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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Inuvik To Dawson.....A Wrap Up With Random Photo's.

Friday August 7th,Its time to get out of town and start that dusty 400+mile trip back.I've been having fridge problems for several days,so didn't want to waste too much time away from electricity as it seems to only work on that.The gas flame is there,but isn't doing the job.I keep trying different things,but am afraid to be experimenting at this point,so I keep it on electric until I hit the road then hope for the best.
The early morning run back to the first ferry was fog bound,really thick in some places,with the temperature just above the freezing mark.I had good timing for both ferries as they were loading just as I arrived.

It only took a few hours on the road to realize that the freezing compartment in the fridge was thawing out again.I hate losing all that food,but this is the second partial thaw and it may be time to throw it out.

I made good time as the fog was now behind me as I climbed back up onto the high plain.
The smoke was gone on this return trip,so It gave me a better look into the distance vista's.
The photo below was taken on the way north and it was my first sighting of the caribou.They were so far away that I had to look through the binoc's just to see what they were,and even at that distance,my stopping spooked them and they started to move up the hill.
Notice that nothing sits straight in the permafrost country.

I arrived back at the Arctic Circle rest area by lunch time,and pulled in figuring on having my lunch break.But just as I started in, a camper from P.Q. came in northbound and parked in the middle of the parking area,not giving me a place to park.So I moved on to the Eagle plain,my 2nd night stop coming north.
Don't you just love these people that come into these open ended rest areas and park in the middle instead of moving to the end and allowing others to come in behind them.
I had lunch and a short nap to revitalize for the afternoon's run that would put me only a short distance from the Klondike highway by nightfall.

Below is an example of things that are different in this part of the world.These are the fuel storage tanks at Eagle Plain.Again its a perma frost thing.
I made it to the Engineer's Govt. campsite,in the late afternoon,now in a light rain.This put me only a couple of hours to the end of the Dempster,for the next mornings run.
This campground and adjacent mountain was named after some of the Army engineers from the base at Chilliwack,B.C.who built 2 of the bridges in this area as a training exercise during the building of this highway.
Another early start,Saturday morning,more fog,really thick until the last 50 miles.I've never seen so many rabbits in my life that morning,jumping out in front of me.It seemed to be about one per minute for most of the 2 hour run.Same thing with birds the whole trip....They would fly out of the bushes right into my path, constantly.Several time's I had to slam on the brakes to avoid them.
Below is a shot of the big caribou herd near the Yukon/NWT border,on my trip up.
Well,mid morning Saturday and back on the pavement of the Klondike highway.Into the car wash at the junction and the big hose down.Then off to Dawson City,a half hour away.
So I asked myself......Now that its over........Would I take that trip again?....No.
Am I glad that I took it?.............YOOOOU BETCHA!
That, for anyone who really enjoys beautiful scenery,is a must,I will never regret taking that trip,even with all the dust related problems that road created.
And I must say....dust aside....That was for the most part one of the smoothest gravel/dirt roads that I've driven on...You could easily hold an 80/100 kmh average through most of it if you wanted to,but there's too much to see.The maintenance crews on both sides of the territorial border were constantly upgrading.I counted at least 6 big permanent maintenance camps along the whole route.These people need a big thumbs up for a job well done.
This will definitely be the biggest highlight of my trip.

Update....I'm now in Whitehorse again after a 1 day run from Dawson.The truck is long overdue for its 1st service check and I have an appointment at the Toyota dealer here for first thing this morning.Then to an auto glass place to get my first windshield ding repaired.....No I didn't get it on the Dempster......I got it in a 200yd construction area of the Klondike highway,yesterday.The speed limit was 50ks....I was doing 40ks because I saw a clown in a pickup coming the other way and he wasn't slowing down.......MAN!.......It was like a bullet.


  1. Hey Willy, I love reading your adventures and can't believe all the caribou that you have seen. We are headed to Alsaska next summer and looking forward to it...

    Safe Travels

  2. I really enjoyed following your trip. Terrific pictures today of the mountains etc. Seems kind of ironic to have your refrigerator thawing out north of the Arctic Circle doesn't it? Hope that's an easy fix, and inexpensive, fix. Good luck for the rest of the trip back down.