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Wednesday 15 August 2012

Beaten by the Road

Ah, but not this time. We made it to the end of the Dempster Highway! Igloo Church, Inuvik
Igloo Church, Inuvik - Click for larger
Our last attempt at the Dempster Highway was in 2010. We almost made it to Eagle Plains but had to turn back because of bad weather. This time we faced a very different road. Dry, warm weather made for good but dusty driving. This has to be one of the most beautiful highways in the world! Tombstone Territorial Park
Tombstone Territorial Park - Click for larger
Beaver - Click for larger
We drove all the way up to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. This is as far as the road goes in the summer. In the winter you can drive all the way up to Tuktoyaktuk on ice roads. Crossing the Mackenzie River
Crossing the Mackenzie River - Click for larger
On the way back south we decided to spend a few days at the Yukon/NWT border just inside the Arctic Circle. The Porcupine Caribou herd winters here and they are starting to move in. We spotted a small herd and waited by the side of the road. They walked quite close to us. I didn’t have much light but I did what I could. This was very exciting to see barren-land caribou! Porcupine Caribou Herd
Porcupine Caribou Herd - Click for larger
Porcupine Caribou Herd
Porcupine Caribou Herd - Click for larger
Porcupine Caribou Herd
Porcupine Caribou Herd - Click for larger
As we were shooting, hunters came by and started shooting, but in a very different way! I had the opportunity to help a local hunter gut and drag his kill off the tundra. Native Hunter
Native Hunter - Click for larger
Fred, a 70-year-old Gwich’in man was very worried about Grizzly Bears. Especially when Lori and I told him we had just seen 2 just south of where we were sitting. I now had blood all over me and I smelled like a caribou. He said he didn’t have a permit to shoot a bear. I said “But you would shoot one if it came at us?”
He smiled and said, “Yes, but we would need more firepower than this old gun” as he pointed to his old 303 British rifle.
“What have I gotten myself into?” I wondered.
He then said, “Every thing follows the caribou, men, wolves, ravens, bears and even photographers! Those bears can smell these guts for miles. Keep a close watch. Always stop what you are doing and have a good look around.”
Thankfully, we didn’t see any.
What a great experience this has been!

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Anonymous Marta said...

Congrats on achieving your goal to complete the DEmpster highway. Great to hear of your adventures and to see the photos. Looking forward to more.

19 August 2012 at 14:47  
Blogger Unknown said...

Beautiful images once again. What a great opportunity to meet and assist a native hunter. I'm sure that's a memory you'll always cherish.

21 August 2012 at 23:01  

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