Ambassador Jacobson is blogging live from Inuvik in the Northwest Territories today. Visit again next week for the entire series of his trip across Canada’s north where he is learning about the area first-hand with other ambassadors as part of the “2011 Northern Tour for Heads of Diplomatic Missions” hosted by DFAIT, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and Parks Canada.
It’s an even smaller world than I thought. Last night I met three Chicagoans who were on quite an adventure. A few years ago, one of them had been in the hospital and someone gave him a book in which the main character drove to Inuvik. He always joked with the three other guys in his golf foursome that they should all drive there. Then one of them, Mike Allen, passed away and was cremated.
They decided that the four of them, the three living and Mike’s ashes, were going to rent an RV and drive to Inuvik to play a round of golf at midnight on the longest day of the year, June 21, which is possible since it is light for 24 hours a day here. I learned about them from an article in the local paper, the Inuvik Drum. I had to meet these guys.
I went over to the golf course. Turns out it is a three-hole affair with Astroturf greens. I met the three and was introduced to the urn with Mike’s ashes. There was a group of about 25 local people from Inuvik led by the mayor, who were putting on a BBQ for them.
They are great guys. They live near where I live in the Chicago area, and we had a number of friends in common. We had a beer together and they told me stories about their friend Mike. They had a trophy made from one of Mikes old shoes that they were going to leave at the course as a remembrance of their journey.
You can follow their journey on www.ourlongestdrive.com.
They told me that Mayor Emanuel in Chicago had proclaimed June 21st as the Mike Allen Longest Drive Day. I told them Mike was lucky to have friends like them. It was an amazing experience. While I love my job every day, this was very special.