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Dinner After Eight

March 22, 2015

I was on my tour of the Yukon.  It was early July, a time of 24-hour daylight above the Arctic Circle.  We were staying at a hotel in Inuvik.  The weather forecast posted at the front desk of the hotel said “cloudy today and sunny all night”.  In the morning, we were waiting for the fog to clear at Tuktoyaktuk so we could fly there.  Our guide kept us posted on flight conditions.  We had time for lunch in Inuvik.  After lunch, we headed for the airport and boarded our Twin Beech for the short flight to Tuktoyaktuk.  They call it Tuk there.  We had a tour of the townsite in a 12-passenger van.  The first thing our driver told us, when we were parked right across from the RCMP office, was that nobody wears seat belts in Tuk.  We believed him.  After a very interesting tour of the townsite, including a view of the Arctic Ocean with the pack ice just offshore, we all lined up at the Northern Store to use the staff washroom.

Our return trip to Inuvik was by boat through the islands and channels of the Mackenzie Delta.  It was a long trip, about five hours.  Our driver pointed out the ice-scoured sides of the islands.  I asked him how long ago it was that the ice went out.  About three weeks, he said.  There was a lot to see in the delta, but we were all tired and hungry when we finally climbed out of the boat back at Inuvik.  It was about 8 pm.  We hadn’t had anything to eat since lunch.  The sun was still high in the sky, but it was getting late.

When we finally arrived back at our hotel, our guide told us that the restaurant was closed, but we could still order food in the bar.  We all agreed to meet there after a quick trip to our rooms.  At the bar, however, we found out that we couldn’t order food there because the restaurant was closed.  Didn’t they know that it was still bright daylight outside?  Our guide then told us that we could bring in pizza to the bar.  He’d done that before.  The waitress agreed that we could do that.  Our guide went out to pick up our pizza order.

We each ordered a beer.  Yukon Gold is a popular brand.  Soon we were eating pizza with our beer.  Our waitress told us we all had to leave the bar by 10:30.  A few minutes later, the manager came over and told us the same thing.  Clearly it was a serious matter.  Their liquor licence was at risk if we stayed later.  We assured her that we would be gone by then.  What a rush!  I had to gobble my pizza.  Some people didn’t finish their beer.  Still, we left just before the deadline.  It was a long day, but a memorable one.


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