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Putting down roots

Dorothy Westerman
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Nov 01/04) - Some day he may be selling ice cream on a South Pacific island but for now, Joe Wolfe of Inuvik is very happy with his life in the North.

"I drove from Vancouver to Inuvik," Wolfe said of the day five years ago when he headed North, seeking a change of pace from city life.

"Every day the weather got worse and worse," he laughed.

But after adjusting to the chilly clime, Wolfe quickly warmed up to his new environment.

"It's the first time I've lived in a small town before," he said.

"It becomes like a family after awhile. Everybody waves."

Wolfe said he has experienced a lot of firsts since his arrival in Inuvik.

"I didn't even know what a Ski-doo was before I came up here. Now, I've built a cabin on a lake and I like fishing," he said of his pastimes.

Thanks to his initiative, this year Wolfe became king.

King of Clean, that is, as the owner of a new carpet and furniture cleaning business that serves the entire Beaufort-Delta area.

It appears that Wolfe's original plan of living in the North for only two years has gone awry but he seems content to stay here long-term.

"After awhile you make friends and it becomes home and your old home becomes forgotten," he said.

"When you move and have to say goodbye to your friends, there is a point in your life when you want to stop doing that."

So Wolfe is putting down roots here, at least for now.

One thing he has learned is to never say never.