Yellowknife is not very high on most people's where I want to go most list, if it is on there at all but I can tell you that it should be right there on the top.
My first introduction to Yellowknife was when I was on a shoot for a major Canadian Construction Company. They had sent me to Yellowknife for one day to get some shots of work they have done. It is a long way to go just for one day.
I probably would never have returned to Yellowknife had it not been for my dear wife's fascination with Canada first and the North second. We went to spend a week there together. I quickly discovered that it was a photographer's paradise, the place is uncommonly rich with an astounding history and one of the most distinctive places in the world.
Perhaps the most famous name associated with Yellowknife. Is Movie Star Margo Kidder who starred in the first Superman Movie. Another name that is equally well known all over the world, is that of Max Ward, the founder of Wardair, a great airline while it lasted.
Max Ward whose story makes fascinating reading has had an almost life long love affair with Yellowknife. A very large part of that story is the Wild Cat Café. The distinctive little cafe has been a hang out like no other for many, many years. When the pages of the Opening of Canada's North by Bush Planes & Pilots and adventurers were being written and Yellowknife becoming the float plane or bush plane capital of the world, the Wild Cat Café was a meeting place where the tall tales of aviation exploits floated around it's single room on the wafts of cigarette smoke.
Today the Wild Cat Café is or at least it was because I was there several years ago a favorite tourist haunt. The history of this little place is nicely laid out in the Max Ward Story. Max was one of the brave men who lived the story of opening of Canada's North with the Bush Plane. One of his planes is mounted on a permanent pylon at the airport and there is another one in the museum.
Yellowknife is an incredible city with so much to see. It's personality is likely the most unique you could ever find. As a pilot myself I really loved to watch the planes come and go at the float plane basin. There is something about a plane on floats that gives it a sense of wonderful adventure that no other plane has. The single engine plane you can see here is one of the most important bush planes ever built. it was a true workhorse, for that matter it still is. It's called "The Beaver'' it has magnificent lines. The other plane with the red stripe is an "Otter" a bigger cousin you might say. To see either one of them in the air is to see actual history in flight.
The geography of the North is very diversified and the contractors up there do not shy away from any challenge. You will notice the house being built right up the side of a hill. I have traveled a great deal and I have never seen that before. I remember that when we saw the house I marveled at it for awhile then it hit me all you would need is a slide on one side and an escalator on the other and you have got it made.
Yellowknife was a very booming place. When I was there several years ago, mining, bush flying, building. If I could still walk and travel I would go back there anytime.
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