When I started this post, I had the same question as you: "What is there worth seeing in the Northwest Territories?" I expected snow, ice, permafrost and igloos. I wasn't wrong, but I was far from the truth. While learning about this stunning territory, I found out all sorts of things. I won't bore you with them, but there are two interesting places worth mentioning.
The first is the Giant Mine, a gold mine that entered production in 1948. It ran until 2004 and produced 7 million ounces of gold. In 1992, during the height of a labor dispute about the mine, an explosion ripped through it, killing nine people. It was discovered this explosion was caused by a bomb set by Roger Warren, and he was convicted for nine counts of second-degree murder. He claimed the union had "dehumanized" the strikebreakers (somebody who refuses to go on strike during a labor dispute) and had the union, security or the company listened to the strikers, he wouldn't have done it.
After the mine closed, it was discovered the land was poisoned with around 17,000 tons of arsenic and asbestos. This includes nearby lakes, rivers, forests and houses. The company said it was the responsibility of the Canadian and Northwest Territorial government to clean up. The containment is lethal, even in small doses, and the cleanup effort is being called the "greatest challenge associated with the remediation of Giant Mine". In 2014 the Canadian government put forward $900 million to a billion dollars to clean up the area through freezing the contaminants and transporting them somewhere safe. Once completed, it is expected that the Northwest Territories' first mining museum is to be built on the property, although there is no set date.
The other location I learned about was about Nahanni National Park. I had never heard of this park before, and I almost wish I never had. The moment I typed it into Google the result "Nahanni National Park mystery" came up. Clicking that I discovered the article "The Mysterious Valley of the Headless Corpses".
Apparently, Nahanni National Park was once inhabited by a violent group of aboriginals called the "Nahanni", which mean "The People Over There". Stories say that the inhabitants of the park would occasionally leave and attack nearby camps, decapitating anybody they found. Then, as mysterious as they appeared, they'd vanish. This happened one day, but the Nahanni never returned. That is until gold was found by the European settlers in the early 20th Century, and the beheadings began again. Four people within a ten year period were decapitated, one was flash frozen although he was sitting next to a fire and an additional 44 went missing in 1969 under "mysterious circumstances".
Adding to the mystery, Nahanni National Park is one of the least explored places in Canada, if not the world. Accessible only my plane and boat, the park has only been surveyed from the air. In 1964 Jean Poirel explored the area and discovered over 250 unknown caverns. The most important one was Dalerie Cavern, which held the skeletons of over 116 sheep that had starved to death over 4,500 years ago!
Before we start, I would also like to give credit to Darren Roberts for the image I used in my cover photo. He was recommended to me as one of the best photographers to follow when it comes to the Northwest Territories, so be sure to check him out!
Without further adieu, I bring to you "Instagramming Canada - Northwest Territories"!
Nahanni National Park
Sunset and Sky
Lakes and Rivers
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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Most people know how to ride a bicycle. They learned sometime as a child and never forgot. I am not one of those people. I tried learning when I was a child, a teenager and an adult, and I have never mastered the two-wheel contraption. Whenever I see a child zip past me on a bike, I get a little jealous inside. I've always wanted to learn, but it's just something I've never been able to do.
On my recent trip to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Alberta, I explored several of the many biking paths that wind through the area. The paths are also hikable, so I walked them instead. Although I've visited Cypress Hills several times, I never get used to the hills and lakes throughout the area. With dozens of kilometres of trails, you can spend a weekend there and never do the same thing twice. Although hiking around the park was incredible, I imagine it would be a lot more fun, and a lot easier, to bike it instead.
Part 12 of my cross Canada series takes us to the smallest province in Canada, Prince Edward Island. However, don't let the name confuse you: PEI is actually 232 islands!
PEI also happens to have smallest population of any province in Canada, with only 146,300 people as of 2014. This means this province has less people than my hometown Regina!
Being so small, however, it was difficult to find images on Instagram. That isn't to say there's nothing there worth seeing! Quiet the quandary, actually. PEI has a few very unique locations that drive their tourism. One of them is the gorgeous themed village of Avonlea, named after the village in the hit novel "Anne of Green Gables" published in 1908. This story, and the subsequent stories, follows Anne, a red-haired "fiery" orphan who grows up on PEI. The story is an international bestseller, and is strangely very popular in Japan (or so I've been told)!
A few months ago I entered a contest for a trip for two to visit Philadelphia on Two Bad Tourists. Normally contests like this are limited to United States residents so when I saw this one was open to Canadians I jumped at the chance. I've never won something like this before, so I actually forgot about it until I got the emailing saying I had won. Two Bad Tourists then worked alongside Visit Philly to organise the trip for me and my mother to explore Philadelphia for three days. Visit Philly paid for our flights, hotels and gave us a VIP Pass to experience the city to our heart's content. It is thanks to them that this trip is possible.
Several movies and television shows have tried to capture the essence of Philadelphia over the years – from the boxing Blockbuster Rocky, to the paranormal thriller The Sixth Sense, to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and even Boy Meets World – but each described the city differently. There is no easy way to approach a city as dynamic as The City of Brotherly Love. With countless layers of art, history, religion and the paranormal, Philadelphia is a city unlike any other throughout the United States.
One thing that surprised me the most about Philadelphia was the history. The city was founded and designed by William Penn, who is also the state of Pennsylvania's namesake. Born in London, England in 1644 he lived through The Great Fire of 1666 and The Great Plague of London from 1665-1666. Both events shaped Penn's life so he designed the city to be strictly stone buildings (to stop fires from spreading) and to have plenty of space between the buildings (as to prevent illness from spreading). This led to the older areas of the city to have winding corridors between old stone walls.