Road Tripping My Way to a Folk Festival

When I decided to move to a small town for the summer, one thing I thought that meant I would definitely miss out on was all of the summer concerts and music festivals my big-city buddies were squawking about excitedly months before summer rolled around.

Fortunately, the music gods seem to like me and as things turned out, Yellowknife, the capital city of the Northwest Territories, hosts Folk on the Rocks, an annual folk festival, and my buddies at the Northern Journal were able to hook me up with a free pass and weekend campsite (aww yeahh)!

With all of this taken care of, all I needed to do was survive the 9hour car ride from Smith to Yellowknife. Everyone who wasn’t in Southeast Asia for the past 4 months, where a 1hour flight can get you to about 5 different countries kept telling me that Yellowknife wasn’t too far away and that they went there for things like school track meets and stuff all the time. It wasn’t until pretty much the day before I left that I actually decided to check this “not far” distance out for myself. Turns out that this phrase is highly relative, and while in Singapore would mean 50km and about a 1/2hour of commuting, in the Northwest Territories means over 700km and 12hours of Google Maps driving (which follows the speed limit, which everyone knows is ridiculous).

To be fair, they build ice roads in the winter, so you don't have to curve around the lake, cutting the time down quite a bit

To be fair, they build ice roads in the winter, so you don’t have to curve around the lake, cutting the time down quite a bit

Nonetheless, the whole road trip + camping + music festival combo seemed like the perfect summer experience, and I was actually a little stoked to be spending that much time in a car. This ended up paying off, as like with any awesome road trip, it was filled with random events like the biggest bison crossing I (or, more impressively, anyone else in the car) had ever seen


A bison!? Wow, that's pretty cool!

One bison can be a fun bison.

TWO BISON are twice as nice though!

Now there’s two!? Whoo Hoo!

ELEVEN!? I'm in heaven

ELEVEN!? I’m in heaven!!

a large roadside collection of stuffed bears and rubber ducks (which began with an old bushman who used to put a teddy bear on a chair to signal to passing cars that he needed a ride into the closest, still 300km away-town)

Teddy bear picnic all day erryday!

Teddy bear picnic all day erryday!

Enjoying the teddies a bit too much maybe..!

Teddy love ^_^


Also a duck. Life = complete!

Also a duck. Life = complete!

midnight sunsets over Hay River


and a backseat camp out because EVERY SINGLE hotel room in the town of Hay River we planned to stop in was booked and it was midnight and everyone was too lazy to pitch a tent that late. Also, the fact that the car was filled with more soft objects than most pillow factories helped!

Soon enough, we had made it to Fred Henne Territorial Park, right outside Yellowknife and I realized that I easily could have actually bothered to set up camp the night before, because my tent went up in exactly 1 minute and 5 seconds. The extra time gave me enough to be able to do some ceremonial inuksuk building before a quick nap and heading off to the “big city”!

Complete with green afro-tastic hair!

Complete with green afro-tastic hair!



11 thoughts on “Road Tripping My Way to a Folk Festival

    • Yeah, the road going past was pretty much empty the whole way up, so I was definitely surprised to see that many people (a) had seen the display and (b) had a stuffed animal to add to the collection. It definitely made for a fun pit stop!!

  1. Wow, looks so exotic! A little bit like Finland… the same light. It must have been so different especially after spending so much time in Sth East Asia. Please post more photos.

    • Thanks for the comment, I was beginning to feel a bit like the only one who thought of northern Canada as exotic and not just cold and filled with open space – while I must admit that coming from South East Asia DID make for a particularly dramatic difference.
      I have a bunch more photos, so I’ll be putting up a lot in my upcoming posts.
      Thanks for following ^_^

      • I come from Finland, but I left it a long time ago.. When I go back there, I am always very astonished especially in the beginning: why are there so many trees, why is it so quiet, why are there so few people ;-) Maybe those regions, northern Canada, Lapland, northern Russia, are somehow more difficult to digest than others? It is easy to love Italy and the Caribbean, but one has to think further to realize the beauty of these wild regions… I don’t know! Anyhow, I will read your posts so please do more :-)

      • Coming to Northern Canada was definitely the same shock – the sheer amount of space (and daylight) was amazing. I also agree that they’re more of a subtle, acquired taste. There’s not as much instant gratification in visiting places like these compared to a busy city.

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