Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Back to the Dempster 2011 – Part 13

Today would be the day we would travel as far north as we intended to go this trip…

Ernie taking pictures of the Grizzly

We got up to sunshine….and Shantz alerted us to what Ernie is photographing…

Breakfast Grizzly

a Grizzly bear out on the tundra beside where we were camped….how close had it been to us?  Not sure i want to know!

White crowned Sparrow

there was one other sign of life before we left – a young White Crowned Sparrow…

another one just along the road

We got packed up and pulled out and headed north…hadn’t gone very far when another Grizzly was spotted up on the hillside….

The road ahead

We are now heading towards the Richardson Mountains…

Truck and Camper

Pulled over at the side of the road…we’d seen lots of birds flying up out of the tundra in this area…


a Richardson, or Arctic Ground Squirrel co-operated for a picture….

The tundra

alas the birds did not….obviously they were grouping ready to migrate and were very ‘spooky’.  The scenery stayed still – very ‘golden’ and very different looking than in the spring or early summer.

Richardson Groundsquirrel

further along we pulled into another large parking area where another ground squirrel was even more co-operative.

up close

Won’t hurt to throw in another picture – this particular type of ground squirrel is only found in these northern climes.

The Tundra

and here is another look at the golden and red tundra…


Finally one of those elusive birds – an American Pipit I think….I really don’t know what else was there


and now the Yukon/N.W.T. border – this would be our turn around point this trip.  After coming all this way we probably should have continued on but the dog was still having eye issues….

Berry Pickers

at this point there were numbers of persons out picking berries.  The entire First Nations people from Fort McPherson had taken the day off to pick cloud berries.  The women were picking and the men were patrolling with rifles….the reason – Grizzlies…like I’ve said many times, Grizzlies can appear out of now where on the tundra.  Also, Caribou had started moving through this area and the grizzlies follow the caribou.

Wright Pass

So at 11:30 am on August 25 (gee 5 months exactly from today), we turned around and started the long trek back towards home.  This is Wright Pass….just opposite the parking area at the border…

heading home

there is the highway….

A Pingo

that hill out on the tundra is a ‘Pingo’ a structure formed by ice heaving up…


We hadn’t gone very far when movement on the tundra caught my eye – a Wolf!  It was far off and moving quickly but did manage to get a picture of it…only the second time I’ve ever seen a wolf in the wild and the first time up here along the Dempster.

'till we meet again

and now, back at the Arctic Circle….we’ll be back – one way or another!

North of 60

a few more shots are called for….

The Arctic Circle

August 25, 2011 at the Arctic Circle.

Back at Ogilvie Ridge

and now back at Ogilvie Ridge…we’ll be down there in those mountains soon…

and into the Ogilvies

and into the Ogilvie's – notice the aspens have changed colour in just the last day…

Blackstone River

a stop at the Blackstone River….

Elephant Rock

and there, notice the rock formation – we missed this our first trip, and on our trip north – if it hadn’t been for having lunch at Eagle Plains with our 14 time visitors from California…we might never have noticed ‘Elephant’ or as I prefer “mammoth’ rock….

the rock formation some of the other rock formations along the highway are harder to miss…

Interesting mountains

a different perspective….


ended the day back at Engineer’s Creek Territorial Campground….oh yuck!  We have to get in that?

Now, even though we have started back, there is still a very long way to go…with lots left to see…tomorrow we’ll be traveling back to Tombstone….

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