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Old 10-19-2013, 08:53 PM   #136
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Thanks Paul, I took all of 18 days to go there, and back...In a way, I am kicking myself for not giving myself more time!

The pace I had to set was grueling...I switched up my riding position often to try and keep the muscles working properly while cramped up on a small bike. I packed my load in a way that made it double as a backrest, and sometimes leaned my chest on the tank bag, tucked behind my makeshift windshield. This was a nice way to sit out of the noise, and give the back a break. I would stop about every 200 kms for a break, at least that was the goal.... There were times where I had to pull over and take a short nap because I could feel myself nodding off...I would just lay down somewhere with my helmet on, and sleep for 1/2 hr, bear spray on my belt. The long daylight hours make you unaware of how much time has really passed, and you wonder why you are so tired!

I've been spending hours going through photos just wishing I could have gone for a hike, maybe spend another night in Dawson, spend more time fishing, panning, things like that... There was so much to see! I think I should go back!

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Old 11-07-2013, 05:12 PM   #137
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Day 9

Well, I got a little bit of sleep, not much though...I think I kept opening my eyes to see how light it was out... It was only really dark for about 2 hours... It was like a strange kind of jet lag where you can keep riding forever and forget how late it is, and that you need to sleep. That night, my imagination was going on a bit about bears and wolves, being by the river, but I seem to care less and less every day... I thought I saw a wolf in the twilight down river, but I'm sure it was lack of sleep making me think things.

In a sense I am lucky that I got used to clouds of insects living in Prince George. They are getting worse the further north I go, and though I don't seem to get bit very much, they are always in your face, in your hair, and in your food.It was a very warm night, but I put on my ski mask just to keep them off of my face. The outside of the tent screening is dotted with gnats. As I pack up camp early in the morning, a grader operator pulls in beside the water, and she waves at me, no funny looks, knowing perfectly well why I'm covered up!

I head back to Eagle Plains, and the road crew has been at it already, the climb up feeling a bit loose in the thick gravel. The 606 tires take most of the challenge out of riding a loaded bike. They have been holding their lines very well!

I pull up to the gas pump as my first order of business, and filled all my cans and tank. I've gotten pretty used to paying around $1.60 per litre. At $1.73 is getting a bit steep! But hey, look where I am!! Like the sign says, it truly is an oasis in the north. It has gas, a mechanic, helipad, restaurant, bar, showers, and rooms for rent.



I walk into the greasy spoon, more than happy to have someone else do the cooking this time. I had some kind of loaded omelette, and I remember the sausage in it being delicious!
A lot of weathered faces of truckers were in attendance, and along with the people who worked there at the stop. they looked like a crowd that had been in the north for a long time!!
Something interesting occured to me: More than half of people there were drinking pop, rather than coffee or juice with their breakfast.... Each to their own, I'll take coffee! Caffeine has been absolutely essential at the pace I am having to set!! I had about 3 cups before I left.

A young couple were on their way to Whitehorse to go shopping. They were discussing what they wanted to do while they were there.."I want to get an I-pad!" the girlfriend said. It reminded me of being a kid, taking the family trip in the car from Lake Cowichan to Victoria, to go shopping: a 1 1/2hr car ride that seemed like forever...For them it was 3-4 days each way!!!!! I guess this is the annual trip that is made to get a few things to keep yourself from going insane all winter long...Apparently a lot of people fly rather than drive to get to and from the north. Distances are absolutely huge here!!

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Old 11-07-2013, 08:09 PM   #138
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I really enjoyed going through the RR again, great job, mate!
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:26 AM   #139
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I'll be looking forward to your arrival in Inuvik.

While at Eagle Plains, did you happen to meet a brown, lab-ish type dog named "Tundra"?
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:23 PM   #140
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Hmm, there may have been a dog in the lobby, I can't remember...
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:15 PM   #141
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Only about 40 kms to the Arctic Circle from Eagle Plains, and only a few hundred clicks more to the top of drive-able North America! I feel a real sense of accomplishment having come this far! Now Inuvik is just a stones throw away. I stop here a while. I wonder how many DRZ's have been to the Arctic?

IMG_1495

Everywhere I have been in the north, I keep running into Germans. There are a lot of them up here! The couple in the Unimog behind me had been exploring for over three months. The wife of the man in the background says Germans like the Yukon so much, because of their love of the outdoors, and the lack of population. She explained that Germany has wild areas too, but in a place that has over 20 million some odd people within much smaller borders, it is difficult to find the same kind of serenity.

IMG_1502

A young couple and their 9 year old boy who were in the restaurant were stopped there as well. They were from Vancouver, and were great fun to talk to. They had the same sentiment as I did about coming up here... When people ask "why?" Well, why not? Just look at the place!!! Its easy to see why people keep coming back. Its great that their kid, being so young, was really enjoying himself too on such a long trip! He was checking out the plants and taking photos, just like the adults. He said he couldn't wait to tell his friends about his trip!

IMG_1505

IMG_1506
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:47 PM   #142
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Not 10 minutes up the road, and a few cars are stopped, sure enough, something is grazing in the meadows. It's the first bear I've seen since Pemberton! It's the first Grizzly I have ever seen too, and at a very safe distance.... Too far for my little camera to get a great shot, but I'm happy with the shots I got.

IMG_1522

IMG_1550
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:55 PM   #143
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When I got home, I saw someone elses Dempster report with a photo like the one below, taken at this exact spot. Except he had posted his photo about 2 weeks after I was there, and the colours had already changed to the autumn set by then.







Another landmark reached! I have now been to more Territories than I have Provinces!!



IMG_1565

Tropic-Of-Canada screwed with this post 11-13-2013 at 01:28 AM Reason: Photo added.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:00 AM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropic-Of-Canada View Post
...

Another landmark reached! I have now been to more Territories than I have Provinces!!

..][/URL]

That is a great accomplishment. I am envious.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:41 AM   #145
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Great report

You've done a good job with your report. I love your interaction and views of the people that you've run into.

I do 'Touchup' of my photos with Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows XP and 7. I remove lense blemishes, bugs, and signs from my pics....very easy to do with that program.

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Old 11-13-2013, 01:37 AM   #146
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I've really been liking Adobe Lightroom for photo processing. The spot removal works pretty good, though for difficult lens spots, ie. where they are over an area with lines, or geometry, it's a bit limited, because the spot removal tool is round. That's why the one on the Unimog mirror is still there..Other than that, it's a great tool, great for organizing files, and it's nice that you never have to worry about ruining an original file!
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:52 AM   #147
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North of the Border

Here are some Gwich'in people collecting wild edibles called Bear Berries.

IMG_1566

I'm assuming this is what the bear was after.

IMG_1567

I tried a few, they were good! They were a bit tart, and kind of reminded me of a seedy sort of Salmon Berry.

IMG_1568
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:39 PM   #148
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Ok You're right, it's not a Unimog, either way, URAL's and KAMAZ trucks have way more character!

Those berries you knew... Where abouts did you grow up? I guess they could be in the same family as the ones you know, but this was the Arctic after all! There were all kinds of them, as you can see by the size of their buckets, and not at all hard to harvest, though maybe a bit back breaking.. No IKEA in the neighborhood, so no cloudberry dishes, though you could get bananas for 6.99/lb in Carmacks, YT!

Thanks for reading!

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Old 11-13-2013, 07:26 PM   #149
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I believe those bear berries are the local common name for cloud berries/bakeapples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubus_chamaemorus
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:11 PM   #150
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Peel River

I stopped for a photo of Midway Lake, which is the first community I have come across since Dawson, 500 plus kilometers ago. It's starting to get pretty warm out.. It feels like about 25C! I strip off a few layers and open some vents before I continue.



The truckers out here are probably the drivers I trust the most! They go a good clip, but definitely slow down and give motorbikes room. The dust is horrendous today!







I arrived at the Peel River crossing to a line up of 5 vehicles. Must be lunch.....No one on our side can tell what is going on... Someone asks me if I have a satellite phone.. 20 minutes go by, an we find out that there is a D8 bulldozer buried under water, directly in front of the cable ferry! A loader had attempted to pull it out, but didn't have the strength to. It is now 30C out! I sit back in the shadow of my bike trying to stay cool, while waiting for something to happen...About 10 more vehicles arrive, including the couple that I had met earlier... The locals say they have never seen more than 4 cars waiting. This could change plans a bit, I really hope I don't have to head back to Eagle Plains!!!



I talked to one of locals, who said he was from Fort Macpherson. "BC Plates, eh? Don't see that too often!" I realize how far away from home I am when I have to explain where Vancouver Island is! "So how far is that from here?"
"Oh, I think it's about....34-3500kms from here."
He has a look at the bike and my weathered riding gear.
That's a nice jacket man, Tourmaster, eh?"
We talk about our homes.
"What do you do down there, Do you do any fishing?"
"Yeah, trout in the rivers, Lingcod in the ocean"
He hunts Caribou he tells me. Pretty much everyone does up here.
"Yeah, I'd like to go travel sometime, maybe go see the city. Farthest south I've been is Whitehorse."

I go to re-arrange some items, and he sees that I have a few beer in my bag..He gave me a friendly heads up: "Woah shit man, you better keep those hidden! Man, that's baad news if anyone around here sees you with those!!!" I heed the warning. Apparently alcohol is a very touchy subject out here. There are many dry communities up here where it is simply not allowed.

We live two different lives, that's for sure. I can't begin to imagine what it is like living out here. It was cool talking to him.



Luckily, help was only about an hour away. Another two dozers arrived to pull out the first, and the ferry was soon running again. The one that was stuck is in the top right beside the black trucks..



First on, first off! The crew warns me the landing is very soft, which it is. The front wheel sank in some, but I gave it some gas, and clawed up the newly disturbed landing patch with no problems.


Tropic-Of-Canada screwed with this post 11-16-2013 at 06:18 PM
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