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The worst thing about here

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People ask me, what is the worst thing about living in the Yukon wilderness? Is it bears?!
No. You take precautions, you carry bear spray. But fear recedes, just like any other threat you live with day to day. I’m no more scared of bears now than I was of muggers in London.

How about the cold, when it’s 40, 50 below!? Nope. Love that.
But you must get lonely? We do. But that’s the deal with all this freedom and beauty. You can’t have the moon on a stick.



How about the dark? For the all the long nights of winter, we now have 24 hours of daylight and the clock changes so fast it makes you giddy.

The bugs though? You’re getting close now. The incessant itching of bites. The buzzing, nipping, whirring into my eyes, my ears, my nose. The cloud that builds around me as soon as I step outside and follows me wherever I go, so I exist in a fog of my own personal hell.

I used to lay in bed hearing the hum of traffic all night in London. Now I hear the drone of mosquitoes, not just the occasiona…

Break up

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Spring break up was the most violent, dramatic and spectacular we’ve witnessed so far. And thank God it was, as all the other bush things I can tell you about are now commonplace. Everyone’s living in isolation, doing home haircuts, baking bread and frying up chilli and lemon basted squirrel legs (or maybe that’s still just us.)

We nearly missed it as we opened the beers too early on Sunday night. We’d heard a hissing, rushing sound all day. The noise swelled and dropped with the breeze and the water rose like mad, 10 feet or more, in a few hours.

Although the river ice still held fast, deep channels were running near the banks on either side, where tributaries and creeks pour melt water onto the frozen Yukon in great, tea-coloured torrents.

Late afternoon, I noticed a tongue of grey-blue, churning water rounding the bend above us, cutting an open channel down the river. It would run for a while then jam, and flood. Frustrated, it would gnaw at the river ice in a great, swirling whir…