Friday, December 25, 2009

N.W.T. Trip – 2005 – Sambaa Deh Falls

In my last post, I made reference to the fact that you shouldn’t disconnect your truck and trailer if you don’t need to….this mornings experience was the reason for that comment….as we prepared to head out once more, the mosquitoes were so thick you could barely breath…I made mad dashes for the truck with the dogs and anything else needed for the day…every time the door opened another cloud of them would swarm in…and out in all of this was Ernie, hooking up the trailer….they were so thick you couldn’t see, if you dared to open your mouth (to swear for instance)…in they flew!  We couldn’t get out of there fast enough! 

Back on the Liard trail all went well until we stopped in one of the many large pull outs…and discovered that Ernie’s brother, Dave, had a shredded tire on his fifth wheel…..


at least we’d left the mosquitoes behind…no bush close to hand, just wide open gravel parking



here Willie and April check out this weird thing….


While Dianna and Meko (the Pomeranian) took pictures of me…


taking pictures of the wild roses growing along side the ‘trail’…there was no traffic…you could wander at will on the ‘highway’ and it was flat enough you could see something coming from way off….


a bit further along this Northern Hedysparum (or something like that!) was growing….this is the same plant that was so spectacular along the sides of the highways in the Yukon…


the tire incident happened not too far from the junction of the Liard Trail and the Mackenzie highway.  You now have the choice of turning left to head to Fort Simpson and then, if you are really adventurous, carrying on to Wrigley.  We did neither this particular trip as we were fortunate, that right at the junction was a combination service station, tire store, restaurant and just about anything else, called ‘Checkpoint’


According to the Milepost, Checkpoint closed in 2007 and it’s current status is unknown….this is really too bad because it certainly was an ‘oasis in the wilderness’…for one thing, we were very leery of going too far with Dave now not having a spare tire for his fifth wheel….fortunately, ‘Checkpoint’ had one in stock, and the tools to mount it on the rim.  You have to remember too, that coming from the direction we had, with the exception of a very small store /gas station at Fort Liard, been absolutely nothing in the way of services.  I suppose it isn’t surprising that the place closed as I don’t recall the exact figure, but I know the owner did tell us what it cost him in diesel to run the generators to supply the electricity to run the place and it was astronomical…..


so with a new tire and a full stomach (we’d had hamburgers, complete with fresh lettuce and tomato and had asked where and how they got their supplies…apparently they emailed in their order by mid afternoon on Monday’s and Wednesday mornings their supplies would arrive, via truck – it is all ‘Truck’ up here – all the way from Edmonton, Alberta, a distance of about 1,200 kilometres (I looked it up and it is 636 miles from Edmonton to Fort Simpson), irregardless that is a lot of driving in that short a length of time….)

The next ‘civilization’ we would encounter would be at Fort Providence…but we planned to stop before that at Sambaa Deh Territorial Park


part of the area we now drove through was muskeg before climbing a bit to the drier countryside at


 Sambaa Deh Falls.  The campground is on the left of the highway if you are heading east as we were…


on the edge of the Trout River.  There was a hiking trail from the campground…


to these falls….known as ‘Fossil Fall’s’


the trail sort of petered out high on the cliff side over the falls….not to my liking at all!


heading back to the campsite, we dropped down to the shore….this shoreline is absolutely littered with ‘fossils’, hence the name of the falls.  It took only moments to find a hand full of ‘fossils’ – which you were allowed to keep provided you didn’t start digging them out of the rock…if they were just laying around, that was OK.


this was just one of the interesting rock formations along the side of the river.  There were some of these


wild Blue Columbines growing along side the trail as we headed back to the campsite.


speaking of the campsite, here it is…large ‘pull through’ spots and notice something missing?  no bush, just nice big tall trees….and that meant ‘NO BUGS’


threw this in to give you an idea of the facilities here – pretty nice huh?


OK, but where are the falls?  Well here they are…Sambaa Deh Falls…I’m standing on the highway to take this picture – notice the rainbow…


you could walk down either side of the falls….this is the east side, looking at the river after the falls as the falls are actually very close to the highway.


here is a cleft in the rocks that you had to leap over…that is the churning aftermath of the falls visible through the crack…


here you are looking back at the falls…you can make out the highway bridge through the spray..


now I’m on the other side looking back at where I’d been standing….I’m afraid there aren’t any really close pictures of the falls….suicidal I’m not!


That evening we took advantage of the nice ‘bug free’ weather and sat outside playing dominoes until….


Midnight!   (taken without a flash)

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