My second day on the Dempster was mind blowing. The scenes just got better and better. The fall colours were getting more vivid to the north, the scenic vistas were beyond imagination and there were so many more mountains than I would have thought.
I started the day off still in the plains area beyond the Ogilvie Mountains. At this point there were plenty of trees again. The mountains in the distance were ever moving closer. The road was still quite rough, so it was slow going.
I stopped for gas at Eagle Plains, the first real sign of civilization since Tombstone…over 300 km ago. There is a small lodge there, plus the gas station. I should mention that while the road is generally quiet, there are other tourists driving it, so while there isn’t any kind of actual traffic, you do see other vehicles somewhat regularly.
After Eagle Plains, the road rose toward the Richardson Mountains and to the Arctic Circle. Even the views from far away were amazing. It would only get better.
The view from the Arctic Circle was vast. Something you can’t just capture with a camera. The snow on the mountains was terrific, as was the colour below.
From the circle on, the Dempster followed along the side of the mountains through a vast plain. This was the most breath taking part of the journey. The colours were amazing and the vastness was beyond imagination. The trees still stuck around, but were more random and stunted. I took a ton of pictures…
In the distance I could see the road begin to climb up over the mountains. Wright Pass. The views were amazing from up there. There was also remnants of snow on the ground at the pass…as well as evidence that it had been thick enough that they plowed the road. I heard later that the bad weather had actually caused a truck to jackknife and a portion of the road had been closed. This was the same snowy weather than originally had me heading back to Dawson to wait out.
At the top of the pass was the border with Northwest Territories. For some reason the road became a lot smoother then too. It wouldn’t last, but it was nice. There are several communities along the road in NWT, so the road was less remote from then on…but getting ever further north.
The other side of Wright Pass was just as breath taking as the Yukon side. Maybe more so. The fall colours were a bit more advanced on the NWT side.
The road slowly wound its way down from the mountains and left them behind. These were the last mountains on the journey north.
The road continued on over rolling hills. The trees slowly came back until they were all around the road once again.
The day was getting long. I had stopped for 276 pictures, and taken the drone up 3 times. All these wonders and I had only driven 260 km! I got a campsite just over the Peel River. The Peel ferry is interesting because it is cable driven. There is a cable stretched across the river and the ferry pulls itself along it in either direction.
What a day! It will be hard to top these wonders. The story isn’t over yet though. Stay tuned. I’ll be posting the rest of the Road to the Arctic soon!