The Daily Snap – August 26

©Darwin Wiggett - Gardening in Dawson City, Yukon

I have been to the Yukon on six different trips. It remains my favorite destination in Canada to visit. Every time I come back from the Yukon, I have the strongest urge to move there–it just takes hold of my soul–the light, the landscape, the people, the history, they all conspire to drive me north. In the past practical considerations and logistics prevented me from moving. But now there is really no excuse. Samantha and I make a living at photography and as long as we have an internet connection, we can make this living anywhere in the world.

Two years ago in August Sam, Brando (our dog) and I went to the Yukon for a month to do serious photography. It was a working trip so we were up for sunrise and went to bed after sunset (the ‘night’ time in between these events was obscenely short). In 2008, the Yukon had one of the wettest years on record (not typical) and so most days we were met with rain. In spite of the soggy conditions and the fact that we lived in a tent and traveled in a small car with a farting dog, Sam fell in love with the the Yukon as well (it was her first trip).

Last year, Samantha won a major photo contest and the prize was a two-week adventure trip for two to the Yukon. We were thrilled. We decided to make this trip a holiday and an exploration of the territory as a candidate place to live (photography was not a priority this time). Sure we took a couple of cameras (the G11 and the Rebel) but mostly we were tourists making snapshots and trying to experience the Yukon as people rather than as photographers. We had amazing weather and met wonderful people. We spent a lot of time talking with people who live in the north and why they loved it or hated it (it was unanimous love by all ). We looked for and found tons of art and culture. We sampled the daily lives of Yukoners. We wondered if we would fit in. We really found no reason why the Yukon would not be a good fit for us.

And so… the lure of the north grew stronger. Are we moving? We might, but we have not decided 100% yet. Maybe we’ll pursue a house exchange with a Yukon resident first. A year in the north would a really good final test. Stay tuned….


16 Responses to “The Daily Snap – August 26”

  1. I can relate to your love of the North, the people and the place, Darwin. From my first visit to the Arctic in 1967 to recently, June 2010, the North’s magic continues to pull at my soul. Making the move north from family and friends down south is a tough decision. I wish you, Sam and Brando well with the tough decision before you. Whatever you decide, life will continue. All the best.

  2. By the way, loved the picture of “Gardening in Dawson City, Yukon”. It imparts a real sense and feel for the place.

  3. It does sounds like such a beautiful place to live. That is what’s great about what both of you do for a living you can really live wherever you want. Trying it out for a year sounds like a good test as well and a great experience. I have read your previous blog about the place and I also read Sam’s recent post. Life’s too short and really what’s a year out of your lives.

  4. Pierre Dunant Says:

    I fell in love with the Yukon when I first saw Stephen Krasemann’s photos of Kluane in the late eighties. Twenty-something years later, I’ve yet to make it there. I’ve worked and traveled in Nunavik and Baffin Island and must say that I dearly miss the people I met there. The North has a very special appeal, not unlike anchovies! It’s love or hate! Go for it guys, Alberta will always be there and the North is changing fast. Like John says “whatever you decide, life will continue.”
    Meilleurs Voeux!

  5. What an exciting moving prospect. You both love it, love the people, love the culture … it sounds like the place is drawing you both there.

  6. If you and Sam head North it will be a loss for the Calgary and area photographic community . That said, if you move, good for you three – this is a great country and I have never regretted any of the places I’ve lived in it.
    If you go, I’m looking forward to the images you share and, hopefully, the photography tours you offer.

  7. Follow your hearts you two. Only you can decide what’s right for you. As John Greenleaf Whittier said,”Of all sad words of tongue and pen the saddest are these, what might have been.”

  8. Hi Darwin, I second what Peter said, Follow your hearts, and at the same time bring us back more stunning images 🙂

  9. After reading that … I think you should heed Nike’s advice! I have been a northerner of somewhere in three different countries and can’t imagine a worse fate than not being able to say that! Best regards and good wishes.

  10. P.S. There is almost nothing more important in life than feeling a sense of belonging to a place!

  11. in all the places i’ve ever lived, I’ve never seen a white picket fence. I love all the wonderful colors you’ve got going on here. I’m also actually quite envious of that mini-farm too 🙂

  12. When you follow your heart happiness will be by your side. No matter the decision I wish you both the best. (Now I may have to travel another couple thousand miles to make it to a workshop) 😉

  13. If you have the chance to be where and do what you love, and then move onward to do what you love somewhere you love even more, what a fantastic opportunity! Either way I can see the potential for satisfying both head and heart.

    As Pierre said, the North is facing dramatic changes. It could be a vital time to be there. Wishing you clear insight as you think it all through…

  14. Wow, what a tough decision, but as they say Home is where the Heart is….so if you find that the north holds your heart I say go for it. I have lived in Edmonton for 30 years, but really have never felt that it was home. I have yet to find that place. Hmmm Maybe I need to go to the Yukon!! I know people who live there and love it. I feel a trip coming on.

  15. The Yukon has got to be pretty much my favourite place in Canada. Spent a lot of time there over the past few years, and it definitely “gripped me”. Everyone’s experience is different, but knowing your amazing, creative eye, I could only guess you’ll find the place to be a huge inspiration.

  16. It takes all kinds of humans to survive this planet. Living as I do in rural Alberta is bad enough in terms of surviving the long, dark and intensely cold winters here and they pale in comparison to the climate of the Yukon.No doubt of it, the wilderness is a beautiful beast but it can bite and bite deeply. Being there in Spring and Summer is not really a good preparation for 6 months of Arctic Winter. Of course some of us had ancestors who are genetically pre-disposed to live in the northern climes and others of us..not! You can presume that I am not. I am sure that your readers will look forward to your winter images IF you and camera gear can manage them.

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