The Three Hole Monster

(INUVIK, NT — Tuesday, 3 am) This town of Inuvik rolled out a tundra carpet for us and painted it red. The first order of business was to meet Mayor Denny Rodgers in Council Chambers. We presented a proclamation from our Mayor Raum Emanuel as well as a large tin of Garret Popcorn and some other mementos. In return, all of us, Mike too, got a bagful of Inuvik goodies including the his own signed and sealed recognition of our arrival in the Arctic.

Denny took us personally to a number of town attractions and points of civic pride. A recitation of the sites we saw might strike you as a little quaint – they were wonderful; we’ll show you the pictures. What won’t reproduce so well in words and pictures is the feel of the place and how welcoming these folks are and how they have constructed such a strong forward-looking community in a formidable geography.

Later, we took a jet powered speed ride on the McKenzie River piloted by Kurt , a road construction contractor and member of the town council. Kurt knows the river like the back of his handsomely tattooed hand. He took us through skilled high speed turns and swerves that were right out of fighter pilot training. Travelers’ bodies and camera guys flew up and down the river and all over the boat. Just another unforgettable hour in Inuvik.

We played the Three Hole Monster at midnight along with Mayor Rodgers. Denny hits the ball hard and long and looks as if he’s had hockey training. He putts, however, pretty much like the rest of us. I don’t know who won, just that there were lots of sevens and laughs. Mike watched every shot with a critical but admiring eye. Members of the town council served as caddies complete with Augusta whites and player names on the back. If we could find our tee shots in the rocks and mud (which is usually where we hit them) the local rules call for placing a cleaned ball on a piece of green turf and letting it fly again. The Roads End Course is a handsome and challenging track. I expect it to be among Golf Digests Top 100 after a few more growing seasons.

At the BBQ, we stuffed in cheeseburgers and Canada Ale and chatted with Hon. David Jacobson, U.S. Ambassador to Canada. He dropped by to wish us well. He’s a Chicago guy. His presence brought an added dignity to the festivities. After the round we got into Denny’s bottle of 12 yr. old Macallan. Players, caddies and the gallery laughed well into the continuing daylight.

Tomorrow, (no, today) the Arctic Ocean.

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18 Responses to The Three Hole Monster

  1. leslie says:

    Sounds like a good time was had by all; you really did do it!! When are we all going back?

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  3. eileen says:

    Have been following your blogs with interest! Loved today’s post!! Glad you made it. Enjoy!

  4. mike carr says:

    I’m 3 days away from retiring after 40 years of teaching high school Social Studies and English, and everybody keeps asking what I’m going to do to fill my time. I tell them nothing in particular, but two of my favorite things are golfing and short trip traveling here in the Finger Lakes area of NY. I have always been intrigued by the beauty of Canada and Alaska, so reading of your great adventure has been inspiring and very exciting. ENVY isn’t even close to the right word….what a great idea you had and a great way to honor your buddy. I’ve read about the 3 hole monster before, but just doing that with friends, old and new , in the middle of the night/day, with a little alcohol on hand, sounds like heaven.
    Congratulations and continued fun! MIKE CARR AUBURN NY

  5. Pat Chester says:

    I’m so pleased you arrived safely and that you were able to play golf. Sadly this means there will be no more travel stories. Are you driving back to Chicago? Do you plan to write about that part of your journey?

  6. Carol says:

    Have you blurted out “Tell them Willy says hi” to anyone in Inuvik? Does anyone know the fiddler?

  7. Tom Hickey says:

    I’m getting the plans ready for your new ‘summer’ home in Inuvik on stilts – kind of like Villa Savoy only cooler. When you get back there is a forth hole to be played on Howe Street to finish the Inuvik Open. See you soon.

  8. maureen says:

    Town Council caddies with your names on their shirts! Better than U.S Open for sure. What a fantastic welcome for you weary travelers. And the U.S. Ambassador to Canada? Hope you all were somewhat on your toes, although it’s probably good that the Macallan’s came out after his visit. The way things are going in the world these days, Canada may remain one of our few friends and we don’t want to mess with that. Wonderful story and a wonderful trip.

  9. Larry Thompson says:

    Now get your ass home and clean my litter box.
    I miss you.

  10. annie zast says:

    Can’t say my toast to the Summer Solstice was as exciting, but surely delicious and full of guilty pleasure. I decided to treat myself to the new Shake Shack that just opened up in my neighborhood of Battery Park City , NYC. Cheeseburger and fries followed by a cold Corona and a view of the sunset over the Hudson River. Sun finally went down around 9:20pm, not as bright and long as yours. Because of your journey, for once I really felt the significance of the Summer Solstice and the first day of Summer. Before it just was any other day. Now lets hope you don’t suffer from depression because of the with drawl of eternal sunshine…laughing.

    Safe travels back and enjoy the best season of all, well at least for me. I can’t resist, I am a summer baby.

  11. Whit Allen says:

    happy summer solstice Vic, Dan, Jim, and Dad–

    thinking of you guys up there…. what is the time difference anyway? It’s late here in LA and I’m wondering if you all are still out being local celebs (as Mike would probably have it) or if you’ve lowered the blinds for some shut eye.
    whatever the case, the longest day of the year will never be the same again, for you guys. Enjoy!

  12. Dick Downey says:

    Congratulations on getting in the golf game, guys. I am curious if bets were made, and who won the money. I have a question–what is the altitude there? Are you nearly at sea level?

  13. cheri allen says:

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed these stories of your journey. I looked forward to reading about your adventures each day and am now feeling a little let down that it is all over. Your posts were wonderfully written–we were there with you each day, traveling the highways in the noisy RV or chatting with the locals in whatever town you happened to land. Thank you for keeping us all in mind during this trip and for making it so real for those of us left in civilization. Looking forward to seeing all 4 of you soon!

  14. Doc Panje says:

    WCC was closed AGAIN today because of another storm. The white canopy for only the second time blew away. Helen and I have enjoyed your travelogue. What was the drainage like on the 3 hole monster? Doc and Heln

  15. Vic says:

    There were a few slippery rocks on Road’s End Golf Course. But the things you had to worry most about were the mosquitos, the lethal Canadian beer and the ravens taking the balls thinking they were eggs.

  16. Doreen and Stan Velin says:

    hi guys, i feel great to read your comments and remember that great evening, a little chilly as is was and sharing the scotch and stories with you. i felt like we journeyed a short way with you all from the night taking pics every hour at eagle plains to the Nova and golf. if we travel to chicago can we look you up ?? and if you ever want to a wine and golf tour of the okanagan valley… we would love to host your stay and take you around the valley. it is the northern tip of the Sonoma desert here…. love to see you in Kelowna BC doreen and stan velin

  17. Pingback: Our Longest Drive reaches Journey's End | Garrett Popcorn Blog

  18. Abi Begin says:

    Learning of Michael’s death informally last night and formally today was quite a shock. I have spent the evening reading your blog up to this point and am honored to connect with you as Michael’s friends and also as individuals who LIVE life, just as he did! I look forward to reading to the current entries made. Thank you for sharing this adventure and infusing yourselves in your tales.


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