Today was the beginning
of our travels up the Dempster Highway, very famous for its rough terrain and
potholes. We are prepared with extra
tires and supplies as we set out to travel 737 kilometres (458 mi) to Inuvik,
|Rainy Dempster drive|
That mileage begins once
we reach Hwy 5 after driving 64 km. to the junction from Dawson City, Yukon. It is very rainy and wet so the view will be
limited until we get past this part of the day.
Our temperature was 12C (53F) midmorning with very little improvement in the
weather all day.
|Muddy Dempster Highway|
This was the weather for
much of our day so we were not getting to see the great views. It was on our return when the weather was
better that we saw some incredible scenery and I will also share those photos here.
|Tombstone Interpretive Centre|
The Tombstone Interpretive
Centre is about 70 km up the Dempster in the Tombstone Territorial Park and we
made a stop here to have a look around the Centre. It is very interesting with lots of history
and information. The building itself is
also unique as it is ‘off the grid’ and exceeded the standards set by
Canada’s Green Building Council.
|Cow moose and calf|
Our next stop was at Two
Moose Lake where we had some lunch but as much as it is named due to the fact
that moose hang out here, there were none.
Back on the road again and we later saw a mother and young moose running
across a distant field. They are tundra moose, the largest in North America.
Our return trip
definitely gave us better views. We did
have clouds and some rain but nothing like we had coming up this way the week
before. It took us four days to reach
Inuvik and after our stay there it took three days to return to Dawson City.
|Fireweed lines the highway|
There are few camping parks along the way but we did stop at Engineer Creek Campground. It was filled with big trees so was a dark
park. It was still raining so hard and
although we had not seen any mosquitoes up to this point, there were gazillions
of them here. We didn’t even get out of
the truck and decided rather quickly we would move on.
|Gyrfalcon and nests|
We were able to see some
nesting gyrfalcons high on the rocks. We
had read they would be here, but unless one knew to look, they’d be very hard
to see. Thankfully, our leading guide
with the ‘eagle’ or shall we call it ‘falcon’ eye, spotted them. They are the largest falcon and are a bird of
prey. The female is the largest of the
two and they breed in the Arctic and tundra.
It was quite a thrill to see them.
|Beaver dam in roadside pond|
We saw several beaver
dams on our travels, and they all seemed so big. It would have been nice to see a beaver but
that didn’t happen. What we did see was a peaceful looking
lake along the roadside.
There was a pull out
called Elephant Rock rest area on the side of the road with no one else there
so we parked our vehicles and stayed for the night. The camera
lens could not see it but with the help of a telescope, I was able to get a
photo of Elephant Rock!
|Fishing on the Ogilvie River|
We were right on the
Ogilvie River so there was some fishing done.
The fishermen had some luck but did not keep any fish as it was ‘catch
and release’. This turned out to be a
great stop, no rain and no mosquitoes! We
had a campfire going and enjoyed the peaceful evening watching the river pass
The time went by and
before any of us realized it, it was almost midnight! And the sun was shining on the mountain
across the river. Sure could not miss a
photo opportunity like this.
Day one on the famous
Dempster Highway was completed and we did not have one flat tire. It was a great day in spite of the rain but thanks
to that, we sure did pick up a lot of mud on our vehicles! Wasn't the first time and wouldn't be the last, either.
Join us as we carry onto the Arctic Circle
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