We were supposed to go to Yellowknife last night, but by the time the landing gear was sorted out there was some bad weather building south of Great Slave Lake. Embedded thunderstorms at night. Yay. We spent the night in the south and then flew north in the morning. It was my coworker's leg so I did paperwork and looked out the window while she flew.
The weather wasn't great, so we were fairly low level over all the little towns. It's funny to see all the straight lines on the prairies, with neatly arranged towns, each with its own church, even when the towns are only a few kilometres apart. I know most of these churches date back to when everyone walked or drove the team to church, and that they are a source of community pride. I wonder how many bake sales and work bees they all represent.
We pass over the transition between agricultural land and the north. It's quite abrupt. There's a last wheat field. I'm just thinking it when my coworker says it. "I guess we're in the north now." I write it down in my notebook so I don't forget to blog it and then she asks me what I'm writing.
"So I don't forget things," I say, "So I can tell people about them." I read her what I wrote about the last wheat field. It's the truth. You're people.
Crossing the Great Slave Lake she picks up the ATIS and tried to call tower. It's comical that every time she tried to call, she gets stepped on, usually by the tower. They're actually issuing such rapidfire instructions that most transmissions have a "break break" in them, so the tower can address more than one airplane in one microphone press, not letting anyone get a word in edgewise. This goes on long enough that it's funny. She finally gets through and the first thing the controller want to know is if we have parking. Parking is by prior permission in Yellowknife,a and I really get the idea that if we hadn't prearranged a spot, they would have send us away. It's all arranged, thanks to my coworker, so they give us a clearance and we join downwind over the Back Bay. Heyyy, Yellowknife. It's still on a rock and a lake, but now the lake is open water and there is no snow on the rock. I'm too busy looking to remember to take pictures. Sorry!
Prelanding checks complete, we line up on final and she says something about what could go wrong now. Pilots always think that. I gesture to the airplane lining up in front of us, "It could have a gear collapse right there, at the intersection of the two runways." It doesn't, but as it's cleared for take off it seems to be moving really slowly, then I realize I have my perspective wrong. It's not a little taildragger. It's a DC-3. Welcome to Yellowknife.