I’ll admit it.
When I was preparing to move to the Yukon I was very naïve about what exactly Whitehorse was all about.
I knew a little about the Gold Rush history, the Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race and the long frigid winters, but for the most part I was very unfamiliar about this part of Canada.
I was actually told by a friend’s Dad that I would have to sell my car and purchase a big truck because, well, after all, there are no paved roads in the Yukon.
This statement was re-iterated by a car dealer, who was dead set on selling a 1988 Pathfinder to me, like I was some kind of fool.
Thankfully, they were both wrong about the paved road myth but still it was a $10,000 lesson.
I hope I run into that dealer who sold the SUV to me so I can let him know that not every Yukoner drives a big truck down dusty gravel roads.
I digress …
The infamous unpaved road incident got me thinking about just how many ridiculous stereotypes are out there about the Yukon.
How many times has someone living “Outside” asked if you live in an igloo?
At first you chuckle, but then realize quickly they are not yanking your chain … they are indeed serious.
Yup … that’s us … we build our homes out of ice blocks and snow.
Sure, we hosted the 2007 Canada Winter Games, but still at the end of the day the hundreds of volunteers would hurry back to their igloos for a well-deserved rest.
Of course getting back to the igloos was easy because of the team of dogs that would pull our sled.
Four, six, a dozen … the amount varies.
The folks fortunate to have a large team of dogs were the luckiest as they were able to dart past the many polar bears that roam our streets.
Sometimes those with just a team of four aren’t so fortunate.
And even more incredible is, despite being nicknamed the land of the Midnight Sun, many of us have still never enjoyed a summer.
With winter lasting year-round and snow on the ground in July, it is tough for many of us to fathom what summer must be like.
Sure we could Google photos via the Internet if we had the capabilities, but with no computer access it is very hard.
Yes, life for the Yukoner is so very challenging and arduous.
But I guess that is what makes us so hearty … that and our thick, long beards.
Because every man has a beard.
Yup … long beards for the men and hairy legs for the ladies.
I’m glad I live in the Yukon.
Sure there are the polar bears and annoying teams of dogs running down Main Street and I’ll admit going home to the igloo every night is tedious, but considering the alternative in terms of places to live in Canada … man, the stories I’ve heard.