Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recreating Place - Scott's Hut, Cape Evans

Just outside Scott's Hut at Cape Evans
The Canterbury Museum has an exhibit on at the moment looking at Captain Scott's last, ill-fated journey to Antarctica. There are photographs and stories, videos and sound bites, but most excitingly it also includes a representation of his hut at Cape Evans. This was of particular interest to me regarding my work exploring sense of place and having been to the actual hut itself. I wanted to see how and what they chose to represent it with. What part of the experience were they trying to capture? And how did it differ from my own encounter with this historic place?

Reading about the men who lived there
The exhibit is broken into parts representing the various stages of Scott's journey. One enters through a twisting path exploring the recruitment of men and voyage South. You learn about the thousands of applicants to a journey with no promise of return, about the ponies and dogs who shared the deck with the 65 men chosen, and about the long journey from Cardiff, Wales to Ross Island on the edge of the ice shelf in the Ross Sea. You then turn and enter into the hut. A blast of cold air hits your face as you pass into the dimly lit space laid out with rough-hewn boards and white tape on the floor showing the placement of furniture. There are large black and white images take by Ponting showing the men in the hut and panels beside them telling stories of how the space was used. The long table at the centre of the room has a dancing array of images and text snipits highlighting the life that revolved around it. In one corner, music plays as if from an old gramophone brought down to the ice. And everywhere, cool air breezes past you to remind you of the constant bite that must have existed for those who once lived "here".

What hits me first is the space. I have a feeling that the footprint of this "hut" is the same as the one it is representing. But the lack of furniture and stuff makes it feel empty and hollow. This is interesting because the actual hut also has this feeling, only for different reasons. The articles are strewn about the place in a haphazard sort of way, almost as if someone will be returning shortly to tidy them away. And yet they are all frozen to the surfaces on which they rest and haven't moved from their places in 100 years. The bunks, some whose occupants now lie hundreds of metres under the ice are eerily tousled as if the occupants might settle in for another night. While the hut at the museum can't quite communicate these feelings of loss, the empty, hollowness itself is perhaps a fitting feeling for a hut locked in time.

Kitchen at Scott's hut
Reimagined kitchen
The other thing that gets me is the light. I visited Scott's hut in the middle of summer so the light which filtered in through the small windows was bright and filled the large room. This gave the hut a feeling of lightness which off set the heavy emptiness mentioned above. The museum hut was dark, with corners lit up with spotlights. I imagine this would be far more representative of the long, dark winter the men would have endured there. It also gave the "hut" a feeling of fleetingness, with the ever present darkness waiting to extinguish a picture or story. While different from my own, previous experience in Scott's hut, I enjoyed this one in how it spoke to the everyday challenge of living in such conditions on a frozen rock locked into a giant ice shelf - waiting.

Outside the "hut" were stories of how life outside the hut would have gone. Stories about dog sledding, man hauling, and getting the pole party ready for their departure. Unfortunately, this is where Hector decided he'd had enough so we motored on through and had a feed while watching the final film with various historians talking about their work. We then left the space and wandered back through the botanic gardens to the car. All of which varied a great deal to how I left after visiting Scott's hut in Antarctica - which included snow, ice, and a very bumpy Hagglund ride, all without a wee baby in tow.

Scientific pursuits
Actual equipment used

It was a neat experience, visiting this representation of a place I had been. While some things were easily recalled through the careful attention of the curator, there were vast differences which simply could not be changed - physical location and the presence of Hector being the two most glaring. It highlights the ever evolving nature of our relationship to places and the multitude of different ways of seeing them. As we change and develop as individuals, our perceptions change as our values and interests alter, as do our opportunities and ways of seeing. For me, at this moment in time, Antarctica feels at once nearer and further than it ever has before. Hector's arrival has limited my opportunities for travel to Antarctica in the near future and has pushed the continent just beyond my grasp. However, the new challenges and the drawing in of my focus to the minutia of daily tasks has given me a new way to see and time to reflect on my memories from and research into Antarctica.

Scott's dining table

The recreated dining table at the musuem
Overall, I enjoyed the exhibit and look forward to getting back there when my folks are here in order to look through the second half of it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hector goes to Port Levy

Port Levy wharf
Last weekend Hector went for his first overnight trip. With Nana here and the weather looking glorious we decided to take advantage of my supervisors' bach just an hour and a half away on the Banks Peninsula. So, with the boxes and bags of stuff we would need and the canoe on the roof, we drove off over the hills. While Port Levy is not far from Christchurch, the road follows the curvilinear path of Lyttleton Harbour and therefore takes the better part of an hour and a half to travel a mere 45km. But the road passes some gorgeous places and the views from the tops of the hills are always lovely.

Nana drawing Hector
Eventually, we rolled into Port Levy and found the green roofed house at the start of the bay. A glorious little place tucked in against the edge of the hill with a sprawling grass yard down to the rocky beach. Having left early we arrived well before lunch and proceeded to unpack our stuff. Stephen set up his newly crafted baby gym for Hector on the lawn and with a few blankets draped over it, it made the perfect sun shade. We lounged on the grass with our books, knitting, and some lunch. As the afternoon drew on, we explored the surrounding bay along the gravel road which clung to the hillside just above the bach. In the evening, after a tasty BBQ dinner and a relaxing evening doing nothing we settled down into bed and listened to the waves on the rocky beach outside.

The next morning, waking at Hector o'clock, Stephen and I set to making breakfast/entertaining Hector. We have found that the morning is Hectors' smiliest part of the day and we have enjoyed it to no end. I would never have thought I would so happily get up at 5am, but here I am. We ate breakfast at the more reasonable hour of 8-ish and decided to get out on the water while the wind was still calm. So while I prepped Hector, Stephen got the canoe down to the water and Jan got the kayak out from the rack by the bach.

Jan out for a paddle
The water was lovely and placid. With Hector fast asleep in his bassinette in the middle of the boat, we paddled out to the island in the bay. Long and narrow, covered in pines, the island stretches from our weekend home out towards the inlet entrance. We found a flock of cormorants nesting in the tree tops at one end of the island and a boarded up bach tucked away on top at the other end. After a couple of circuits of the island and a trip down towards the ocean, the wind started to pick up and we decided to head for shore.

As the morning quickly passed into the afternoon, we ate some lunch and slowly started to pack our stuff. Because, while Jan and I had nothing to rush back to in town, Stephen had school to prepare for the next day. So we piled everything back into the subaru and headed down the road towards home.

Daddy working hard

Friday, November 16, 2012

Introducing . . .

Wee Hector - 1 day old

Our very own sweet little son. Arrived into this world on October 5th, 2012 at 4:05am at Christchurch Womens Hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was a perfect 7lbs 4oz and had a full head of luscious browny-blond hair. After a few days of getting to know one another in hospital we returned home to learn more about each other and grow as a family.

Family photo
Now, six weeks on we are slowly getting the hang of things. While we are constantly on our toes with the wee guy, we are gaining confidence in ourselves as parents - which I have learned is really all that matters. Hector and I struggled with breastfeeding for five weeks and are only now getting the hang of things. Between getting his tongue tie snipped and simply growing a larger mouth, we now have it figured out. But not without much stress, many tears, and lots of hard work. I will say here and now, whosoever might tell you that breastfeeding is a natural and easy process is lying. It has to be learned and sometimes there are mechanical challenges, which left unidentified and dealt with, can lead to many difficulties and complications (mastitis is NOT fun). But with perseverance and lots of help one can usually sort it out - but not always and that's okay too.

Getting ready to go out
Anyhow, life beyond the breast has been much less challenging and a whole lot of fun. Just yesterday we managed to get out on the water with our brand new (used) canoe. Despite waking at 6am, it took us 3 hours to get out of the house (probably not a big surprise for some of you), but we did get out and drove up to the beach by 9:30. Stephen managed to wrangle the canoe down to the water as I gathered the various bits and pieces for Hector. Getting down to the water, we established it would be best to feed a moderately hungry Hector now rather than load up and find he REALLY wanted to eat once out in the boat. So we set down on the grassy bank, fed Hector some breakfast and watched a paddle boarding lesson get under way. Soon he was done and settling into a nap, so we clipped him into his life jacket and got out onto the water.

Both Stephen and I were absolutely thrilled to be there. Dipping our paddles into the calm sea and pulling our way along. We both felt more at home and settled through the simple, familiar act of paddling and seeing the world from the surface of the water. I'm not sure either of us realized we had missed it this much. And it was even more wonderful to be sharing it with our sweet wee son, Hector - who was fast asleep.

Out paddling with dad
First we paddled over to Corsair Bay, then back to Cass Bay and beyond to Rapaki. All of a sudden Hector woke up screaming just one octave down from melt down. I quickly (and very carefully) turned around and picked him up. Despite not really being able to cuddle him close due to both our life jackets, this calmed him down until we could ram into a nearby beach and breastfeed. With food in his belly happy Hector returned to us and we took a look around the beach. But our explore was short lived as the wind was picking up and we had to get back to the beach with our car. So we loaded up and crashed our way out into the seemingly humongous waves (which were in reality only about 15-30cm). I glanced behind me at Hector to see him cozily tucked away, happily sleeping in the rocking boat. Ah, to not have a fear in the world. We were of course perfectly fine, but it amazed me just how much your perception of risk and danger changes when you are caring for your own wee infant.

Hector - 1 month old
We quickly returned to Cass Bay and unloaded back into the car. It had been a fantastic outing and Stephen and I were both so happy to have gotten out on the water with Hector (and not have him scream the whole time). We celebrated with scones and cookies on the beach before heading home to clean up and nap.

Life with Hector is wonderful. It is slower and a little less organized than before, but it is full of delight and joy (also a fair amount of stress and worry). Stephen and I are absolutely taken with the wee man and cannot wait to introduce him to our overseas family when we can.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday Morning Pancakes

Banana-coconut pancakes

Sunday morning, a time for relaxing, lingering, and enjoying delicious food. One of our favorite things to whip up on a weekend morning is these Banana-coconut pancakes. Served here with fresh fruit salad and maple syrup, but could be equally good with a pile of fresh (or canned) pineapple, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of coconut.


Banana-Coconut Surprise Pancakes

* You can use either ripe or over ripe bananas in this. If you use an over-ripe banana mix it in with the other wet ingredients.*

1. Whisk together:
- 1 1/2 cups flour (we've been using half whole wheat while I've been pregnant to great success)
- 3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt

2. Whisk together in a separate bowl:
1 3/4 cups milk
- 3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp almond extract

3. Gently combine the dry and wet ingredients until just moist, then fold in:
- 1 cup fresh scraped coconut or ~1/2 cup dried coconut
- 1 ripe banana, thinly sliced 

4. Heat a pan over medium heat and pour in some oil. Pour ~1/3 cup of batter into pancake shaped blobs and cook until bubbles form on surface, flip, and finish cooking. Place pancakes on a plate, cover in a clean tea towel, and keep warm in the oven.

Mmmmmmm. Yum!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sign of the Packhorse

As our wee sprog grows, Stephen and I have looked for shorter and easier hikes to get out and do before our lifestyle is altered drastically. We have also been asked by friends of ours, with no tramping experience, if they might join us on one of our trips. So, we checked out one of our new favorite tramping resources, tramper.co.nz, and chose a nearby, accessible hike with a great sounding hut at the end of it - Sign of the Packhorse.

Originally built as one of a series of rest stops on a proposed road from Christchurch to Akaroa via the top of the Banks Peninsula, this stone hut has been preserved by DOC as great place to escape to for  a picnic lunch or overnight. Nestled in Kaituna Pass, just below Mount Bradley, the cosy 9-bunk hut has expansive views out over Lyttleton Harbor and out towards Te Waihora - Lake Ellesmere. There are numerous routes into the hut, each with their own pros and cons. We chose the route from Gebbies Pass as it gained the least amount of elevation and was the closest access point. This route passes through several farmers properties, mostly through forestry lots, and promised to be an environment neither Stephen, nor I had tramped through before.

We met up with our friends a couple of days before and told them what they might need to pack, gave them a map of the area, and together we went over our planned route. It's great fun introducing someone to something you love and we were keen to make this trip as enjoyable and pleasant as possible so they might continue to tramp in the future. After passing on some spare sleeping bags and packs, we got to sorting the food and packing up ourselves. I say "we", but really, I am allowed to carry very little these days. In fact, I think the sum total of my pack included one mug, my water bottle, some snacks, two books and 4 pencils. Oh, and the first aid kit.

As the tramp is so close to home, there was no rush on the morning of our departure - another bonus point for making tramping accessible. We eventually made it out the door with everyone in tow by 11am and were driving the 30 minutes to our trail head. As soon as we dropped into the Lyttleton Harbor we were greeted by a wall of thick fog. As we arrived at the pull off, we also noted a sign on the gate informing us of ongoing logging and an alteration in the trail to avoid issues. Hmmm, we'd never been tramping through a logging site before. This should be interesting. So, with all these new considerations, we put on our packs and struck out down the muddy, churned up farm road.

The first part of the "trail" is along farm roads. We avoided the odd logging truck by taking the side sheep trail, through dew drenched grass and prickly gorse bushes. Eventually, the trail separates from the road and we found ourselves wandering through rank ordered pine trees with trunks the size of 3 people. The ground littered in long needles made it difficult not to slip down the sometimes steeply slopping ground, but despite my new centre of balance being somewhere out in front of me, I managed not to fall. We wandered through the quiet forest, past grazing sheep and cows, into an open field, before coming over a rise and finding the aforementioned logging site.

This meant mostly noise, mud, and large machines. After carefully negotiating the slopping, muddy roads, we watched from the newly routed trail as bulldozers, grapplers, and harvesters made their way through the maze of massive standing and downed trees. Eventually though, we headed back into the forest (Douglas Fir this time - much darker, denser, and cooler) and on our way. An interesting observation from a pregnant hiker is the strange breathlessness that seems to overtake one on the slightest incline. While I had heard of this and considered it (it makes sense when you think of all your organs being pushed upwards, taking up precious lung space), there is nothing quite like experiencing it. Because, really, there is absolutely nothing you can do except slow down and accept that your lungs are working at reduced capacity. This was a great boon to our friends, who had worried they would hold us up with their slow pace. Instead, it seemed that I was the one bringing up the rear - yet another bonus point for introducing new trampers.

Finally, we emerged from the woods onto a bright sunshiny slope near the tops of the hills. The trail meandered past flighty sheep, amazing dyke formations jutting from the tussocky slope, and around the ridge to Kaituna Pass, and our final destination. We met a family just departing as we arrived, who had kindly filled the hut with fresh firewood and done a great job in cleaning up the hut. Soon, we were left to settle into the hut and relax for the rest of the afternoon. With both the Kaituna Valley and Lyttleton Harbor filled with fog, we felt like we were sailing above the clouds, with only the bleating sheep and cows for company.

After a fancy dinner of sausage and leek risotto, followed by pears with chocolate ginger sauce (all the stops were out to lure our friends into tramping), we settled into our beds to read and dream. Once the darkness had really settled in though, we were startled to see a line of little lights coming down Mount Bradley towards us. Stephen went out to investigate and met with a large group of runners training for an upcoming endurance run in Southland. Our friends were not so interested in this news, only whether they would have to end up sharing their room with more people (this was not something they were keen on). But the runners all decided to run home, and we were left to ourselves for the rest of the night - which despite our day of fog was bright and clear and absolutely filled with stars.


 The next morning, we awoke to find some of the fog lifted and some even more settled. We gobbled up some oatmeal (still the easiest tramping breakfast - though I'd be keen to hear of other peoples' favorites) and packed our bags. With the bright sun just coming over Mount Bradley we headed back down the hill (I was very impressed with the speed at which our friends were ready to go in the morning. Not sure if this is a good thing or not, though I did find out later that was the day exam results came out). Back across the tussocky slope, back through the now eerily quiet forest and logging site, and into the fog settled just above our car. Everyone smiling and laughing - a successful weekend all around.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Adventures

Since we moved here just over three and a half years ago, a lot has happened. We made new friends. We lost old friends. Stephen has become a teacher and got a permanent job. I have traveled to a place I'd only ever dreamed of going. We experienced a natural disaster. We lost our home. We bought our first home. We became residents to a new country. And now, we are expecting our first child.

Life is an amazing journey, full of new and unexpected adventures at every turn. We have enjoyed those which we have already experienced. And look forward to the new ones coming our way - over the next 20 years. I hear they're a real set of good ones.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Welcoming Winter

The view out the kitchen window this morning. Alpen glow, a rare occurrence in a city with no snow.
Yesterday it snowed here in Christchurch. Not quite as much as our previous dumps late last year, but enough to stick around for the last couple days and close schools and shops. And turn everything into a wintery wonderland. And while yesterday was grey and shivery (unfortunate for those wanting to witness the once in a lifetime event of the transit of Venus), today has been gloriously sunny and bright. Melting black ice which formed overnight on the roads and allowing trees to drop their heavy, wet loads of snow.

A shag sits atop a snowy tree by the Heathcote River.
Snow along the Heathcote river on the way to the library.
Icicles on Japanese Maple.
Leaves frozen to the pavement.
Walking back home from the library. A gorgeous day to be out and about.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tramping in the Nina Valley

Hmmm, where to begin after such a long break. So much has happened in the last few months. So many stories I've been meaning to tell. Perhaps they will make it here, or perhaps I will just move on to new things. Like our most recent trip into Lewis Pass to visit the Nina Valley.

It is currently early winter here in New Zealand, with snow beginning to dust the mountain tops and cool Southerly winds bringing in cold rain and chilly temperatures. Perfect weather for tramping in the mountains. Especially on a long weekend celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. So Saturday morning, after waking up we pulled together some food and gear and piled into the car at a leisurely pace, not pulling out of the drive until about 11am. With a 2 hour drive ahead of us, we were hoping for a relatively quick trip up to the hut to arrive before darkness set in.

After a quick stop in Culverden for some pitas and humus, we pulled up at Palmer Lodge, threw on our bags, and headed out to the trail. Because of our mid-afternoon arrival the sun had skirted up the valley sides and was just kissing the tops, glistening on the newly fallen snow there. But the air was clear and the birds were singing, so we headed off happily on our way.

Walking through the open beech forest

The Nina Valley trail starts with a gentle climb over a low spur to get into the actual valley itself. Afterwards, the trail follows the Nina River which is a lovely little river carving its' way through partly metamorphosed sedimentary stone. The valley is thick with beech, rocks, icy mud, and birds. There is a very active trapping program going on with a local high school, looking to eradicate the threat of stoats, weasels, and possoms. This left us with loads of robins, silver-eyes, and bell birds singing our way along the trail as we traipsed through mud, and over roots and rocks. At one point, we encountered a man coming back along the trail who warned us there were 18 people currently staying at Nina Hut which has 10 bunks. We thanked him for this valuable information and decided that tonight would be a great night to use our tent which Stephen's mom had so kindly brought with her at Christmas.

Surprise. I'm 5 months pregnant.

This was well timed news for us, as the light was quickly drawing up the valleys and it was good to know we should start looking for a good place to camp. Across a lovely swing bridge and down the trail a little further we came to a lovely grassy opening on the side of the river, just perfect for our wee tent. So with the tent up and the sun gone, we started in on a hearty chicken soup for dinner before the feeling completely left our fingers. After finishing off the soup and washing the dishes out in the river, we climbed into our wee tent and settled in for the night. I noticed the bright stars we had been watching while eating dinner were quietly disappearing behind banks of clouds coming in from the South.

Our wee camp on the edge of the forest.
The rain started at some point in the night. The million tiny sounds of each little drop hitting the fly filled the tent with a sort of calming white noise - as long as one didn't think about it being there in the morning. On and off through the night, I would wake up surrounded by the dark and the sound of water (not always sure of whether it was the river or the rain). Finally, the faint light of morning filled the tent to indicate the changing diurnal cycle and time for breakfast. Stephen kindly volunteered to go out in the rain and make the food, while I stayed in the tent and tidied gear away. Soon, oatmeal was brought into the tent and we gobbled it up before packing the tent away and headed back down the trail.

I always find it funny the way trails you've been down once before seem so much shorter than before. As if the knowledge of what to expect around the next bend  makes it appear that much sooner. So, despite the ongoing drizzle and general greyness to the day, we were soon hearing the whizzing of trucks and cars along the highway. Once back at the car, we changed into some dry clothes, popped open the requisite bag of potato chips, and drove off towards home. 

Almost a full moon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Hello to those of you still checking this poorly updated site. I have to apologize for not writing for so long. I have finally begun the massive write up for my thesis and feel little inclined to write in my free time. So, rather than discuss our continuing international food experiments (off and on I must admit) or tell you about our various tramps (which I will try to get to eventually) or ramble on about our impending residency (which will definitely show up), I will offer some of my reflections on Antarctica. As part of my exploration of the perceptions of Antarctica by New Zealanders I have been doing self-reflective writing throughout my studies. They talk about where my original ideas and drive rose from and how my research and experiences have influenced and changed my perceptions. It is not often we take the time to reflect on how experience changes our perceptions, but I offer the idea that taking the time now and again can help us understand not only how we affect places or events, but also how they affect us.

10 Mar. 09

The first time I remember wanting to go to Antarctica was the summer of 1998 when I was in Britain with my family on a holiday. We were in Bath staying in Beckfords’ Tower, a landmark trust property. I had just purchased a book about Shackletons’ Endurance expedition in order to write an essay for a Canadian essay competition. It was a big picture book, with stories and photos from their journey. I learned about how their ship sank into the ice, how they lived on ice floes for months on end, how they survived on penguin and seal meat, how 6 of them made an amazing 700km voyage in the open seas in a tiny boat to South Georgia to rescue the rest of the crew, not one person dying, I learned where South Georgia was. After that, I read South by Shackleton himself. Retelling in detail what this vast and distant continent was for him. And I was hooked.

Growing up in the North, I have an understanding of cold and snow and ice. I know how to make an igloo, a quinze, a snow trench. I know how to stay reasonably warm in -30oC with the wind whipping the heat away from your body. I have skied on a glacier. I have slept over night in the snow. I have experienced a whiteout. But I have never experienced Antarctica. I know deep down it is different. I know that the experiences I have had will be vastly different from any I could have in Antarctica, but they must count for something. They must have some relation to what one encounters and the other end of the world. In Antarctica.

Shackleton's ship in 1915

Antarctica was always white to me. It was blowing snow across a vast, flat white surface. Even the mountains I pictured were white, no rock, just snow. There were beaches of limited black rocks, but everything else was white. I got these images from reading about Shackeltons’ Endurance expedition. The old photographs of black and white taken by Hurley showed nothing but white on white with wisps of gray thrown in for shadows. Sure there were little people all in black, most of which I later learned were drawn in by Hurley to produce a sense of scale. But it didn’t really matter; Antarctica was this vast, blank continent, filled with the lonely stories of Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen. I wanted to see it for myself, to experience this desolation, this emptiness, this hollow country of snow.

After our trip to Britain, Antarctica didn’t quite disappear, but it certainly dropped from the centre of my mind. I adopted a strong fondness for penguins and learned as much as I could about them. I read different stories in the news about Antarctic science. But it was all very far away. It felt almost on a different planet. I loved the Yukon, the North, Canada, and I worked hard at learning about my home. About the plants that grew there, the birds and animals that lived there, and the different histories that made it the place it is today. But it’s interesting being raised in a country I know is not my cultures’, in a land that is nothing like the places my grandparents’ or even my parents’ told of in their stories, in a place that is filled already with the stories of other peoples’ traditions and ways of life.

My father was always aware that we were settlers, new comers, immigrants, and even though I was 6 when we arrived and I grew up there, I have this feeling of not quite belonging. I want to go back, I want to raise children there, and make my family there, but I know and always will know that I have a very different connection to the land than do the Athabaskan, the Tlingit, the Gwitch’in. I value and love the spaces and places I have come to know, Egg Island, the 30 Mile River, Magic Pony hill, Lake Laberge, but these are different values and connections than those of the First Nations who have been there for generations. And this is probably the biggest reason I came back to Antarctica in my mind. The idea of tabula rasa that Antarctica epitomized grabbed my mind and drew me to it. As a second generation Canadian and first generation Yukoner, I was acutely aware of my not quite belonging. I longed to feel that deep connection that I imagined the Ta’an Hwitch’an felt for the places I loved so much, I wanted to belong to some place. I imagined that Antarctica might hold that key. Now I’m not so sure that it actually holds the key to my feeling a sense of deep connection to the place, but perhaps it is instead showing me how to belong in the Yukon. I will have to wait and see.