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Old 11-29-2007, 10:32 AM   #153
squonker OP
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Yellowknife, NWT
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The drive

Originally Posted by bone

I'll say this too: later on in my stay I flew home and returned by car and the drive up to YK from Alberta blew my mind - so long and straight and monotonous, it truly for the first time gave me the ridiculous sense of scale that characterizes Canadian geography. I'm sure trucking the ice roads up to Diavik (as an aside, I worked on the designs of some of their buildings briefly, including the residence building - ain't it ugly?!) would've blown my mind even further. Just seeing a town with a skyline of sorts emerge from the neverending flatness of the scrub forest that far north, I felt like I was hallucinating....

Unfortunately all my photos from up there aren't digitized so I can't share... Amongst others I had a real good one of a skinned dog that someone had set up in the snowbank along an ice road somewhere up the Ingraham Trail so that the dog was 'pointing' the way ahead.

Sorry for interrupting your stories with my blather - you just got me going with this fantastic thread. Thanks!!!
You're dead right, bone - the drive up from Alberta is quite an experience! The first few times I did it I was blown away...what always gets me is that any track I see leading off the highway, I have to know where it goes! And there are soooo many. Man, some are little more than clearings, some go to oil/gas developments 100+kms in to the bush, and some I've never found the end of. You could spend a lifetime exploring and documenting those things.
But I have to say that the drive gets a bit much now. I drive from YK to Vancouver Island about once every 18 months and I'm a little bored of it now. the first time I did it, it took me four days. Now I have it down to 2.5, but I have a weee Honda Civic, and I'm sure with a V8 or even a V6 I could cut half a day off. I did just get another satellite radio, so I hope that'll make it more interesting next time. I'd love to take my parents on a drive from even Edmonton to YK, but they're too old now and wouldn't enjoy it. You just can't imagine the scale of the land up here until you've seen it for yourself (as you said).

Thanks for your observations - and glad that you're enjoying the thread!

Originally Posted by GSD4ME
Just back from the shops where I purchased a copy of the Oct 07 Brit magazine "truck & driver". It was a couple of months late. Inside is an article of ice trucking around your neck of the woods. Probably the same one that was sent to you, as they mention the constant ice cracking, two months work, ten months fishing etc.

No doubt the author was fed a line by the drivers he spoke with. It would be impossible to get a proper feel for the place in the short time he was there.

Nice pics of a couple of Peterbilts in the article though. I`ve always liked them, as well as W model and most other Kenworths, despite what I have said previously about American trucks.
I tried a few times to contact the newspaper that article was in, and never got a reply. In the end I sent the article to a friend's 10yr old son, who's mind it will probably blow. I was talking about it last night in the bar with some folks that were here from YK and one of them made a good point. Not only that ice roads are a part of life in the north and once you've driven a couple you'll never understand what all the fuss was about, but also that that one road costs $10m to build every year...and every year it melts and they have to start again. Cool!

I'll put up the next part of the trip installment sometime over the weekend.

Cheers, y'all.

Ride Report: Canada North to South 2008 here
Drive Report: Ice Road Trucking 2005-2014 here

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