Day 9 – Thursday, April 4, 2013
This is really Day 7 in reverse. We have started our trek towards home. We left Inuvik at -23C and snowing but it cleared up as we drove south. It had warmed up to -16C by the time we arrived in Eagle Plains. It was a great drive of about 370 kilometres. The Dempster is in very good driving condition. It is mostly smooth high grade frozen gravel and ice with varied and spectacular scenery and a couple of ice bridge crossings. Today we crossed both the Mackenzie and Peel river ice bridges.
We made a stop in Fort McPherson for coffee at the Northern store and also visited the local Fort McPherson Tent & Canvas Shop. They don’t carry too much stock but we got a brochure. We also made a stop at Margaret’s Handi-Craft Shop and ordered a small handmade gift for our granddaughter. Julie notes “pssst Don’t tell Melodie! It’s a birthday surprise.”
Margaret, a retired teacher, was busily making many more native crafts. Julie notes “She was excitedly working on a tiny pair of moccasins for a baby to be. Her work is beautiful and highly sought after.”
We crossed back into the Yukon and set the clocks back an hour. It was cold with a wind chill at the top of this pass where the boundary is located.
Julie was reading a brochure along the way about bear safety. They recommend you climb at least 4m up a tree to escape a grizzly. The unfortunate truth about that strategy, however, is that the trees are all 3 metres or less. Also, if the bear follows you up the tree, you will know it wasn’t a grizzly. haha Julie wanted to stop and practice.
Driving these long Canadian highways gives us plenty of time to have numerous ‘discussions’ on all matters related to the north. Is the Arctic circle a line or an area? Can you be in the Arctic circle or are you above or below the Arctic circle? How do you pronounce Inuvik? Who was the mad trapper of rat river? After one such ‘discussion’ Julie got out and decided to hitchhike. Julie notes “Well Brad said ‘it’s my way or the highway’ and since his way was wrong the highway was my only option.”
That’s it for today from Eagle Plains, YT. Off to Dawson City tomorrow after some family phone calls.