It’s now been a month and a day since I started interning at the Globe and Mail. The drive back from Yellowknife was long and lonely. My muffler dragged intermittently, secured mainly by a thin piece of looped wire that kept slipping and loosening. I drove at night through fog so thick it looked like clouds were drifting over my headlights. I blew a tire late on a Saturday night and was taken in by wonderful folks named Wendy and Richie Morrisseau, who gave me a glass of wine, a shot of Baileys and a bed. My brakes overheated climbing the steep hills around Marathon with a 3,000-pound trailer attached to my 2005 Nissan Altima and when I pulled over for gas in White River I found I couldn’t get the car to move forward. When I finally arrived in Toronto it was dark and rainy and I bottomed out about four times on Dufferin Street. By the time I parked around the corner from my friend Paul’s house, where I stayed for three weeks, my nerves were completely shot.
I had just shy of a week to pull myself together.
I had spent the last eight months learning about territorial politics; about what kind of boots it takes to keep your feet warm in -30C (men’s Wind River, rated to -70, and even those failed me sometimes); about how long I could leave my car unplugged before my battery died; the joys of jamming in a crammed houseboat on a dark winter night; how to avoid being run over when photographing the Northern Lights by the side of the Ingraham Trail and, above all, learning some things about myself.
I had been a “reporter/photographer” at the Yellowknifer newspaper. We all had this title because all the reporters were responsible for shooting their own photographs. Unfortunately my reporting interests - legislative assembly and courts - didn’t really offer me many opportunities to shoot.
I was pretty rusty and I knew it. I also knew I had been offered the internship at the Globe - one I had wanted ever since I first heard of it - because they felt I could hit the ground running.
I hoped that I wouldn’t prove them wrong. I continue to hope that every day.
But before I get started with my Globe updates, here’s some of what I loved about Yellowknife.