Thursday, 14 July 2011

Dempster Highway to the tip of Canada

Jumping into Troopy we hit the Dempster Highway, 736km to the tip of Canada ending at Inuvik.  The Dempster highway opened is 1979 and is a road built on a thick base of gravel ranging from 2 to 4 metres high so as to insulate the permafrost in the soil underneath.
It was a very long day taking us 14 hours but the joy of travelling the Dempster was no doubt the scenery. We were blessed with a perfect day of sunshine so travelling conditions as far as the road and comfort for us could not have been better.
Our first stop was at the interpreative centre as we entered Tombstone Park. The point where the truly wild scenery began. The road winds its way around the stark mountains of Ogilvie and Richardson ranges.  A Grizzly bear came running down from the hill, stood up to view what was ahead of him and crossed the road in front of us disappearing back into the bushes.
Our half way stop was at Eagle plains just south of the Artic Circle. The Demster highway is the only road that crosses the Artic cirlce in Canada. Further along we left the Yukon territory  and going into the North West Terrirtories which was when we had to turn our clocks forward. There were two bridge crosses, one across the Olgilvie and the second the Eagle river however crossing of the Peel River and the Artic red river River are both by ferries, a free services. Our last hour of travel was through the Mckenzie Delta  until we reached Inuvik – "the town of ceaseless sunlight". This town is modern, with the highlight being its multi rainbow coloured  buildings. There was good facilities so finding a hotel was not a problem even at our 11pm arrival.  
The following morning we visited the tourist office, had a look through the town and by late afternoon we had commenced our 736 km return trip. Eagles Plains hotel became our overnight stop where we had dinner and a relax in the lounge.  While there a black bear came up to the hotel entrance, peered at us through the glass door so it was a quick dash to the room to retrieve the camera to capture the moment. We got some shots as he was heading back to the bush.
As it had rained our return trip was not as good, the road a little slushy but had dried out a little overnight so not slippery, just rough and rutted from cars travelling it while wet. In areas there was a lot of low lying cloud so our views were hindered but it did not matter, we still saw another grizzly bear, a fox and a range of bird life.
Arriving back at the RV mid afternoon, it was a wash and tidy up of the vehicles before continuing a short distance along the Klondike highway to camp for the night.   Another great experience...  one we would like to do again but in a different season, when the rivers are iced over and become the roads.


Artic Circle

Artic Fox

Bear Food

Bush Squirrell

Black bear near Eagle Plains Hotel

Bear running away from hotel
Capitol Suites Hotel Inuvik

Dempster Hwy

Dempster Highway

Cotton Wood Tree

Eagle Plains Hotel

Ferry Across the Red Artic River
Dempster Highway
Grizzly crossing road
Igloo Church at Inuvik
In front of inuvik Visitors Centre

Thought we had a white troopy

View over range
Road built above permafrost

Rainbow colours of Inuvik

The delta

Ferry across the Peel River
Ogilvie Ridge

We have reached the end of the Dempster
Wildflowers along the Dempster

Houses of Inuvik

Northern Territories

Banks of  Red Artic River  
Birds on the Mckenzie River
Sparrows made there home on the ferry

Rv stored at Klondike Lodge

The Ranges

Across theMckenzie River is Tsiigechic

Mckenzie River

Dempster Hwy

Iron ore Spring

Ogilvie River

The Delta
Overlooking Mckenzie Delta from Jak Park

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