Fort Resolution quickly became my favourite little community in the Northwest Territories after a short stay this summer. It is beautiful, the people are wonderful and the town was an unexpected delight.
This post, along with a couple I have written in the past and a couple more I plan to write in the future are part of a series that came from a summer road trip right here in the Northwest Territories. A good friend and I loaded up my jeep and explored the South Slave and Deh Cho regions for 14 days. You can read all these posts by checking out the nwtroadtrip tag.
While traveling on Highway 6 we were planning on spending the night at Little Buffalo River Territorial Campground. What we weren’t expecting was for it to be full. The plan quickly changed and we continued on to see what we could find in Fort Resolution. It was still mid-afternoon the day after the summer solstice, so we were not worried about losing sunlight. The road was dusty and temperature hot. There was not a lot of traffic coming or going and we thought we were pretty much alone in the middle of nowhere, until we hit the road construction. Two lovely ladies working as flaggers and driving the pilot car informed us that they were resealing the last 30 kms of the highway. It took us almost an hour before we finally rolled into Fort Resolution.
My first impression of the community was much like when I drive through a small Alberta town. It was quiet, with not a lot happening. There were only a few people in their yards doing this or that, but not moving to fast. There was this overwhelming sense of relaxation or laid-back feel to the community. I, personally, instantly connected with the community in this way.
We drove right through town and ended up on Mission Island right away. It is a point of land that stretches out onto Great Slave Lake, just past the community. It was beautiful. A road circled right around the island and we discovered a small retreat camp along the way. The water of Great Slave Lake seemed so much different from the waters in Yellowknife Bay. It wasn’t rough and untamed; it was calm and shallow. Rocky beaches stretched as for as the eye could see.
Back in town we drove up and down the few streets that make up Fort Resolution. The sky was deep blue with streaks of thin white clouds, the colours of the houses and landscapes popped; making the community seems vibrant and fresh.
At the tiny Northmart we had our first encounter with the locals. A couple seemed to be running the store, a lady was manning the cashier position, while her husband was stocking shelves. I enjoyed talking with her about this simple life. We asked the couple about where we should camp. When we mentioned Mission Island looked like a good spot we were advised against it, or rather no one ever did because of bears. We did anyways.
After exploring more of the town site, old buildings and ceremonial sites we found our campsite on Mission Island looking out over Great Slave Lake right where the sun was going to set. It was a surreal feeling, not being in a campground, being exposed to untamed natural and seeing the sun set on one of the longest days of the year. A fire crackled as the day drew to a close.
Morning came with the sounds of birds chirping around us. In true camping tradition, the first thing that gets done in the morning is the coffee. The Coleman was fired up and the coffee percolating when all of a sudden a car drove up onto the beach. We assumed they would just turn around upon seeing us but they didn’t. Out got a young lady and her dog. She was just out for the morning to let for dog go for a run and also wasn’t expecting to find anyone. Northern hospitality quickly kicked in and we all shared coffee around the fire, talking and swapping stories.
I don’t know why I’m truly amazed by the friendliness of this little community because I feel like I shouldn’t be. We were treated exactly how I would hope a tourist visiting Yellowknife feels. These fine folks displayed many great traits that make my memories of Fort Resolution wonderful. From the young lady on the beach to the store clerks, or the gentleman who stopped in his car to ask us if we needed help to everyone that gave us the 3 finger wave as we drove past. Yes, Fort Resolution has their own wave, which I am calling the “3 finger wave.”
Fort Resolution is a place I would like to spend more time. It is a special place and if ever you find yourself driving on Highway 6, I suggest you go all the way to the end and stop in this community, even if just for the view of the lake.
Have you been to Fort Resolution, NT?