North to Adventure!
Friday, April 05, 2013 at 8:46 AM
By Glen McLean
Before moving to Saint John, in my previous life, I was an escort. Sorry...Before moving to Saint John, in my previous life, I was a travel & tour escort...that's better!
My first professional position was guiding people into Canada's far north with Horizon Holidays. From Edmonton Alberta, my group and I would fly to Inuvik. We would board a coach, travel down the Dempster Highway crossing the Arctic Circle on our way to the historic gold rush town of Dawson City. Finally, we would head south along the mountainous Chilkoot Pass into Skagway, Alaska where the Pacific Princess, the original Love Boat, waited to navigate the Inside Passage.
The days & nights were amazing. From listening to actors portraying Robert Service in Dawson City, to taking a Twin Otter aircraft to Tuktoyaktuk and seeing glaciers calve, memories abound.
There were many late nights. Of course, we didn't see the darkness of the North because the sun, that is the Midnight Sun, was never below the horizon. So, in the morning, after many stories and beverages, I would wake and collect my passengers to begin a great day of discovery.
The morning was a routine to behold. It was simple: Visine and coffee...lots of coffee for everyone.
I distinctly remember the coffee at the Eagle Plains Hotel & Gas Bar. After being regaled with stories of the Mad Trapper of Rat River, our group would enjoy a delicious breakfast with a deep dark brew from an old style percolator. The coffee must have been brewed the day previous, but on this adventure, it was always appreciated. In fact, as we made our way into the Klondike River region, we would often stop to build a campfire to boil some coffee just like the prospectors did in 1896 during the gold rush.
For some fun at home, office or dorm, add a cup of very coarse Brazilian ground coffee to a 2 litre pot of water. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for a good thirty minutes. Now strain it through a sock (clean or dirty...it doesn't really matter at this point). Pour the coffee into a metal cup and enjoy. You won't need Visine today and you're ready to head north to adventure.
I was fortunate to travel the Western Arctic for two years. It's a wonderful place and should be experienced. My only hope....I hope the coffee at Eagle Plains has improved.
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35 Comments | Author: Glen McLean