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On the Trans Canada highway between Hope and Abbotsford, British Columbia. Photo taken yesterday.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Crescent Beach (near Vancouver), British Columbia.

Where are they going next? Hamilton, Ontario.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

We have begun the journey south!

The forecast called for clearing yesterday afternoon, and so just before lunch I took a 4 km roundtrip walk up the road to see what it was like compared to the day before. It was a definite improvement, so we decided to have some lunch and then make a run for it!

We had watched quite a few vehicles coming in during the morning, and none of them looked very muddy. They were calling for rain again yesterday evening in Tuktoyaktuk, so this was our chance.

Heading out of town...

Not great, but certainly driveable.


The road from Tuktoyaktuk to Inuvik is about 140 kms (87 miles). But it's not all bad. There are three sections of about 20 kms (12 miles) each that are really bad, and Sherman was crawling. We did the drive back to Inuvik non-stop, and it took us four hours. We averaged 35 km/h (22 mph).

Scenery along the way.

This section of road was quite good!

More scenery.

Flowers.

The road.

More scenery.

Another rough section!

This is only the 3rd other Class A motorhome we've seen.

He was flying. Two young guys driving it. All we could think was "if Daddy only knew where his motorhome was going!" They had been on the nicer stretch and were about to hit a bad stretch. They would not be going this fast then!

We arrived in Inuvik around 5:30pm. Stopped at the liquor store and bought some way overpriced beer and wine. We had been without for about a week, and we were getting thirsty. And, we wouldn't be back in Dawson City for another five days or so. $38 CAD for a 12 pack of beer and $54 for a 4 liter box of cheap wine. Yikes. Drink it, enjoy it, and forget about the price.

We decided against the $23 campground in Inuvik, and just found an empty lot to park in for the night.

We went for a stroll after supper, but they've had a lot of rain here in Inuvik and the mosquitoes are really bad so we cut it short and headed back to the motorhome. But, not without seeing this along the way...

Young great horned owls.

I see you!

Now, we've made it to Inuvik, but we still have to make it back south on the Dempster Highway to Dawson City. We're hoping to arrive there on Friday. The forecast looks good until Wednesday, so we have to make it to Eagle Plains by then. Obviously the forecast can change between now and then, so we'll play it by ear.

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Nice badminton set on Deal of the Day today...


And in Canada...




26 comments:

  1. I can never understand why people are in such a rush. I like Sherman speed. Love the owls! Happy travels

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    1. We can't understand that either but I guess people have their reasons. We are just glad that we aren't in a rush. We love the slow pace so much better, way less stress and you see so much more. :-)

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  2. Beautiful shots of the owls. What a mudfest - glad you made it out. I can easily see how stupid tourists who don't know anything about weather/roads could easily get stranded there or in the middle of nowhere

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    1. It was lovely seeing those young owls, we really missed seeing them this year at the park.

      Yep, it was a bit of a mud fest and this was after most of it had dried up, imagine what it was like before it had dried up. Yeah, we don't think some people quite understand how bad it gets, guess that's why some people end up getting stuck.

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  3. Glad you made it out in one piece, almost time for Sherman's bath...

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    1. We are happy to be past the worst of it but we still have another section that is going to be tricky if we don't get past it in the next day or two ahead of another storm. Sherman will get a bath once we get back to pavement. :-)

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  4. The road doesn't too bad. Unlike rez roads, it looks excellent. We slip and slide to the paved Highway 191 for about three miles on soft muddy dirt road. Whenever we can, we dump wood chips, cut weeds, pine needles to fill the larger grooves and over the years the dirt road has become somewhat firm. Our dirt road to home is a work in progress. Anyway, glad you made it out. You sort of reminded me of the boys trapped in cave due to flooding...was praying roads and rivers don't flood. Once, while tent camping, was stranded due to flooding in remote area...this before cell phones. I wasn't worried because I left my travel plans with friends and relatives and I knew forest rangers would eventually check road conditions. After a day or two, the flood waters subsided and I was able to cross the river bed. Sherman did a good job of carrying you back to Inuvik. Safe travels.

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    1. Rita, it may not look bad to you in these pictures but trust us, it was! Keep in mind that this isn't a "rez" road it is the main "highway" to Tuktoyaktuk and it isn't 3 miles long either, it was more like 10 miles long and there were three sections that we pretty sketchy and each section was about 10 miles long that we literally had to crawl through with Sherman. The rest of the road was in good condition other than those three sections. We are glad that we waited for it to dry up enough before attempting the drive.

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  5. Don't like roads like that! Do like the gorgeous owls! Stay safe!

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    1. We don't like them much either, hopefully the worst is behind us now. :-)

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  6. Those flowers are called, not surprisingly, cottongrass.

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    1. Yep, that is right and to be more precise they are called Scheuchzer's Cottongrass. I picked up a few booklets at the visitor's centre in Whitehorse I think, that covers some of the main flowers in the Yukon, another one on birds and another on butterflies. I have been using them quite a bit.

      I thought they looked really pretty with the green grass stuff they were with.

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  7. Those owls are so darn cute!!!!!!!

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    1. They sure were! That one little youngster was quite vocal, I think he/she was calling for mom and asking where his meal was. :-)

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  8. Hi Kevin and Ruth, about your answer concerning Colombia and Mexican villages, compared to Tuk, it was very informative. I gathered that Colombian villages generally speaking don't have the livestock and gardens to support life like Mexican villages maybe because of the infrastructure. Tuk has some infrastructure that is supported by income,state or provincial government. Is this correct? BTW, I have travelled the top of the world highway twice, once in 1995 and again in 2009. In 1995 in late September, a little dicey due to freezing, in 2009 in June a little muddy. Both times stunning! Views were magical and pull offs many. Please enjoy!

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    1. To be honest, I can't remember if the Colombian villages had livestock or not, I am sure that some did but most of the small places that we visited weren't as small as the Mexican ones and certainly didn't seem as remote, I just think in general that Colombians seemed to be better off than their Mexican counterparts when it comes to the smaller towns and villages. I think we had also mentioned that once or twice when we were traveling through Colombia. I am pretty sure I remember them having gardens though.

      Yes, Tuk's infrastructure is supported more on income, provincial and federal monies and probably the oil and gas companies that work in the area.

      We are looking forward to the beautiful views that we expect to see on the Top of the World Highway. Glad to here that you have done it twice. :-)

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  9. Hi - So glad Sherman carried you guys out of Tuk and is heading back south! Thanks so much for the backpack contents info. Sat down with the young couple this afternoon and they were amazed at the things they never thought of (rain ponchos, toilet paper and plastic bags for starters.) They asked about carrying a trowel to bury poop (human and dog since they will be taking their Golden with them for most trips). We also decided that packing 2 of those aluminum-looking heat blankets was a good idea, plus a bit of rope. You guys sure are enjoying life -- so we are enjoying following along with all your adventures. Keep travelling and please keep posting! Lynn in Kingston NY

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    1. Sherman is a good ole boy and a hard worker, plus I think he isn't a quitter and is ready to tackle just about anything, I am sure he will get us back to the pavement without any issues. :-)

      Glad you found the information about the stuff we take in our backpacks has been of some help. Yes, it is fine to take a trowel along and bury the poop, in fact they do mention that if you are doing any backwoods overnight camping, just make sure the hole is deep enough and covered up well. We really hate it when we go hiking and see toilet paper that was left behind, it is a real sore spot with us!

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  10. The money you save by boondocking pays for the booze!

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    1. You can justify anything, but yeah we thought about it that way too! ;-)

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  11. Glad you finally made it out of Tuk. Rough going but you did it. You both deserve the beer and wine regardless of the price. Hope you have a safe trip back to Dawson City and the weather holds up. Owl picture is super cute! Stay safe.

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    1. Yep, it was definitely rough in some spots and a bit to soft and spongy in others but we got it done. We agree, after that drive we did deserve some beer and wine. :-)

      Weather doesn't look like it is going to cooperate for us on the way back but that is fine, we are prepared to wait it out again at Eagle Plains if need be.

      Those two owls were so sweet!

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  12. We lived in Thompson Manitoba in 1964 and as a kid I remember trying to ride my bike on the roads. Impossible in the spring and on rainy days in the summer! The gravel trucks were out every day they could, adding gravel (which wasn't great to bike on either, I've got the scar!) so the cars could get around. Nothing was paved in those days. Good for Sherman for making it and for Kevin for having the patience to drive it! Safe travels, Judi

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    1. Yep, those roads are not real bicycle friendly, they almost are motorhome friendly! ;-)

      Sherman and Kevin both deserve kudos for doing such a great job!

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  13. Hi Ruth and Kevin:
    We enjoy your travel and glad that you made it out of Tuk!
    Those cute owls are worth a first price in a photo competition. Hopefully better weather is coming up soon. Our house is still for sale. Meaning you can still visit us.
    Happy travels, Angi and Bernd

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    1. Hi there Angi, good to hear from you. We hope that you and Bernd are doing well. We are also happy to have had a good window of opportunity to head out of Tuk and start back south once again. We just hope that the roads and weather will cooperate for us but it isn't looking good, as long as we can make it to Eagle Plains before the heavens open up again we will be happy.

      Sorry that your house han'ts sold yet but it sounds good for us to be able to come and visit you later in September. Hope to see you then. :-)

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