Aug 19 From Eagle Plains 38k south of the Arctic Circle

Mile 0 Dempster Highway

Kilometre 0 Dempster Highway

I am sitting in a restaurant overlooking the Eagle Plains at the Eagle Plains lodge which is at Km 369. With my trip from Dawson today I did just over 400 k. All of it stunningly beautiful with the play of sun, clouds and rain over the face of the land. The pictures don’t do it justice because most of the day was gray but the interplay of light was awesome. I will add a few anyway.

Km 20 or so. Vincent and I were ducking in and out of the clouds

Km 20 or so. Vincent and I were ducking in and out of the clouds

Today I filled up with gas in Dawson at $1.20 and hear in Eagle Plains at $1.35. Camping is cheap though. $10.50/night. The campsite is in a parking lot though. No trees. There is however free showers and internet. The clouds are leaving and it promises to be a good day tomorrow.

I am about 38 Km from the Arctic Circle. That fills me with shivers that have nothing to do with the cold.

Can you see the colours. Not many trees but the mountains were green, brown, yellow and purple. Woohoo

Can you see the colours. Not many trees but the mountains were green, brown, yellow and purple. Woohoo

How bad is it? Well, the worst of it so far was really bad. It was pouring rain and the road had turned to some kind of slippery gunk. I had to keep up some speed so I wouldn’t sink in but it was heaving me all over the road. It was scary. The speed limit is 90k and at one point I found myself actually up to that. For the most part I have been between 20 and 80 probably averaging 70. Some places are great, almost like pavement. Some places are narrow and wash board. Others have big rocks sticking through. On the whole though, I thought it would be worse. I was mentally calculating how long it would take to get me 768 km doing 20k/hour. Vincent is MUUDDYYY!

I sure wish the back wiper worked but I guess I won't need curtains tonight.

I sure wish the back wiper worked but I guess I won't need curtains tonight.

I stopped at Engineer Creek Campground for lunch, in the shadow of Sapper Hill. I met a group of Germans traveling together in 3 separate motor homes. They had started a fire in the screened in eatting area and it was very cosy. They had been in Canada for 3 weeks and had one more to go before heading home. They were heading for Inuvik too but were camping for the night there. Since the worst mud and gumbo was on the road after I left them, I thought they had made a smart choice. Aparently when it stops raining, it dries out fast. I did a check of Vincent’s tires before leaving there looking for shards of shale that could potentially puncture him. It felt like the old days when I was picking the horse’s feet. He was very polite about it, as if we did this all of the time.

Bug shelter at Engineer Creek

Bug shelter at Engineer Creek

Sapper Hill

Sapper Hill

A long road. I will be glad to crawl into bed with a good. Book and read for a while but not til dark (it was still not fully dark at midnight last night.) I want to be on the road early tomorrow (Thursday morning)

I have been thinking of all of this wide open space and no trash on the sides of the road. No litter. There are signs here and there saying “Keep the Yukon Beautiful.” Why are people not rolling down their windows and tossing trash? Is it the absolute heart stopping beauty? Could it be the wide unspoiled spaces? I wonder what it would take to get people to keep garbage in their cars at home?

I will sleep on that.

Talk soon.

Ogilvie Ridge

Ogilvie Ridge

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