Gold digger, huskies and dempster Highway adventure
Sundowner just before midnight
To be able to charge our 2 x110 Volt AMG Batteries during the long sunny hours – days with over 19 hours of available sunlight in Yukon and Alasca - faster whilst parking, we had a second solar pannel mounted onto our Northern Lite. This required quite some effort.
Our preferred, special-sized panel would have been deliverable within one day in the USA and Canada. But we received the information of a waiting list for the fitting of the panel of 2 to 6 weeks. Ridiculous, if one knows that the part supplemental to the first panel can be fitted in one and a half hours maximum.
Flexibility is definitely not an option in the huge, styled brand garages and the many large motor home vendors in USA as well as Canada. Extreme, obstinate bureaucracy and red tape are unfortunately predominat. We took a turn on Vancouver Island and were back in Vancouver in time for the long-awaited appointment for the fitting.
PS: For longer standing periods we still have our 3KW Honda Generator as last resort. Solar is just so much more elegant!
The Miles Post, the bible for traveling up north
The legendary Alaska travel planner with detailed road descriptions for the northwest of Canada and Alaska. Places of interest, attractions, accommodation facilities and more are collected on over 700 pages. A very helpful “bible”. www.themilepost.com
Gouvernment campsites in Yukon, Canada
12 CAD are to be paid for a site with bench and fire place. No electricity or water connection, nor dumping. On the other hand, they are often superbly located amidst terrific nature. Fire wood is included and the chopping the heavy pieces with the new, large axe is fun and makes you hungry and thirsty.
Guardian Angel versus bear spray
When entering Canada our Guardian Angel www.guardian-angel.com defensive spray was confiscated as it was not listed on the customs official list of bear repellent sprays.
The necessity of a bear repellent spray is comparable to insurances – you never know if you will need it one day. The spraying distance of up to 8 metres does provide a feeling of security though. We now have two with us.
Alaska Highway through the Wilderness
The Alaska Highway runs from Dawson Creek/BC to Delta Junction/Yukon. Due to its military importance, it was built within 9 months and with the help of 10'000 soldiers through unknown terrain in 1942. Today the entire 2'288 kilometres are tarred.
Signpost Forest at Watson Lake
In 1942 a homesick soldier added a signpost indicating the direction of his home town to the first signpost. Now tourists from all over the world add their signs. Today the Signpost Forest includes over 80'000 signs. Our motherland is already present several times. And now another one was added to this cult place!
Fishing adventure in Canada
As soon as we arrived at a beautiful spot away from the road at the Yukon River at the confluence of the Tatchun River on a clearing with a view of the rivers, we took out the fishing equipment. After only 15 minutes I freed a 50 cm long northern pike from the hook, which Brigitte then prepared professionally for dinner. We enjoyed it with terrific views and setting sun in our mosquito-free living area with the suitable drink. Freshly caught in the pan! Afterwards a romatic fire warmed us in the illuminating, nocturnal northern lights.
The expense for the fishing licence was amortized with two more grand pikes within the next 24 hours. The locally bought handy equipment will probably provide us with further delicacies. The season for salmon is yet to come!
Canada: Dempster Highway 2018
Dempster Highway – a frosty welcome
The former 740 km dog-sledding way is today a well-maintained gravel road easy to travel on.
On our start onto this dead-end we received a rather frosty welcome. Firstly, by strong rains on soapy and muddy route and on the second day by snow and temperatures at freezing point. Banks of snow and mud reduced our travelling speed enormously. The road turned over long distances up and down the slopes into a drive training track.
At the Eagle Plains Lodge a large group of motor bikers who was traveling southwards was stuck as traveling had become too dangerous. I also would not have wanted to travel this muddy part of the road with its deep tracks by bike myself.
After filling up and a break in the restaurant we continued in the snow flurry. At km 405 we reched the Polar Circle. On the 22 June the sun does not sink beneath the horizon here for 24 hours.
On level terrain with theoretic views of the valley we prepared ourselves amidst the fog and snow flurry for the night. Clear blue sky and undisturbed views the next morning. After crossing the Peel and Mackenzie Rivers with no charge ferries we reached Inuvik in the early evening – the sun still high in the sky.
After dinner we spend a sociable evening in the sunshine until midnight with Lisabeth and Rudolf from Switzerland, who have been traveling USA and Canada with their MB Sprinter and their Stöckli Skis for the last months. www.rulottli.com
Until recently the village of Tuktoyaktuk 170 km north of Inuvik was only reachable on an ice road in winter and by boat & airplane in summer.
Since a few weeks an all-weather road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk along the Arctic Ocean has been opened. Though only for vehicles up to 5 tonnes. Our vehicle is just under the limit! We enjoyed our drive through the Tundra landscape. After a near day light night in Tuktoyaktuk we were greeted with a snow storm the next morning.
The return road to Inuvik became a nerve wrecking roller coaster. We knew that if we would get stuck on the soaked, muddy road or if our constantly fishtailing vehicle would break out down the causeway on the side it would be game and fun over. We managed the driving adventure Dempster Highway regardless of snow, rain and deep mud. During normal, nice and dry weather it would have probably been too boring!
Canada: June 2018