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It’s dark when we start in the morning. This is one of the most beautiful sections of the Alcan, nearly uninhabited and the scenery spectacular.

We come up on Muncho lake where the Alcan is cut out of the cliffs on the side of the lake literally on a couple of feet above the surface of the water. Around a corner and we see a group of three huts out on the lake ice. Ice fishing? More likely ice drinking. Continue Reading »

It turns out to be another beautiful Chamber of Commerce day. Blue skies and brilliant white snow. John and Mike are flying out of Whitehorse today on a 4PM flight. And they have to return the rental car. And they have to explain where they left the missing parts for the left front of the car.

We need to get going so that they have enough time to do what they have to do. Fortunately, Whitehorse airport is a quiet place. No need to arrive 2 hours early for the flight. We expect to be in Whitehorse for 2PM. Continue Reading »

Unfortunately, the conditions in Tuk at 7AM are terrible. Winds in Tuk are 30 mph with gusts considerably higher. The road is officially closed and things don’t look conducive to the road opening. 

We decide that we’ve given it a good try. We’ve gotten to about 50 miles from Tuk but we have to start south. People have jobs to get back to, planes to catch and the Dempster might close again if the current conditions move farther south. If that would happen, we’d be stuck in Inuvik and that would get old fast. We decide to leave for Dawson City. Continue Reading »

We’re up early. The plan is to roundtrip to Tuk and then continue down to Eagle Plains tonight so that we don’t get stuck in Inuvik if the Dempster closes. It’s still dark and the wind is really blowing.

It’s also too early to even get coffee. The night desk at the hotel tells us that the only place to get coffee is the convenience store in the center of main street. It’s open and they have coffee. They also cell some grilled breakfast food like eggs and biscuits.

The man running the grill looks like an escapee from the second Men In Black movie, the man in the pizza shop in the movie. He also has things on his posted menu that look like random collections of letters, not real words. Others get something. I pass. Continue Reading »

We’re up at around 7 though not for any good reason. Probably because the room had finally gotten chilly. When we came in from the bar last night the heat was off and the room was still 85 to 90 degrees. So Ken opened the sliding window as much as it would open and the room finally got comfortable some time during the night.

We didn’t expect that the road to Inuvik would be open and it wasn’t. It had open around 4PM and closed again at around 8PM due to an 18-wheeler crashing near the Yukon Northwest Territories border in Hurricane Alley. The road wouldn’t open until the road crews got the drifts that had built overnight cleared and reported back. That would be a few hours at least. Continue Reading »

Inuvik, February 27th, 2017

We have breakfast and wait for daylight to leave Dawson City. It’s cold and clear with no wind and most the 40 kilometers back to the start of the Dempster is snow covered.

We stop at the start of the Dempster where there is an information sign that displays a message that Eagle Road is closed. Eagle Road is the road gate at Eagle Plains which is just about halfway to Inuvik. It looks like we might have an extended stay at Eagle Plains truck stop and motel. Continue Reading »

The road to Dawson is paved and well maintained. It’s also nearly devoid of any truck traffic – a bad sign for the Dempster. Most of the truck traffic that goes up the Dempster to Inuvik, gets staged here for to trip north. If the Dempster is closed, the trucks don’t leave Whitehorse. If the Dempster in closed, the southbound trucks are stuck in Inuvik.

We’ve been checking road conditions website, yukon511.ca, and the Dempster is closed and has been for a couple of days. We’re headed to Dawson City for the night, hoping that the Dempster will open. If it doesn’t open, we’ll get a room at the truck stop in Eagle Plains and wait for the road to open. Continue Reading »

We’re greeted by snow as we grab a quick breakfast at the Tim Horton’s just down the road from the hotel. Load up with fuel. And start off for Edmonton. And end up following a lumber truck with tandem trailers.

He’s kicking up so much snow that we can’t see enough to get around him. Finally, Marc creeps up on him and getrs around. I get around him a few miles later. Now we can get some miles down.

The snow stops about an hour later. And we see a moose on the side of the road. This area isn’t known for wildlife but there he is a big old moose. There’s not much snow so we’d expected the bigger animals to not venture near the roads. They usually get near the roads when there is a lot of snow because walking in the roads is easier than walking through deep snow. But here they are just waiting to unexpectedly bolt into traffic. Continue Reading »

We planned on leaving quite early but it’s an easy day though the mileage is over 600 miles. A quick breakfast and out to check the truck. The leak doesn’t look too bad and I’m beginning to think that the problem might be the power steering pump.

Both the anti-freeze and the power steering fluid are red and the liquid on the ground looks too oily to be anti-freeze. Whatever. We’re on the road but I’m planning to stop in a Ford dealer to resolve this before we get too far from civilization.

We go about 100 miles and Marc stops for gas and I inspect the truck again. I’m seriously thinking the problem is with the power steering so I pick up some power steering fluid. We continue on. Continue Reading »

The snow overnight didn’t amount to very much, a couple of inches at most, but it did slick up he roads a bit. We’re up and out by 6AM. Back to Butte on I-90 and take a left on to I-15 North to Canada. The road has a little blowing snow but not much ice. And after we leave the Butte area, there’s almost no traffic.

The road north to Canada climbs and goes through some of the most beautiful areas of Montana. Up to high alpine rock formations and then down to river bottoms where the fly fisherman float fish during the summer. No fisherman today though the rivers aren’t frozen even with the temperature down below 20°F. Just continuous bouts of snow flurries. Continue Reading »

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