Greetings from Inuvik! The odometer on the car says 3100 km, which means we have travelled a LOOOONG way to get here (and the car smells like it too!).
Its been an entertaining start to our adventure. Cathy, Matt and I drove to Fort Nelson on night one and stayed in a lovely motel. Cathy was convinced that there were dead bodies under the bed but it didn’t smell like it… We arrived the next day in Whitehorse just in time to pick Mike up from the airport. We were all so excited to start the adventure on the Chilkoot Trail, we went straight to the pub to celebrate! After some re-organizing we had 4 packs ready to go for 5 wonderful days on the trail.
Day 1 was a leisurely stroll through the wilderness getting used to the weight of the packs on our backs. We were quite happy not to have been carried away by the mosquitos in the night. The next day was another easy one, all in preperation for the hike to the summit! For anyone not familiar with the Chilkoot…google it. The hike over the golden stairs is straight up…. 1500 feet in a kilometer. Hand hiking at it’s finest! We had picture perfect weather (sorrry no photos…haven’t had time to upload any yet) as the fog lifted just as we crossed the border back into Canada. There was SOOOO much snow up high and I did my best impression of a bob sleigher to get down! All in all a highly successful start to our life of adventure in the out of doors. We hiked all 5 days with a fantastic father (David) and son (Robert) from Vancouver, played gonzo, YAHTZEE and gave Robert a hard time for his reaction to his run in with the wildlife – a Grouse 🙂
The night back in Whitehorse was a bit more rowdy than the previous 3. For starters we stayed up past 7:30pm but were nestled in bed by 11:30pm. While dining post shower at the Klondike Rib and Salmon bake we met the owner who assured us we should enjoy a beer at the 98 hotel down the street. Imagine a cross between the Canmore Hotel and the Cecil Hotel, throw in some dead animals for good measure and you have a sense of the atmosphere. The beer was cold and the conversation was fantastic, and thankfully the bar closes at 11 so they can re-open at 9 the next morning.
Alas, it was time to say goodbye to our travelling companions and we headed back to the car for our journey north. Whitehorse to Dawson and then Dawson to Inuvik. The Dempster highway was beautiful and we saw a HUGE herd of Caribou on the side of the road. We have also had a great deal of interaction with the mosquitos up here, and they make the ones on the Chilkoot look like kiddymoe. The inside of the car looks like the killing fields with mosquito carcases littered all over it! The 24 hour day light will take some getting used to, but the good news is there is little need for spare batteries for the headlamps 🙂
Today we set off for the Horton River for exactly 1 month of paddling adventure. I am feeling a bit nervous and excited and can’t wait to get settled into a common routine of paddling and living. The cameras batteries are fully charged and we are making another stop to buy a bit more mosquito repellent. I think we are set!
When we fly out of the river it will be a whirlwind trip to Wrangell to visit the Prysunka’s and then back home to Calgary in time to catch our flight to St. Petersburg. Wow…this is all really happening. Thanks for reading and thanks for all your support! Until we are back in civilization…ciao!
Matt and Heather