20.

Quickly and nimbly, I saw her move on the impressive pack of snow in our backyard. She was leaving her tiny footprints, in the lookout for the slightest movement around. By her, I mean the young marten who took up residence in our backyard and pleases my little eyes which can’t get enough curiosity of the surrounding wildlife.

December came apace. Since a bit more than a month now, the whole city is covered with a thick white carpet which makes it even more enjoyable. The outside temperature is around minus 20, which is rather soft for a day of December.

Coat, scarf and hat on, ready for exploration, I swallowed a glass of water in one go before heading to the front door. Before leaving, I take time to put my helmet on, tedious but vital step. Here, wearing a helmet while biking is mandatory and fair to fine. Gloves on, I finally put the nose out. Then I begin to get my best friend -my lover, my dear, in other words my* bike- out of its hidden spot. After a few minutes, I finally get on this stallion and bike cautiously toward the center of the city.

Halfway, I get off my bike and lean it to the bin of the “spherical” house. Indeed, in the front yard can be found a huge sphere made of used bicycle wheels; a fairly clashing work, and very resourceful. One or two knocks on the door were enough to get me in. Inside, I call it Alibaba’s kingdom; extraordinary inventions, all -or almost- achieved by using parts of bike, are sharing the space. My favorite invention is on one of the living room walls: a circuit made of bike spokes makes large colored balls move from top to bottom over and over again. It’s very rare that I do not turn this ingenious stuff on if I come in the living room area. But tonight I patiently waited in the lobby.

Shortly after my arrival out again I am, rushing to keep up with my fellow. It takes us about ten minutes to reach our home base: the Gold Rush. We are now used to come here every Friday night to enjoy live bluegrass. We got to arrive before 8:00 pm to avoid paying the cover so we never miss the chance to get here by 7:45 pm. No cover means more beer! We find a place without too much difficulty, and without delay, my fellow disappears towards the bar. He is back before I even have a chance to blink, a pitcher of beer in hand. The band is set up, and soon the first notes of music resound. The singer and the drummer are familiar. Whitehorse being a “small” city, musicians go on and off different bands, depending on their mood. It is therefore not uncommon to see the same musicians playing from one day to the other, except that most of the time, the composition of the band won’t be the same, which allows some variation. The beers are emptied and filled over the music. We discuss here and there in a friendly atmosphere, with our best English in mouth. It’s good to live in this place. Around 1:00 am, we take our respective bikes, a little shakier than at the beginning, and head to Riverdale residential area where we live.

A nice surprise is waiting for us on the way back. Arrived at the bridge which separates Riverdale from the heart of the city, where the lights are less intense, Aurora wraps her green dress around us. The sky dances to the rhythm of our pedal strokes. My childish laughter half alcoholic rings out. All eyes to this magnificent spectacle, we’re slowly making progress, shaky. We’ll continue our journey until we reach my home, accompanied all along by this amazing phenomenon that represent the Northern Lights.

Smiling, eyes full of stars, I go to sleep peacefully thinking about my new lover, the Yukon. This winter will be forever etched in my memory as the most beautiful winter I got to experience. This immensity, this force of Nature is much more magical and energizing than anything else. My Yukon, my beautiful Yukon.

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