Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Up the Dempster. The muddy muddy Dempster.

Note the spoons. FINALLY, a place to practice! (sorry bears...and all humans within earshot)

Just a taste of the kind of space we're dealing with...

Tombstone Territorial Park (and foxtail - I think - along much of the roadside...along with the fireweed)

At the Arctic circle - about 500km into the Dempster

At the start of the Dempster

Well the past few days have been beautiful. Despite the rain, and the harrowing drive along the slick, muddy Dempster Highway, we made it here (Inuvik) in good time and in high spirits.
(I just checked in with Brian, who's sitting next to me, playing mom's guitar..."I'd say we're in high spirits at any rate - would you agree?" He says yes. phew!)

I got a bout of destination-itis today (this is the phenomena where I feel like we just have to keep pressing on until we get THERE...funny, because any other day I feel like the journey IS the there) . But we made it through.

After Gwen left us, we dallied around Whitehorse getting supplies and Midnight Sun beer and Coffee for Mom. I joked with the brewery clerk that this roadtrip was just an exaggerated Beer Run for the mother figure.

Tombstone Territorial Park in the Yukon is worth a longer visit than the two nights we spent. This is where we first noticed the extended light. Not dark before midnight, that's for sure. And probably dusky until the wee hours. We hiked around quite a bit - through the sphagnum plains, picking blueberries and playing the spoons to ward off grizzlies.

For the next few days we'll be wandering about enjoying this space and Mom. We have a choice to make between the End of the Road Music Festival this weekend, and a canoeing overnight...the festival starts tomorrow afternoon...any bets on what my druthers are?

(canoeing. that's what I case that wasn't clear)

Brian now:
I sorta parachuted into this adventure. L and G had done long hauls to whitehorse. Air North and I arrived from Vancouver in a couple of hours. I tell ya, those ladies were quite the traveling machine when I met up with them at the Gold Pan Saloon. Thanks, Gwen, fer ridin' shotgun and keepin ma honey safe through the wilds o British Columbia.

Yukon is BIG. I don't hectares or square miles - it's got those sure enough - I mean big like five million trees to each person big. On the whole Dempster highway on the Yukon side, we passed maybe 50 permanent residents, if you count the highway crews who are always dragging the gravel into shape. We drove hour after hour looking out the widow at mountains and rivers and great rolling hills of tough little trees. And then again, and again, and more. Hiking around Tombstone campground I could feel my spirit sigh and breathe free in all that space. I'm just now starting to contemplate the even greater expanse of the high plains.

We looked at the scenery when not at the potholes or trails of mud approaching. Seems some sections of the highway don't have much gravel at hand. Add water, of which there's been way more than normal, and you get goop that grabs your tires and pulls you toward the trees. Today, a bit north of Eagle Plain a semi came toward us in our lane. The driver shrugged, flustered and apologetic as he passed, having reclaimed his path from the mud none too soon.

1 comment:

Michael Sider said...

Wow, landscape... thank you for the photos! Please lots more! Good to see how far you've gotten, on the exaggerated beer run. Also good to hear that you found the beer and coffee at Midnight Sun, I keep hearing about the virtues...

Breathe some good air for me!