True North, Pt. 2: Mission Accomplished

Here, we’ll continue to recount the tale of Dax’s recent trip, by float plane, from Sudbury to Yellowknife. If you missed the first installment, catch up here.

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Logging hours: Dax takes control of the Cessna 185 somewhere near Stony Rapids, SK.

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Forest fires had ravaged parts of northern Saskatchewan only a week earlier. Above, a view of the charred landscape.

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At long last, the fellows arrive to Yellowknife. Above, Pete ties up at the Wardair staff quarters.

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A 2700-kilometre journey is a heck of a way to build up an appetite. And what better way to celebrate a successful journey north than with a juicy bison ribeye steak at the Wildcat Café? The log cabin restaurant, which was founded in 1937 by a pair of fellows named Willie Wylie and Smokey Stout, is a designated heritage site.

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Weaver & Devore, a general bush outfitter, is even older than the Wildcat. Founded in 1936 by a pair of American prospectors, the store has supplied generations of northerners with just about anything an outdoorsman could need.

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Barcelona has Gaudi and Chicago has Frank Lloyd Wright, but who needs them? Yellowknife has the guy who built these houses.

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You might know Buffalo Airways from such hard-hitting reality TV shows as “Ice Pilots NWT.” Of course, the airline itself, which has a fleet of nearly 50 planes, has been around for 40 years.

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The HQ of a younger airline: Air Tindi. It doesn’t have its own reality TV series. Yet.

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Thought “Land of the Midnight Sun” was only a figure of speech? Think again. Above, it’s past 11 p.m., and with the sun just starting to sink, the boys are catching pike off the dock.

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A handsome bunch: Dax and co. pose for a shot on the float of a turbo Otter that belongs to Canadian aviation legend Max Ward. If the plane looks like it’s sinking, just a little bit, don’t blame the guys (or the Wildcat Café). As the image below affirms, that plane was also carrying a good load.

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It may look heavy on the water, but it’s nothing this Otter, which has a powerful Garrett turbine engine, can’t handle. The plane is on its way to Max Ward’s camp about 400 kilometres north of Yellowknife. And so, too, are the fellas. How? Why? Where? Stay tuned for the answers to these questions, and more, in the next (and final) installment of True North.

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