It has been a while but we made it. We arrived in Inuvik yesterday and went as far North on the road as possible in Canada. We left Dawson City on Saturday to satisfy our urge for adventure. The Dempster Highway stretches 740 km through some of the most beautiful wilderness scenery. The gravel road winds over two mountain ranges, crosses the continental divide three times, passes through three natural regions and traverses the Arctic Circle, loosely following the old dog team routes on its way to the great Mackenzie Delta.
The first two nights we stayed at Tombstone Territorial Park. It was rather cold the second day with some snow that we encountered on a hike on the Goldensides trail. Thank God there was an enclosed picnic shelter on the campground that we heated up with the woodstove inside. If you heat it up they will come. Soon other tent campers were joining us and we got to know a lot of interesting people. Two older ladies from Quebec were actually sleeping in the Picnic Shelter and I chopped wood for them so they had enough supply for the night – they were so thankful.
After two days at Tombstone we continued in the hope of finding better weather. But it was raining soon and the road turned to mud, which can be very dangerous. But soon it cleared up and we made it to Rock River Campground. We were exhausted and Feli had it – just one comment I will remember forever. She said: “Why are we doing this shit?” Good question – but I think we enjoyed it. We met Malcolm as well at the campground who lives in Newfoundland and is doing the Dempster on his bicycle, what an amazing thing to do. Compared to him we were traveling in a luxury.
It is a challenge, but it is really cool to see how the vegetation changes, you see the tundra, pass the Arctic Circle and you are almost at the Arctic Ocean. The most amazing thing on our way up were the clouds and how different lights reflect on the Tombstone and Richardson Mountains – just a gorgeous sight.
The good news so far before we are heading back: no break downs and no flat tires. The Dempster Highway is known for tough on tires and lots of people have to deal with flat tires.
We will explore Inuvik today and then head back on the Dempster to Dawson City. The 24 hours daylight right now is tough as well, we are not used to that at all – very strange. But it shows you how diverse and big this country is. There is one person per 30 square km living here in the North West Territories. So except for Prince Edward Island and Nunavut we have seen every province and territory now. I love this country!!!!
It will take us at least three days again so the next post will have to wait again when we have access to Wi-Fi again.
Yes it was indeed a challenge, not to say that we, as well as our bikes look like we went through a mudbath!! To enjoy the scenery and at the same time avoid potholes is not so easy. We encountered a big black bear on the road, stopped to let him pass but he came running right at us. Only after Heinz honked the horn wildly and yelled at him did he turn around and disappeared in the bush. Phew!!!
Many times did I ask myself why am I doing this but then again it is an accomplishment and the scenery is truly magnificent. So now we have to go back the same way…one more challenge!!