North of the 60th Parallel

At the visitor information centre just beyond this sign they sell “Bug Gear” to help visitors ward off the incessant black flies and mosquitoes.

Upon fingering a white suit vented with a very fine mesh (”tight and white” is the way to go to avoid bites), I was heartily regaled with impressive stories of the black fly’s tenacity in exsanguination.

I watched the storyteller with a critical eye, keen for embellishment, but could find none in her countenance. She was deadly serious when she said we each needed one of these if we were venturing out onto the tundra or heading into the backwoods. Obviously she felt it her duty to warn us ahead of time.

Perfect.

I thought everyone was exaggerating when they said the bugs were bad. That they were doing that thing where residents take an odd sense of pride in bragging about how bad they’ve got it in an attempt to awe the tourists with their bravery.

Apparently not.

Apparently I’ve moved myself and my delicately skinned babies to Black Fly Utopia where the insects shall feast upon us like…well, let’s just say they won’t have the opportunity.

Let’s just let it be known that I’m a good mother and that I’ll be shelling out the big bucks for the suits and that you can well imagine the Pater Family trooping around Yellowknife and vicinity running their errands much like a wayward HazMat team.
That is if we’re not trampled by the buffalo first.

Oh yeah, that’s right.

Buffalo.

Everywhere.

In the ditch.

On the road.

In the car with you if they like.

All the way from Fort Providence north to Yellowknife – 236 km of big, brown road hazard with attitude.

And let it be known that they don’t move for the vehicles…the vehicles move for them.

I’m told they don’t come into town, but that the caribou do…which I’m looking forward to. It’ll be winter by then and the HazMat suits will have been stowed and exchanged for the snowsuits, so that we can lay on the rocks in our backyard and watch the aurora borealis.

LOL. I don’t know if my skin will ever see sun again. I’m hoping so!

I can’t tell you yet if all of our goods have arrived safe and sound, because we don’t move into our house until Friday. Fingers crossed that all is well, though and that the buffalo haven’t messed with the moving truck!