Camping Adventures & Summer Festivals

June and July 2016 were chalked full of outdoor activity so we could soak up as much sunshine and hot summer heat as possible!

We celebrated the beginning of July and Canada’s birthday with the Canada Day parade, which we happily enjoyed from the comfort of our own balcony. There were various activities planned throughout the city for the celebration so we walked over to the Somba Ke Civic Plaza to enjoy some live music and food truck goodies before setting off on our first backcountry camping adventure. We loaded up our little car with two inflatable kayaks and all of our camping gear and hit the Ingraham Trail with our sights set on kayaking to the popular backcountry destination: Hidden Lake.

In order to successfully camp at Hidden Lake, we would have to load up our (inflatable) kayaks with all of our food, clothing and camping equipment, kayak across Prelude Lake to a short portage over some rapids, paddle a short distance across Cameron River, portage over some more rocks and through some trees, paddle once more over a small lake to the grand finale of all portages leading (finally) to Hidden Lake.

We when arrived at our jump-off point, we unloaded the car and began inflating our vessels. The plan was to take two double kayaks so we could each have our own vessel packed with our own equipment. Unfortunately, we soon discovered that one of the brand new kayaks already had a hole in it, rendering it completely useless for this particular camping adventure! We felt like we had come too far at this point to give up and were determined to attempt the trek regardless. Of course, we were slightly over-packed for being down to only one kayak so we carefully eliminated items that were not 100% necessary. We decided that if we made it to our destination, we would only stay one night.

We set off in our double kayak stuffed with 2 adults and all of our camping gear. The good news is that we successfully completed 2 of the 3 portages; the bad news is that it was a pretty big struggle and there was no way we were willing to attempt the 3rd and longest portage with our fragile air-filled boat. Luckily for us, there was a cute little island in the small lake after the 2nd portage which happened to have a rock beach perfectly fit for our little 2-person tent 🙂 This adorable little island also featured an active beaver lodge which was located on the opposite side of the island (thankfully). It was perfect, serene and we had the lake all to ourselves (aside from the beaver of course)! We thoroughly enjoyed our one night stay in our private oasis where the sun barely set. The following day, as we made our way back to the car, we promised ourselves never to attempt such a ridiculous adventure with such sinkable boats! SO many important lessons learned… We are looking forward to Hidden Lake Redemption, Featuring: A Real Canoe.

Along with endless backcountry adventure opportunities, Yellowknife summers also offer amazing outdoor music festivals. The summer of music kicked off at the end of June with the EDGE Solstice Slam which took place at the Folk on the Rocks Beer Garden stage featuring some local talent including Erebus and Terror. The venue is a sandy stretch of rocky shoreline along Long Lake which is located a short bike ride from the city centre.

The highlight of summer music in Yellowknife is the Folk on the Rocks festival which features 3 days of non-stop (mostly) Canadian-roots musical performances. The 2016 festival did not disappoint! Our favourite performers included Lauren Mann, Tasman Jude, the Midnight Sons Band, Iskwe, Slowcoaster, the Barr Brothers, and Joel Plaskett Emergency. We had such a blast that weekend.

Other noteworthy summertime events included the Yellowknife International Air Show which featured the Snow Birds; the Old Town Ramble & Ride – a celebration of art and culture in Old Town featuring art vendors, musical performances, poetry readings, crafts, food vendors, and more.

The summer in Yellowknife was hot, sunny, loads of fun, and just getting started…

Adam & Amanda

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