I love travelling the world. Seeing and experiencing new things, connecting with people of all walks of life. I always entice myself with thoughts of being once again immersed in a completely different culture, with a totally different language that I don’t speak. It’s exciting, and a way to push myself outside the everyday box, and even sharpening my survival skills. It becomes a part of you, something that runs through your blood, well the blood of someone who has been bit by the travel bug.
However, no matter how many continents you visit, and people you meet, and explorations you have, there is always that one place, that lifelong place that you call home. Where your roots are. Where everyone knows your name….. Well at least if you happen to be from a small town like myself. I was privileged enough to spend this summer back home, in my beautiful little hometown in Northern Canada. The longer I have travelled the more I have come to love and appreciate it. It’s small, it’s beautiful, at times its buggy. Yes sir-ee, there is a season for swarming, clouds of bugs that you may or may not ingest when breathing . But while also being the land of the midnight sun in the summer. Other times(say winter perhaps) its freaken COLD! Try well below -30 degrees Celsius and minimal hours of sunshine, during the majestic, and blood chilling yet heartwarming winter. Where you can bask in the spectacular show of dancing colors that the Northern lights spread across the sky. Yup this would be my Hometown.
Welcome to Hay River.
Named after the River that flows through it, right into the Great Slave Lake, which happens to be one of the 10th largest lake in the world. There is a population of about 3500 people. It boasts some pretty amazing scenery, if I do say so myself. And no….. I am not just being Bias because I am from there:) But its kind of hard not to be.
There is fantastic fishing in the summer, as well as plenty of water for you to play on and in. There is the Hay River Campground right in town located beside the beach, if you feel like connecting with nature, and forgetting that you are still right in town. Run by Lucy Benoit for over 20 years, she always keeps it so well run and maintained. I definitely enjoyed some time there this summer. The town puts on a town event every year called Hay Days, with a weekend full of different events, and there’s baseball tournaments(that other northern communities participate in), town dances(as there are no bars really), great people, and beautiful wildlife. Although, you always have to be cautious of bears. Beautifully impressive animals they are, but also can be very dangerous. Wrestling a bear isn’t recommended;) and well neither is going in for a bear hug.
One thing I really enjoyed this summer was visiting the Fisherman’s Warf, which is put on every Saturday during the summer in the Old Town.
There you will find different vendors, selling their homemade baked goods, fried goods, grown goods, handmade goods, and yup, you got it, FISH! Fresh fried or grilled Great Slave Lake Whitefish. One of the northern delicacies, which I never get tired of. The Warf is a great place to go and mingle with other people from the community, a great way to support the locals, and enjoy the charming little ambiance it offers, while also soaking up some summer sunshine.
Located about 40km outside are 3 separate waterfalls, that are always beautiful sight to enjoy. And Yes. The water is brown. But fresh!:)
Another summer tradition, one of my favorites!! Is floating down the river. ‘Oh, Heck Yes!’. Every sunny day there are groups of people who get together with their blow up rafts/tubes, a few beverages, starting up river, and floating down it for hours. Good weather, good company, good tunes. It’s just an awesome time, and super relaxing.
Well the summers up here are spectacular, and pretty un-comparable, and I always feel so privileged to enjoy them. Even though the winters are Long, COLD, and more night then day light, there are also so many incredible and very amazing aspects about it here then too. But this article is for summer. Winter can be talked about when that time comes. It best to live for the moment;)
Here’s to another kick ass summer in the North, I love my home, its way up there for sure! So that being said…..
Categories: The Great Canadian North