An inch-and-a-half off the ground, the Dettah ice road is a bustling hive of industry and adventure. Hovercrafts zip across the ice, dog sleds mush over the bumpy snow, helicopters buzz through the air. At least that’s how it seems if you’re following Yellowknifer Danna Merrigan on Twitter.
Almost every day since the ice road opened for the season, Merrigan has been snapping pics of toy figurines posed on the frozen ground on her way to and from work at Dettah’s Kaw Tay Whee School. It all began three years ago, as an attempt to amuse her two-year-old son, Kagan.
“He wasn’t too impressed his Tonka truck was out on the ice, but I liked it,” says Merrigan, who had moved to Yellowknife the previous year from Ontario. “The whole idea of the ice road was so amazing for someone from out of town.”
To the delight of friends and family around the country, she started posting her shots on social media and has been doing it regularly since. Her son, now six, is starting to get a kick out of his mom’s pet project – and more exciting Lego to boot! Though, Merrigan admits, “sometimes it’s like ‘This is momma’s set, go play with your set.’”
Dozens if not hundreds of photos later, what’s her favourite?
“Back in the beginning, there was a little toy snowmobile that my mom thought was real. She was convinced my husband had gone and bought a snowmobile.”