Showing posts from September, 2009

Return from the Demptser; Going Home

It rained on and off all night at the Ethel Lake campground.  Who knows what time it was when I got up?, it is always light, even here,  hundreds of kilometers south of the Arctic circle, but I suspect it was early as the only other person up is the fisherman in the next campsite.  All night long he had kept me awake  with his really loud coughing up a lung smokers cough.  The fisherman was a Quebecois living in the Yukon since the 1970's.     We talked a bit, the fish weren't biting..  I don't like fish, so I never developed the passion for catching the smelly  slimy things, but we all must have our activities to break our routines. On the Klondike Highway there are plenty of rest stops maintained by the territory,  basic no need to flush outdoor toilets, picnic tables and interpretive signs to tell you what you are looking at.  This one had been decorated by graffiti artists.  I had seen the same style and the logo 'just one' in Ross River.  I don't know

Riding to the Arctic Circle (part 3)

Not very far down the Dempster highway is a campground, and the 'Dempster Interpretive Center'.   I had only just arrived on the highway, but here was a stop with picnic tables, a rare luxury.  The lady running the interpretive center was rounding up people for a guided nature walk.  A naturalist was going to tell them about the local plants.   I passed, as I just wanted to sit, have some coffee, have something to eat and get psyched for the ride.  The interpretive center lady lends me a guide book on the highway.  She says I can bring it back on the way back, but it does not take long to read, so I return it right away. ------------------------------------------------------- When I travel on back roads or remote areas, I always carry some food with me.  Motels are scarce, and don't always have vacancies.  I don't adhere to a schedule and am prepared to camp in a nice spot, should I stumble across one.  Always having food allows me stop whenever and where ever I wan

Riding to the Arctic Circle part 2.

It was drizzly and cold as I left Ross River in the early AM. The dreary weather continued for most of the day.  From Ross River to the Klondike highway is another approximately 400 km, but about 80 km along the way is Faro.    Faro was the location of a huge open pit lead-zinc mine.  They have turned one of the old ore carrying monster trucks into one of those statue display things that small towns like put up. Faro is about the same size as Ross River, but quite a contrast.  Martha Stewart has no fan base in Ross River.  Faro has paved roads, and many houses that would not look out of place in lower suburbia.  To be fair, Faro  was until recently a prosperous mining town and had a population in the 1,000s.  There are also a lot of empty houses in Faro, the population having shrunk to about 400.  The Faro-ese are going after the eco tourism trade.  There is a population of Dall sheep on the edge of town.  There is a blind a few miles out where you can go to observe them.  It was sti

Riding to the Arctic Circle (part one)

The arctic circle is the point where the sun does not go set in summer or come up in winter, for at least one day...   I used to think that it was 6 months of daylight and 6 months of darkness, but you have to go to the north pole for that.   At the Arctic circle you will have one 24 hour period with no sunset, on June 21, the summer solstice. The arctic circle would be my destination as I left Edmonton in late June, 2009.  To get there I would travel up the Alaska highway to the Yukon, and from there to Dawson City, where the great gold rush of the 1890's happened, and then up the Dempster highway to the arctic circle. I had been up the Alaska highway and to Dawson on a motorcycle before, so I knew the way :-)  My first trip was on a street oriented sport touring bike, a Yamaha FJ100.  It was fine most of the time, but definitely out of its element when going got rough.  The AK highway and the highway to Dawson can be travelled on just about any kind of motorcycle, but there