(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.