Yellowknife - Frame Lake - Day 5

Trip Start Dec 27, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Canada  , Northwest Territories,
Tuesday, June 26, 2007



Yellowknife - Frame Lake

Date of visit:  June 25, 2007
Date of blog:  August 1, 2007
Being a creature of habit, as 18:00 approaches, I get antsy for a Nordic walk. (Prince George: Blog No. 1)
It is also at this time when Radio-Canada, the French-speaking national radio network, has an hour of news and information that I like to listen to as I am Nordic walking.
Besides being a Francophile, I like to keep on top of my French language skills because I work as an occasional high school teacher often teaching in French Immersion classes as well as those in Spanish and German.
Therefore, the time between 18:00 and 19:00 is triply useful for me.  It allows me to get the exercise that I need for my physical and mental well being. It facilitates the improvement of my language skills and it also allows me to keep up with the latest news and current issues while walking and listening to my Walkman.
A quick glance at the Yellowknife city map drew my attention to the 7.5 km trail around Frame Lake. 
My starting point was near City Hall and I was pumped with anticipation at the prospects of walking a new route.
As I headed east along the southern shore, the walkway seemed no different from most other city walks around a lake. A paved walkway, joggers, walkers and cyclists out to enjoy the late afternoon sun, all conspired to lull me into a comfortable groove. My comfort zone was only partly thwarted by my frustration at not being able to get the Radio-Canada station till well into the walk.
Everything changed near the western end of the lake where the Precambrian Shield created a landscape worthy of a movie setting.
Rocky, craggy to the extreme and at the exclusion of trees and vegetation, I found myself truly enraptured at the unusual beauty around me.
At this point paved walkways and other walkers were a distant memory as I ventured forth alone over the rocky landscape only guided by widely spaced red and white steel posts drilled into the rocks beneath my feet.
While my attention was now fully drawn to safely navigating the treacherous terrain, it was also essential to spot the next marker along the route while keeping a lookout for the potential stray bear. The thought of my bear spray safely tucked in the trunk of my car was of little comfort.
The sense of isolation was only broken by the vistas on the southern horizon of the mid-rise buildings of downtown Yellowknife and the knowledge that I was well within city limits.
It is this oxymoron of intense, stunning nature and urban proximity which make the walkway around Frame Lake unique.
In no other city can one find such a challenging and scenic walk having as its focal point the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield.
For about forty minutes of the one hour and twenty minute walk I was enraptured by the beauty that the ancient glaciers had wrought upon these rock formations.
Approaching the north-east corner of the lake I was back into a more familiar Boreal forest and marshland setting.

I was approaching civilization again as the Territorial Legislature loomed in the distance across the lake.

Many of my questions about the wildlife and vegetation were answered nearby in a series of educative panels which made the walk even more meaningful.
The stunted evergreens, so prevalent, were black spruce and I learned the difference between dabblers and divers among other things.

The final part of the walkway leads past the beautiful Territorial Legislature, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center, the Walk of the Communities with its 33 flags representing the various communities in the NWT and back to City Hall.

I had a deep sense of satisfaction at having completed this outstanding walk around Frame Lake.
It was so enjoyable, I repeated the walk the very next day just before leaving Yellowknife to head out into another midnight sun drive - this time to Fort Providence.

Yet To Come:
Yellowknife - The Legislative Assembly
Yellowknife - the Prince of Wales Museum
Yellowknife - Golf Course and Airport




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