Day 42. Monday 10th June. Inuvik to Engineers Creek. Dempster Highway.

Greyness greeted us when we emerged at 8.30am. Another shower this morning!! We’ll be dissolving!

The camp site was a couple of k’s past Inuvik and a much more peaceful site. Jen seemed to sleep through the domestic’s, portable generators, barking dogs, idiots doing wheelies in the town, the previous night. Saturday nights in towns are always noisy and when the sun’s still shining till about 2.30am, why not ‘let go’ when you have been in complete darkness for the last 7 months!

Lots of traffic on the dusty road. This is where the pre filter would have come into it’s element. Lets hope we can get someone to make up an adaptor for us in Edmonton. The girls are rolling their eye’s..:)

Many motorbikes. Some interesting characters riding them. At our lunch stop on the North Western Territory/Yukon border, two motorbike and side cars rolled up. One bike was I suspect about a 600cc BMW of 1952 vintage. I’t’s rider would have been about the same. German, idiosyncratic? Long straggly grey hair and in the sidecar, his dog. His companion riding a 1970’s XS800 Yamaha. God knows what he had in his sidecar but he had bundles of firewood tied to the top. Maybe a pot belly stove.:)? 

Several times we caught up and shared stories with a motorcyclist from Ontario, who despite camping in his tent each night, was dead scared of confronting or being confronted with a bear. I don’t blame him. He had a klaxon horn and bear spray, like us, but if the bear’s got your head in it’s jaws, dragging you out of your tent, there’s not much wriggle time to find these things and effect your escape…:)

We came across another group of 5 motorcyclists at the previous camp. One, it was reported had gone over his handlebars at speed. Broken a heel, sprained the other ankle and with suspected internal injuries. They were a group of Firemen, I think from Chicago? His holiday is over and he has the challenge of getting himself and his bike home. 

When just about to leave our lunch stop an impressive rig pulled up and I drove over and chatted with the driver and his wife for a while. Bruce & Karen from Florida. His truck or van, is a 2001 Ford F350 and it’s called ‘The Beast’. Aptly named with a 7litre V8 diesel and every mechanical modification, and internal comfort. The difference between this and the ‘over-the-top’ campers, was he had built it himself and it was, yes, bigger than ours, but sensible. Jen would say, more so!..:)

Interestingly, two other motorcyclists we chatted to during the same stop, one from Miami the Other Alabama. The chap from Miami said “I’ve seen that rig before”. Pointing to our Land Rover. “Have you got a blog site”? Amazing huh!

The next stop was at Eagle Plains where we filled up with diesel and bought 10min of watery wifi for $10, in the hotel. Just enough ooomph in the signal strength to post several day’s writings before a tour group arrived and went to their room. No doubt to get online and the signal died. I didn’t even have time to read or answer any emails! So, at 5pm we decided to drive to the next  camp 175k’s away. With rain threatening we were keen to get as close to the end of the Dempster as possible, as conditions could get interesting with the dirt turning to thick mud very quickly. 

Priority #1 on arrival at the camp site was to fill the shower unit with river water and wash some of the muck off the back and sides of the wagon. Every time you touch it, you get covered in muck. 

Well Bill & Joan, the journey has been fascinating. Thank you for the recommendation. Special, in a number of ways. However I think you would find it very very different to the time that you drove it? Lack of snow, wider faster road, the number of people using it now, I think you would be disappointed? Similar to my return experience driving to the North Cape in Norway after nearly 50 years.  The important thing is your memory of it will never diminish. 

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