minutes of sun. It will be disappearing on us fast! This is one of our last views of the sun. And below that are the recent sunrise and sunset times.
So how do you dress for that kind of cold? When I walk to work (because it's not worth wasting gas and warming up my car for a 1 minute drive!), below is what I wear. I put one extra layer over my jeans (usually workout pants). Then with my parka, mitts, socks and boots, I'm all set!