Tuesday, December 29, 2009

N.W.T. Trip – 2005 –back to Hay River

The problem with driving to Yellowknife – is you have to drive back from Yellowknife.  There is no nice ‘circle route’ or anything like that.  The morning we were to leave we woke up to rain…so hit the road bright and early…


and here we are…heading out of town…with one final look at that pink ‘pre-Cambrian’ rock… it was such a dismal day that we just didn’t stop….

1c Wood Bison2

or at least only briefly when we had to, to allow herds of Bison to cross the highway…


and for a fuel fill up at the large truck stop type gas station at Fort Providence…


then it was back to the ferry…like the ferries we encountered this past summer on the Peel and Mackenzie Rivers, these too have no ‘ramp’ but just run up onto the shoreline….


We made it across before Dave and Dianna, that is our trailer up there in the distance and these are the log skids that the ferry is docked on for the winter…..


Dave and Dianna are over there, on the far shore, in the gloom….

Our goal now was to head east, first to Hay River and then south east,into Wood Buffalo National Park, and ultimately Fort Smith…


The first stop, after getting back onto the Mackenzie Highway, was at Lady Evelyn Falls Territorial Park…it was now lunchtime and past time to stretch our legs…

You’ve probably noticed a recurring theme of this trip – Waterfalls – and in fact the Deh Cho Connection is known as the ‘Waterfall Route’.


and these are Lady Evelyn Falls as seen from the viewpoint.  It was still dull and drizzly, but that didn’t deter us from taking the rather hazardous trail…


this is only just one very small section….


to where we had a ‘water level’ view of the falls…


here is another section of the trail, with Wintergreen growing alongside…in fact the vegetation was very reminiscent of what we have back here on the ‘wet coast’


here is a closer look at one of the Wintergreen flower stalks..

I’ve mentioned before the facilities found in N. W. T. Campgrounds….and there was a campground located at this spot…just had to take some pictures….


Here are the washroom/shower facilities…complete with hanging baskets – real flower – not fake…


a peek inside..


one of the shower stalls….


and back outside…the Day Use building for if the rain or the bugs get the better of you – actually I haven’t mentioned the bugs lately, they hadn’t really been an issue in Yellowknife, and besides, after a while you just sort of get used to them….

We could have stayed here but time was going by and we had more country to cover, so headed back onto the Mackenzie highway, turning off of it at Enterprise, onto ‘The Great Slave Route’


we were now traveling through the area known as the slave lowlands.


that is Dave and Ernie out there, contemplating the ‘flatness’ of the scene…


and finally, by the time we reached the Hay River Territorial Park and Campground, in the late afternoon, the skies had cleared and the sun was once more shining.  This is part of the beach at the campground and that, of course, is Great Slave Lake.


this view would be looking in the other direction…there was a much more developed beach and picnic area over there….


I can’t remember for sure, but I think we must have taken advantage of the amenities this fairly large ‘small town’ had to offer….such as a Laundromat…as I had taken this picture of our wash hung out to dry..


there is April….enjoying the sunshine…and obviously, no bugs…since we had the screen door wide open!


we now had time to sit back and relax for a bit and evaluate how the rigs were doing….apart from this ‘sandblasting’ all seemed fine.

2 Ten.Warb.

I had time to wander around and find another ‘Lifer’…this Tennessee Warbler….


and Ernie and Dave were thrilled to discover the Hay River Shipyards, and in there, a couple of boats they had both actually worked on when they had worked in North Vancouver.

It may seem strange for there to be shipyards here….but actually the railway comes to Hay River from Alberta, and from here provisions are shipped, usually by barge, to places all along the Mackenzie River, such as Inuvik.  In fact, when we had been in Inuvik, we were told that their years supply of fuel comes up the river, by barge, from Hay River, as soon as the river is navigable so the importance of this little town is immediately obvious.

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