, pub-1183232341631896, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 We Discover Canada And Beyond: Yukon and Alaska Bound, Part 17 - Dempster Highway, Eagle Plains to Inuvik
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16 November 2014

Yukon and Alaska Bound, Part 17 - Dempster Highway, Eagle Plains to Inuvik

Dempster Highway North to Inuvik

Yukon Landscape.
Wonderful Landscape

Anders and Liz at the Arctic circle sign.
We are at the Arctic Circle
On July 4th 2014 we wake to sun and clouds, it is around 13C. We have a nice breakfast at Eagle Plains Motel before we leave.

We are on the road around 8:30 am and the road is in pretty good condition. Some sections are a bit wet but nothing like the day before.

We arrive at the Arctic Circle "Lat 66° 33' N" and some pictures are in order. This region in June receives as much solar energy as they do around the equator. It is less intense here, but is compensated by the long days.

The "Porcupine Caribou Herd" winters here around the 408 Km mark. Right now in July it looks pretty empty, but it must be an incredible sight to see when the 169,000 animal herd migrates through here.

The Porcupine Caribou or Grant's Caribou is a subspecies of the Caribou found in Alaska and adjacent parts of Canada. The Porcupine Caribou migrates over 2,400 km from this point to the calving grounds on the Beaufort sea.
Landscape where 169,000 porcupine caribou herd winters.
Imagine 169,000 caribou here

Beautiful landscape close to Northwest Territories.
Breathless beauty.
 This is the longest land migration on earth by any mammal.

Picture of river from truck driving over the river.
River Crossing

Moose in the bush.
Moose in the bush.
Apparently there are still some Grizzly bears around here. All we could see and find was some bear scat.

We are getting closer to the pass crossing from the Yukon in to the Northwest Territory. The fog is getting so thick that we are crawling along at about 15 km per hour and with four way flashers going. We eventually get out of the "milk soup".

Along the way we encounter a big moose. She had one look at us and booted off into the Black Spruce and underbrush.

Further on, on top of a hill we encounter an airstrip that is part of the road, all in gravel of course. Multipurpose, airstrip and road at the same time.

Besides Black Spruce, green, brown or burnt, there are also Tamarack or Larch trees. Tamarack trees, like the Black Spruce also have needles, but loose those needles in the fall after turning golden yellow.

We are now at NWT Km 74 and take a small ferry across the Peel River. This ferry is free (BC Ferries take notice !). We were the only clients. Arriving on the other side of Peel River we are in Niainlaii Territorial Park and we stopped at their info center.

We had a good look around, and enjoyed a cup of their complimentary tea. A very nice local native man was looking after things. He was extremely knowledgeable. Some muddy and wet tourist on a motorcycle with a side car also stopped by. Would not be my way of travelling.

We drove into the nearby town of McPherson. It looked pretty sad.

Further on we came to another river crossing, the mighty Mackenzie. The ferry ride is longer then over the Peel River and it was a bit choppy. The ferries run in spring, summer and fall. When it starts to freeze over the ferries stop, and eventually Ice-road are built across these rivers.

Wonderful country side
Fog creeping over the mountain.
Fog at the high plataue

Sign: "Welcome to Northwest Territories" fog is very thick.
Welcome to the Northwest Territory. It is milk-soup up here.
The Mackenzie River mainstem runs 1730 km long and 4,200 km from its head waters in British Columbia to the Beaufort Sea.

The river flows in a Northerly direction in to the Arctic Ocean.

The river is around five km wide at its widest part.

A fairly shallow river, and it is most of the time between 8-9 meters.

The watershed that encompasses the Mackenzie River is the largest in Canada at 1,805,200 km²

Let's talk mosquitoes for a while. As long as the wind is up and blowing, no problem, but for you ladies that have to squat down in the bushes where there is no wind, be prepared!

We eventually arrived in Inuvik and checked in at the Arctic Chalet. We had a quaint little cabin. Be prepared, up here there is not luxury. You are in the far north now.

Ferry crossing over Peel River
Ferry across the Peel River

Local man at the info center.
Info Center in Nitainlaii Territorial Park

Anders having a cup of tea.
Anders enjoying some tea

BBQ on the porch.
BBQ on our porch

Liz inside cabin.
Liz in our cabin.

Anders at counter talking to info center staff.
Friendly staff in Inuvik Info Centre.

Liz outside info center in Inuvik.
Liz outside the info center in Inuvik

Going shopping in Inuvik.
Shopping in Inuvik
All services in Inuvik are above ground and houses are sitting on stilts or blocks.

We went in to town and picked up some chicken. At the cabin we fired up the BBQ on the porch. The sun does not go down up here for 6 weeks in the summer. Life is good.

For more pictures check out our on line album.

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Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs post from our Yukon and Alaska Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you.

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