August 19th and 20th, 2008

We continued on up the Dempster and arrived at Eagle Plains where we got gas for $1.78/litre and two burgers and drinks for $35.00. The locals told us that the Porcupine Caribou herd had begun their fall migration just north of the Arctic Circle. This migration is one month early which may indicate an early winter here. We caught some nice evening light at 66 degrees 33 minutes north (the Arctic Circle) and were buffetted by strong, cold winds. We opted to camp in a gravel pit, very common in this area, to escape the worst of the howling wind. Our coldest night so far in our little tent, -1 Celcius, was spent in three layers of clothes, a down mummy bag and extra down quilt. The tent is amazingly wind- and rain-proof, but a little chilly at night! When we went to sleep at midnight the sky was still light. We awoke the next morning to a frosting of snow on the surrounding hills, had a quick oatmeal breakfast, a few morning photos and then on our way. I had really hoped that we would see the caribou, but that was not to be. We did see two young grizzlies playing around on the tundra near the road, one with a caribou antler in his mouth! Well, at least I got my ‘bear fix’ for the week. news48The Ogilvie Range and then further north the Richardson Range provided some nice landscapes, especially at Wright Pass, the border between Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Having gone this far and the roads being in fairly good shape we decided to make a run for Inuvik. We crossed the Peel and McKenzie Rivers by ferry and from there on the road was dead straight (sometimes doubling as a landing strip) and nothing but stunted black pines, willow and marsh all the way to Inuvik. As I write this entry, it is a half hour past midnight and the sun is still up, but at least it is a balmy 8 degrees here!


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