My cable TV channel lineup is proof enough; I enjoy a regular feed of documentary material. Forget an afternoon of “downhill”, or a “grand slam”. Park me where I can learn something.
This afternoon, I boarded ship with Billy Connolly. North of 60… north of 70… more. A chance to see the Northwest Passage, up close and chilly. What with the change in ice pack, there are now cruise ships making the long haul westward. Billy is quick to point out how times have changed. The story of the ill-fated Franklin expedition, done in by lead from their tinned goods. The sight of one young man, exhumed more than a century after the fact; still recognizable (as such). Cold preserves.
Down a permafrost well, where the fish stocks are stored (dog food for the working pack). Out into the tundra, where a long gun (registered or not) is required as protection against roaming polar bears. Billy was willing to watch, but he wisely drew the line at roaming among the roamers. And then a swing south, on a truck that runs up and down the Dempster Highway with loads of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Billy took the requisite banjo breaks before trying his hand at running a sluice pipe. Gold fever, a century after the rush. Yes, there’s still money to be made, but the amount of physical effort and discomfort convince me that I’m better off poor and dry. Best reason for watching a documentary.
All the way along, I kept thinking that the host is a down to earth kind of fellow. Probably will never meet him, but he spins a good tale. Just saying.