Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yukon Trip 2009 - Day 18 Part 1 - Inuvik return

So with the last posting, we had been camped at a very nice, but strange - in that we were the only ones and no one seemed to be 'attending' -campground about 30 km south of Inuvik. We went to bed that evening as planned but between the sun shining directly into our camper via the back door and then the fact that we started to hear vehicles driving into and around the campground, we became increasingly uneasy. We were parked in such away that we couldn't see the campground proper, and realizing that the R.C.M.P were 30 km away in town, that there was no cell phone service and not even any passing traffic as the ferries had stopped for the night, we realized we were in a very vulnerable position. After the 3rd time of hearing someone driving around we couldn't stand it any more and realizing neither of us were going to get any sleep as things were, we got up, got dressed, and decided to just drive towards the ferry...even if it meant sitting waiting in the truck for hours.

I took the above picture at 12:30 am when we decided to vacate the spot

We only drove for about 15 minutes when we reached Caribou Creek where we had had lunch on the way up. There was a day use area on one side of the creek and a small campground on the other, so we drove in there and instantly felt comfortable, there was also another vehicle parked there, one we recognized as we had been leap frogging each other for the previous week or so, so we parked, climbed in the back and instantly fell asleep - well after I took the above picture at approximately 1 am - just so you can see what midnight sun looks like.

Next morning after finally getting a good nights sleep, we were headed to the first ferry, knowing the road now we were comfortable driving it almost as fast as the locals do....basically there was about 90 km of the above ahead of us. To relieve the monotony we counted Snow-shoe Hares - 11 of them.

Made a brief stop at this small lake beside the road, just to take a look and the give the dogs a chance to have a bit of a walk.

This is the approach to the MacKenzie River. I assume the river must make a large arc to come back to Inuvik, must look at Google Earth one of these days and find out.

This is looking across the expanse of the river, from the other side. You can just make out a tiny white spec in the middle of the land....

That was these two highway maintenance trucks waiting to cross

This view is looking south west ...... We had been fortunate that we didn't even have to wait for the ferry, there were two vehicles just loading as we reached it, so we drove straight on.

off the other side and heading southward again towards the 2nd of the two ferry crossings. This picture shows you that dead trees aren't limited to B.C. I think these were Spruce trees, not Pine and the area would be part of the huge Boreal Forest

Just before reaching Fort McPherson we spotted some Sandhill Cranes at the side of the road....

It wasn't until our travels over the past few years, that I realized just how common Sandhill Cranes are, unlike Whooping Cranes, but it is still a thrill every time you spot them out in the wilderness.

The Peel River ferry was reached at noon.......

and quickly crossed - I love these 'on demand ferries!'

Since it was now lunch time we stopped at the first available spot, which happened to be beside a long chain of these mini-lakes or ponds, to make some lunch.

Part of the parking area was recently dried mud and there were all kinds of Sandhill Crane tracks in the mud, indicating that there must be quite the population of Cranes in the area.

also, very large Moose tracks (keys for comparison). The whole area was ideal Moose country and yet we never saw a single one.

While we were eating, this semi drove past, so just took this to show the dusty conditions encountered when ever a vehicle went by, which fortunately, isn't too often. We were now eager to be back to the 'scenic' area of the highway. I've indicated before that we wish to return to the Dempster, but when we do, I doubt we will do this section from the Peel River to Inuvik. Definitely if you've never done it, and you've come that far, then you should do it just to say you've done it....but now we have and I don't think we need to again.

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