After predicting the arrival of winter for at least a month, it has finally arrived. Snow arrived in a blizzard on Wednesday. Lloyd had to get the four wheeler out with the blade to clean out the driveway. He then did some of the neighbour's driveways as well. The temperature today is only about -6 C, but it likely won't get above freezing now until April sometime. So it is now definitely winter.
In other interesting tidbits of news from other spots in the north:
In Inuvik, the Northmart store mistakenly received 1200 litres of buttermilk instead of the six to twelve litres that they normally get. The manager had ordered 1200L of UHT milk (what's called shelf milk here, because it can sit on the shelf forever until it's opened), and got buttermilk instead. Check out the rest of the story here: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2007/10/18/nwt-buttermilk.html?ref=rss
In Fort Good Hope, the annual barge shipment didn't arrive. Fort Good Hope, (population 585) is on the Mackenzie River and doesn't have road access. Access is only by the river or by ice road in the winter. Each year the inhabitants order a year's supply of goods, which arrive by barge in late summer. However this year the shipping company got off to a late start and was several weeks behind. By the time they got the barge headed down river to Fort Good Hope, it was already freezing nights, and the river had gotten too shallow to get into the community. So instead, everything was unloaded at Norman Wells (145 km away). This means that the community has run out of toilet paper and other basic supplies (think heating oil), which will have to be flown in at a tremendous cost, as the ice road won't be ready until likely late January. Construction projects have had to be put on hold for an entire year, as the building supplies didn't arrive and can't be flown in.
Now the NWT has a number of communities without road access, but I believe that they all got their supplies this year, except for Fort Good Hope. You don't realize how fortunate you are, until you find out how other people live. The regular price for buttermilk in Inuvik is about $4 a litre. It would be much higher than that in Fort Good Hope. It's time to count my blessings again.