I was sleepy for a week after I moved to Fort Liard. I thought it might have just been the long drive, but I noticed the same thing happened to people who came to visit me from smoggy places. They all remarked on the quality of the air. Our bodies weren't used to breathing the clean, oxygen-rich air and our now over-oxygenated bodies were intoxicated from the fresh air. When I travelled south and stepped off the plane in just about any city, I couldn't help but notice the thickness and foul smell of the air.
And then I moved to Whitehorse: the ultimate compromise for those who need to live in a city and still want to have all of the goodness of northern living. And the air is good.
This time of year, when I stick my head out of the door in the morning, I gag. Nearly four kilometers away as the raven flies is an asphalt plant. The plant belches big billowy plumes of asphalt smoke that drift with the prevailing winds, down the valley, right to my neighbourhood.
It smells worse than Ottawa ever did.
Sometimes it's almost impossible to bike down Robert Service Drive (near the asphalt plant), just because of the low-lying, choking haze. That's bad enough, but to smell that bad almost four kilometers away? There's really no excuse.
So much for living in the north for its air quality.
Does anyone else out there have a problem with the emissions from this hydrocarbon fart facility?