N.W.T./ 60th Parallel July 28, 2010
Yes, we finally made it out of Alberta and the plains. After 3 provinces of flat land, we were eager to move on. Crossing the 60th parallel was definitely the first highlight of our trip.
We decided it was time to slow down and enjoy some camping. Our first stop was the Twin Falls campground which boasts both the Alexandra and Louise water falls through a canyon where the Hay River runs through. It is beautiful. We have decided not to go to Yellowknife because of the added mileage on the camper. We did do a side trip to Hay River and wanted to camp there for a night but given that it is the long weekend, there was no availability. The beach of Great Slave Lake was wonderful. I tried to buy some fresh fish but no one seemed to be home. The lady at the tourist booth told us to simply knock on the door of the locals at the end of the road and they will sell you fresh fish. I knocked on four doors with no luck. Shoot. The one very neat experience after passing the 60th parallel is that the daylight hours are very long. The sun goes down around 10 p.m. and it gets dark around midnight and sunrise is around 5 a.m. Now I know why RVs are equipped with room darkening shades.
Accommodation rating 4/5
July 31, 2010
What the hell were we thinking of driving across the lower NTW on a gravel road? The campgrounds became less and less glamorous and so did the road. It started out as almost third grade pavement and at the end it was a mud bath. We went into Fort Simpson which is a community located at the confluence of the Liard and Mackenzie rivers. To get to there you must cross the ferry over the Liard river.
The road literally comes to an end at the river and you drive onto the ferry. I thought I would die when I saw the road and roaring river at the end of it. Mario also wanted to see if he could organize a side trip to the Nahanni park. One look at the town and we quickly realized that was not going to happen. We had lunch at the Nahanni Inn (a rundown hotel), made a few phone calls back home and headed off towards the Liard trail so that we could get out of the NWT which was looking less and less exciting after 3 days in the dust. Our last campsite was the Blackstone campground that had cool A-frame showers. The park operators told us that we could hire someone to take us to the Nahanni Butte but that it would cost us around $300. or $400. for the short trip. We decided against it. We arrived at Fort Liard, a native community of 591 persons on August 1st, the statutory holiday. Thank goodness we arrived between 11-3 p.m. at the gas depot or we not have been able to get gas. Getting gas allowed us to make it out of the NWT and the paved roads of northern British Columbia. Hello B.C.
August 2, 2010
Traveling through northern BC has been a wonderful experience with spectacular views of the mountains and wildlife.
Part of the highway is on the border of the Yukon and British Columbia and as you travel there are signs that announce that you are now in B.C. and then switches back to the Yukon, then back to B.C. We arrived in Watson Lake, Yukon which is the first major town of the territory. The Watson Lake Visitor Centre is home to the Sing Post forest. There are over 66 000 sign erected since a home sick soldier put one up back in the late 1940s. We made one ourselves along our way out west. We found a stake, painted with white paint that I had onboard and then picked up some colourful lettering. We added some stickers and then covered it in clear nail polish to last a few years in this northern climate. See the photo
After Whitehorse we are continuing up the Alaska Highway onto Dawson City and then Alaska. I'm not sure when the next blog will be posted but soon enough.