It takes a special couple who can travel 3,100 kilometres together in a car.
But Norm and Colleen Easson did it with ease, as they took a trip of a lifetime to Yellowknife this past June to get the CCSTA AGM. Colleen is the British Columbia representative for the CCSTA Board of Directors, and Norm usually comes along each year wherever the AGM made be.
When they found out this year’s AGM would take place in Yellowknife, the BC-based couple started to plan out their road trip.
And what a trip it turned out to be.
“What we discovered on this trip about Canada [is that] Canada is big, the roads are good to Yellowknife, the bison are big and no special equipment is required for the trip,” said Norm.
The trip up to Yellowknife was 1,400 km and although towns are far apart, fuel and accommodation is readily available no more than 400 kilometres apart.
The couple made three overnight stops – High Level, Fort Providence and the original Yellowknife.
As they toured along the way, Norm said highlights included the Alexandra Falls, the bison, the sun setting at 11:30 p.m. and the ever-popular Bayside Bed and Breakfast/Dancing Moose Cafe in Yellowknife.
“The cafe turned out to be a great choice, in a great location, with breakfast in the attached café, with access to anything on the menu. We both chose arctic char eggs benedict,” said Norm. “The Old Town location allowed for easy walking and shopping, around the original Yellowknife area.”
Once they arrived in Yellowknife, Norm set out to discover all it had to offer. He cycled the frame lake trail, he went on a local transit system tour with Bruce the bus driver, he had lunch at the seniors’ centre, visited the Farmers’ Market and the legislature, enjoyed a Miners’ rescue competition and picnic, met Josh at the multi-language radio station CKLB 101.9, toured Buffalo Airways and searched for the Smokehouse Cafe on Latham island.
“This was mostly while Colleen was involved with the convention,” he quipped.
The Trip Home
Clocking 1,700 kilometres, Norm said the trip home was a bit longer.
They made overnight stops in Hay River, La Crete, Alberta and Tumbler Ridge, BC before arriving home. La Crete is mostly a Mennonite community originally established in 1918. Hay River is at the northern end of rail service and the beginning of barging operations for transportation via the Mackenzie River and Great Slave Lake. Tumbler Ridge was established based on coal mining, but is currently becoming known because of recent dinosaur discoveries.
Norm said the trip highlights heading south included meeting Captain John, La Crete and Tumbler Ridge.
“We met Captain John, former ferry captain, at Captain’s Cabins just south of the Deh Cho bridge,” he explained. “We would stay there if we were again in the area. It is near Ft. Providence. La Crete and Tumbler Ridge were both worth the stop, too.”
After leaving Tumbler Ridge, the Eassons got caught in torrential rainstorms. Just three hours from home, they feared the roads would wash out. And they did, but just after the Eassons passed through and arrived home safely.
All in all, the Eassons called the trip a success – especially when it came to re-connecting with good friends at the AGM.
“The trip to Yellowknife was an adventure, which allowed us to re-connect with many friends who are involved in Catholic education across this big country,” said Norm.