Sunday, 20 November 2016

Apex house-sit/stay-cation

Aaron and I spent the last week on what felt like a mini-stay-cation. We were invited to house sit for friends who have a lovely home (and a dog!) out of town in the community of Apex. Although we continued going to work, I felt as though I was on vacation and spent much time relaxing and gazing in awe at the view over the beach and Frobisher Bay.
Mid-afternoon sunset 
This morning, I was shovelling the driveway. The temperature rose from -25 to -1 within a few days this week and we got heaps of snow! As I shovelled in this balmy weather, I listening to the ravens swooping overhead, popping, crackling, cawing to each other. This is my last morning of my stay-cation/house-sit and I wanted to write to express my gratitude for being surrounded by such beauty.

Raven at sunset
Apex is a small community outside of Iqaluit. Apex was the site of the former Hudson Bay company who opened a trading post here in the 1950s, several miles away from the US air base that eventually became known as Frobisher Bay and now Iqaluit. Apex is around the point and over the hill from Iqaluit. Driving out of the city of Iqaluit, there are only several minutes of openness with no houses or buildings before arriving in Apex. While the current dump marks one end of the road, Apex marks the other end of the road, literally at another but no longer used dump. Apex is now home a great little elementary school (Nanook School), the territory's largest women's shelter, a community hall, a couple of small businesses and about 60 families. A quick Wikipedia search provides more information about the history of the community.

On the beach at low tide, looking over at Apex.

Our friends purchased a model pre-fabricated home that sounds like a bit of a pilot project to provide alternatives due to the short construction time for housing (between the time the ice melts and the first shipment of materials can arrive in July and the cold weather in October). The bungalow feels so spacious and elegant compared to our small apartment. As some blog readers have commented on the utilidor, I want to mention that Apex is not connected to the utilidor. All the houses get regular visits from the water and sewage trucks (not to be confused) to refill and pump-out. I have been mindful to keep those entry points on the house well cleared of snow. Each house has a pair of red lights that light up when the refill and pumping out takes place. You can see them glowing in the evening throughout Apex.

Red light on at the neighbour's after recent sewage and water truck visits. Old Hudson Bay buildings to the right.
The house overlooks the beach and the large picture windows provide an absolutely incredible view of Apex, the bay, the tides, the ice ad the mountains in the distance. Through the window, I can watch the sunrise over the hill, move in a low arch then set over the bay (at 2:30 today). I am very aware of tilt of the earth and the change of daylight in this season.

Morning high-tide. Turquoise waters over the ice.

Can you spot the dog? He is trying to spot the ball.
I have also enjoyed spending time with their dog Jasper. His favourite hobbies are laying on pillows on the couch, stretching out to take all the room in bed, bringing you toys and slippers and racing after a ball on the beach. The first evening I walked him, I was thrilled by the moonlight on the ice pack and the bouncing red light on Jasper's collar, lighting up the snow. We have made a funny pair playing fetch. I throw the ball with my limited skills that are greatly reduced with clunky mitts and watch carefully where it lands. Jasper races around in all directions, seemingly oblivious to the actually point where the ball landed in the snow. He digs in snowbanks and runs in circles until he finds it or I dig it out for him. The first time Aaron went out with Jasper, Aaron kept throwing the ball then fetching it as Jasper ran in excited circles, digging in all the wrong places. I am sure the spring will bring great lost ball discoveries for the ball-obsessed dog.

Laura says we should get a dog. I agree. But alas, we just moved and our new apartment in pet-free. I will just have to keep coming back for more Jasper walks and visits.
Keeping track of Jasper on evening walk (6 pm).