My first taste of the True North was flying into YK in early january, 2000 for an 8-month stay. I took a job up there just to see what up there was like, and stepping out of the plane into -40C temperatures the air literally hit me in the chest and took my breath away. I spent the next couple of days exploring and then the next week after that in bed getting over a cold and sore throat that the incredibly dry air wouldn't permit to heal any other way.
I freaking LOVE the north now! And this thread is AWESOME!
I'll say this too: later on in my stay I flew home and returned by car and the drive up to YK from Alberta blew my mind - so long and straight and monotonous, it truly for the first time gave me the ridiculous sense of scale that characterizes Canadian geography. I'm sure trucking the ice roads up to Diavik (as an aside, I worked on the designs of some of their buildings briefly, including the residence building - ain't it ugly?!) would've blown my mind even further. Just seeing a town with a skyline of sorts emerge from the neverending flatness of the scrub forest that far north, I felt like I was hallucinating....
Unfortunately all my photos from up there aren't digitized so I can't share... Amongst others I had a real good one of a skinned dog that someone had set up in the snowbank along an ice road somewhere up the Ingraham Trail so that the dog was 'pointing' the way ahead.
Sorry for interrupting your stories with my blather - you just got me going with this fantastic thread. Thanks!!!