the

Sunset near Kingman, Arizona.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.

Where are they going next? South east towards Roswell, New Mexico.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Stuck in Tuk!

The weather has not been co-operating here in Tuktoyaktuk. And not helping the situation is that the weather forecast changes by the hour. They obviously can't predict it, and the changes come so quickly I don't understand why they bother trying.

The problem of course, is the highway. Which is not really a highway, it's just a dirt road. And the first ten kms (6 miles) leading out of Tuktoyakyuk are not graveled yet. So when it rains, it becomes a mud road, not a dirt road!

There was a lot of rain Thursday evening, but it didn't rain at all during the day yesterday. So we sat in the motorhome yesterday morning waiting for the road to dry up. We saw the sun on occasion, but certainly not enough to make a difference. It was 95% overcast for the day. But the wind picked up, and that's helpful for drying things up.

We are boondocking near the entrance to town, right where the mud road starts. So as people would come into town and stop at the entrance sign for their photo opp, I would go outside and ask them about the road. Even the people driving 4 wheel drive vehicles were saying "don't do it yet!"

Two people told us of an RV that is stuck in the mud. (although right at the end of the day a pickup truck camper arrived, and then a small class C motorhome.)

In the afternoon, we went for a walk to check the road for ourselves. We went about 8 kms (5 miles) round trip.

The two wheel tracks are actually pretty solid in most sections.

This is a "pingo".

A pingo is a unique landmark. Pingos can only form in a permafrost environment. They are actually earth covered mounds of ice. The one in the above picture is a large one. They can reach 200 ft in height. Pingos are located throughout the Arctic here and in Northern Siberia, but the Tuktoyaktuk area has an above average number of them.

Driftwood from the Mackenzie River, with a pingo in the background.

Water birds.

This is why we haven't left yet!

Haven't seen any bears... yet!

This is where Sherman is parked.

Two pingos in the background.

Parks Canada has taken over the area where these pingos are located.

There's actually a boardwalk leading to the larger pingo. But, you're only allowed to climb the pingo in the winter because they don't want the vegetation destroyed. And, the only way to get to the boardwalk is by boat. We almost thought about blowing up our kayak to get over there, and if it was warmer and calmer we probably would have!

And so we wait. There were a few sprinkles of rain overnight and this morning, but not enough to make the road worse. Certainly not helping it get any better though. However, if the sun were to come out for several hours in a row, that would be enough to do it. We are hoping for that window of opportunity this afternoon. They are calling for sunshine (which we've learned means nothing, but we are still optimistic!) from 11am until 8pm, with rain moving in again for the night. If we get the sunshine, we should be able to leave here around 4pm for the five hour drive back to Inuvik where there is actually no rain in the forecast at all for today or tomorrow.

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The highly rated Zinus RV Mattress is back at the cheap price once again. No idea how long it will stay at this price, so act quickly!


And in Canada...





21 comments:

  1. May the weather gods be kind to you. This could become a challenge, but you guys are made of the right stuff.

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    1. Would snow chains be of any benefit? Or are the front wheels just as vulnerable?

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    2. No, we'll just wait for the road to dry. The sun is coming out now, so we should be okay to do the drive this afternoon.

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  2. I lived for a while in Wichita, KS, which has the same futility in weather forecasting. I believe that it's because cold systems from Canada and warm systems from the Gulf of Mexico meet there and fight it out.

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    1. Yes, it seems that mountains and large bodies of water can also play a big factor into the the weather and being able to predict it. I would have thought that Kansas would have been easy place to predict the weather but I guess not!

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  3. If you could find someone with a pickup truck (4 x 4) with a wench going to Inuvik at about the same time because of a dryer road, maybe they could drive slowly behind you. If you hit a little bit of trouble, they could either wench you out of the trouble spot, if possible, or give you a ride the rest of the way to Inuvik for more specialized assistance like heavy duty tow equipment.

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    1. I think you mean winch! No, we're quite happy waiting for the road to dry. :-)

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    2. Kevin, yep, I sure did! LOL! No, I don't think a "wench" will do the job!! LOL!

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  4. Well, you guys did want an adventure! Love reading about life above the arctic circle!
    OK - question for you to answer sometime when you're hanging around: As experienced hikers, what do you guys usually carry in your backpacks? Does it vary if you plan on only a short hike? What about longer, perhaps all-day hike? I'm not a hiker but we have a young couple in our condo complex and they're thinking about tackling some of the trails here in the Catskills - would like to be able to provide them some guidance from experienced people. Thanks. Fingers crossed the road dries soon.

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    1. Yep, it is definitely an adventure when you head up north! So glad that you have been enjoying our posts of life up here. :-)

      It depends on where our hike is taking us and how long we will be gone. Up here in the north the backpack always has water in it and our bear spray which sits on the outside of the bag and quick and easy to get at. Kevin normally carries the air horn in a pocket but they are always with us. We also have Kevin's EpiPen, a bite kit and a first aid kit with us, normally two cheap rain ponchos unless the weather is absolutely certain not to rain. For slightly longer hikes, we carry snacks with us, also I always have toilet paper and several extra plastic bags in order to carry out any used toilet paper or other garbage that we create. Longer day hikes we take two backpacks with us, with lunch and snacks and lots of water, extra clothing, especially if we are headed to higher altitudes where it will be cooler and most likely more windy. A lighter is quite often included, sometimes binoculars and Kevin always has his camera with him and we do have a small tripod as well, Kevin's cell phone and again if it is a long hike we bring a small battery pack along to recharge the phone if necessary. Hope that helps answer your question.

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  5. Yikes- those bear warning signs always scare me! Do you ever carry bear spray?
    http://www.oneincomedollar.com

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    1. Yes, we always carry bear spray and an air horn.

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  6. Enjoy seeing products you promote as well through Amazon @ the bottom of your posts

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    1. Thanks, Kevin has fun finding great deals that he can pass along to others. :-)

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  7. Hopefully you will be able to leave and get on with your adventure. The pingos look interesting. Praying for sunshine and dry roads. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks Brigitte, we are looking forward to carrying on with our exploring as well but we want to make sure that we don't add in an unwanted adventure of being stuck in muck in Tuk, that would be yuck, lol! ;-)

      The pingos are interesting, we would have liked to have been able to paddle the kayak out to them but the weather just didn't cooperate for us.

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  8. I am sure you will remember your time there:)

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