1999 8 7 11:28:00 PM MVC-FD91

Digital Mavica images

17 mavica images

MVC-005AX.JPG 1999 8 7 2:23:46 AM ***
I finally hit the Dempster Highway, and the road turns into gravel and rock. Really hard on the vehicle. I take it easy at 50 km/hr, even though the speed limit is 90. The road is beautiful! Lots of mountains, but the light is low, so I figure I'll get photos on the way back.
There is a ton of wildlife here. All kinds of birds and ducks, rabbits, squirles, chipmunks, cayotees, etc. Something jumps out in front of the car about every five minutes or so. Here is a photo of an Arctic Grey Fox I found dead on the road. This animal is about 36 inches long from head to the white tip on his tail.

MVC-006AX.JPG 1999 8 7 1:38:38 PM ****
The road is long and slow. I pull over and sleep for the night, even though it's not really dark out.
The next day, I got this photo. I'm later told (by the librarian in Watson Lake) that this is a Spruce Grouse. There was generally one of these males around a bunch (3 to 6) females.

MVC-002BX.JPG 1999 8 7 2:18:24 PM **

MVC-003BX.JPG 1999 8 7 2:18:44 PM **
The next day everything is very foggy. It turns out, this is from some forrest fires nearby. This obscures most of the photos I wanted to take.
Here is some information about the land and the glaciers. This is so far North, that some of these mountains have never had a glacier touch them!

MVC-005BX.JPG 1999 8 7 3:08:02 PM *
The road goes on, but its hard to see through the smoke. I am assured that if the fire becomes dangerous, "they" will close the road.

MVC-007BX.JPG 1999 8 7 6:42:00 PM ***

MVC-008BV.MPG 1999 8 7 6:43:06 PM **
I reach the arctic circle, and its like somebody turned on a switch. Suddenly, there is a wind blowing about 70 miles/hour toward the West. It is actually hard to stand up.
This is Patrick and Rick Pelletier, big travelers from B.C. They have been everywhere, and tell me that on the way back, I should visit Southern Saskatchewan.

MVC-009BX.JPG 1999 8 7 7:26:06 PM *
Check out the road surface. It seems to go on forever...

MVC-002CX.JPG 1999 8 7 8:54:58 PM ****

MVC-004CX.JPG 1999 8 7 8:55:46 PM ***
This seagull is sitting on the ferry boat that takes you over the McKenzie river. Its been five years since I've seen it, the last time was in Ft. Simpson (see a map). Here, we cross this great river at Ft. McPherson, well into the Northwest Territories.

MVC-007CX.JPG 1999 8 7 9:29:34 PM ****

MVC-008CX.JPG 1999 8 7 9:29:48 PM ****
I drive into and through the town of Ft. McPherson, and find this Arctic Red Fox, which I get great photos of. He's got a white tip on his tail just like the Grey Fox.

MVC-001DX.JPG 1999 8 7 10:02:44 PM ***
Just past Ft. McPherson, they close the road because of dangerous (just a mile from the road) forrest fires near Inuvik.
This becomes the end of the Earth for me, and I turn around and start to head back down the 500 mile rough road.

MVC-002DX.JPG 1999 8 7 10:37:46 PM *
As I head South and leave the McKenzie river valley, I look back and get this scary photo of the smoke from the fire about 60 miles up the road, engorging the river valley.
The fires that I ran into on the way up were getting worse too. Combined with the rain and fog, it was like driving through pea soup in certain spots.

MVC-003DX.JPG 1999 8 7 11:22:18 PM **

MVC-004DX.JPG 1999 8 7 11:22:52 PM *

MVC-005DX.JPG 1999 8 7 11:28:00 PM *
Mountain photos taken in a small break in the smoke. Mostly, it was slow and tough going. I also forgot to get anything to eat for the next day. Things were about to get real ugly...