arctic circle sign fj cruiser

Day 14: Everything Old Is New Again

ferry crossing dempster highwayStart: Inuvik, North West Territory
Finish: Dawson City, Yukon
Miles today: 450
Miles total: 3872

Caribou: 8
Wild mustangs: 7
Porcupine: 1

I have finally achieved the Zen road trip adventure state I’ve been after. When the adventure started I was jumping up at 5:00 a.m. just like it was work. Now… 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. Dad wakes me… I’m in a relaxed state of mind. I find myself logging on the Internet when ever I can to check if any new comments have been left for us. Every time I see a new comment my spirits get a nice lift. Thanks for letting us know you guys are following along.

fj cruiser ferry crossing dempster highwayAfter a day of rest, laundry, and talking with local folks we left Inuvik and are heading south for the rest of the adventure… We did stop at the North Mart to buy some food for the road so we could avoid those $10 cardboard sandwiches at Eagle Pass.

The morning started out the same as always… Dad gets in an early nap. I plug in the iPod and listen to some Jimmy Buffet. It is nice being able to plug in the iPod to the car stereo since there is nothing coming in over the airwaves.

Coming back down the Dempster means 449 miles, two ferries and at least one gas stop. On the way north we had some traffic. On the way south, we drove 53 miles before we saw any other car on the road. Part of that is the ferry which does not begin service until 9:30 a.m. As we pulled up to the first ferry it was clear we were the first to be heading south. This ferry runs on a wire and is pulled across the river giving the boat staff time between docking.  The crew checked us out and thought our rig was cool… they asked if they could look inside and asked us about it on the short boat rid across the river. We asked, how do you make a dock out of dirt that does not wash away…  “You don’t.  You just keep remaking it.”18 wheeler on dempster highway

The Dempster is better than the Haul Road with less truck traffic and getting by an oncoming rig is not such a tight squeeze. However with the clear dry weather the gravel and dirt road is a bit dusty and trucks kick up dust. A lot of dust. There is no question when a truck is coming, you see the dust cloud coming from a mile away. This truck made the passing easy he slowed and moved to the side. The trucks on Haul Road did not slow down and did not give up any of the road. It was up to us to get small and move to the edge of the road and then not get sworn at to much.

We hit a major milestone. We crossed the Arctic Circle’s line of demarcation for the last time. To commemorate the fourth and final crossing, Dad and I pulled out our sandwiches from North Mart and enjoyed a little picnic. Ok, not a champagne and caviar, and the entertainment was an iPod, but the sun was out and the company was good, making this the best celebration so far.

fall colors dempster highwayOn the way back we crossed a two mountain ranges. Mountain ranges tend to hold clouds up. At this pass we had just come through a hail storm and a brief down pour. You can see the clouds hanging over us. Even with the clouds you can see the veins of gold running down the mountain. I stuck the rig in there so you would have a little perspective on how vast the land here is.

Did I mention the road was dusty! 900 mile of the Dempster.

dirty fj cruiserWe ended the day where we started it two days ago, at Klondike Kate’s. It was 8:00 p.m. and sunny when we rolled in to the restaurant. They were packed for dinner. It is a great feeling when you sit down and from the back comes Josee (Owner and big Toyota fan) to welcome us. While we’re not rock stars, it is nice to feel special so far from home. We’ll see Josee one more time for breakfast before we leave for Whitehorse.

John: You have to be one of our biggest supporters. Thanks! No terry cloth robs, no room service and no day spa activities. Unfortunately I am not loosing weight we are just paying too much to continue to eat more than I should.

fj cruiser fall colors dempster highwayJoyce: I know you felt all cloths were created equal and deserving of equal respect. Filling up the gas tank today $86. Unfortunately the Canadian Paso is up against the dollar. One Canadian dollar equals 95 cents US.

Randy: Glad to hear from you and I’m all for hooking into a few Sea Runs when I get back.

Mary: Thank you for keeping up with us and publicizing the trip so much.

7 thoughts on “Day 14: Everything Old Is New Again”

  1. Glad to see you are wearing pants these days. One of my favorite pictures to show people at work is the one where you are standing in the Arctic Ocean. And then the one where your dad is sticking his fingers in. It ends with a good laugh and everyone saying who the smarter one is. I swear I don’t even have to sway the vote.

  2. I just think it’s great what you’re doing regarding the father-son experience. Wish I could have done the same…guess you could say I’m living vicariously through you on this trip.

  3. When are you due back I better tell mom she’s been endulging a bit with the leisure time of her own.. renting movies, art fairs, friends visiting, spa treatments, casino adventures, bingo & dining out, Oh and her eye surgery went well. DON’T FORGET Her Birthday is Sat. (Dad You might want to call home that day and the next since it is your 48th anniversary) She’s at home now and not sure how to log onto dad’s computer to catch up so she wanted me to tell you both hello and send you her love. p.s. Oregon state beat Utah last week and are gonna beat Cincinnati today. 🙂

  4. Paul/Jim – your journal is electric! I can feel the adventure, surprise and yet, at times frustration. You are great at expressing the emotion of your trip. By the way, UofO 48 Houston 27 – just in case you care. We’re headed to Michigan. Wish us luck! On a more serious note, Day 7 brought tears . . you are a very tender one, Paul. Jim/Rose done good!! I’m proud to have you as a cuz!! Also, you’ve had me laughing out loud many times. Hugs to both of you.

  5. Your pictures rock. I think it’s amazing that you’ve traveled so far. The weather looks a lot better than Portland’s weather (it’s sprinkling yet again this morning). I, too, love the Arctic Ocean pictures. When I was at Maura’s for Labor Day,(yes, Paul, I snuck up there to see them while you were gone), we took out the Atlas to show the kids where you were.
    You truly are “On Top of the World”! What an amazing journey.

  6. I’m so jealous. You managed to get my adventure juices flowing. Tomorrow…I take the long way to Fred Meyer.

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