Leg # 3
Yellowknife Highway "The Deh Cho route": from Yellowknife, NWT to Fort Nelson, B.C.
June 21st thru 26th
|15||June 21st||Yellowknife, NWT to Fort Providence, NWT|
|16||June 22nd||Fort Providence, NWT to Fort Simpson, NWT|
|17||June 23rd||Fort Simpson, NWT to Fort Liard, NWT|
|18||June 24th||Fort Liard, NWT|
|19||June 25th||Fort Liard, NWT to Fort Nelson, BC|
|20||June 26th||Fort Nelson, BC|
Day # 15 - Saturday, June 21st - Yellowknife, NWT to Fort Providence, NWT [top of page]
Today marks the first of three times we have to back track on
our route. That's what happens when there are destinations at the end of
the road. Of course, I back track at least twice on my walks, otherwise
I'd never get any exercise if I only walked as far as mom & dad.
It's 122 miles to Gameti on the winter road. The folks
at the Visitor Center in Yellowknife told us that the public can drive on winter
roads that go to communities. But, the public is "discouraged" from
driving on the privately maintained winter road to the diamond mines north of
Yellowknife that were featured in the TV series "Ice Road Truckers". Dad
wonders if I'd still pant if we came up here in the winter.
We drove a few feet of this road, but the road is chock full
of big rocks and boulders, so dad had the truck in low range to go super slow to
keep from bouncing the trailer sky high.
I tried to give this bison a piece of my mind, but he didn't
seem to care. Mom & dad sure did, though!
Every once in a while I come up to the front seat to make
sure that dad's doing a good job of driving the truck. As much as I get
bounced around in the back seat, who knew the road was this straight?
|"Most bison are social and playful. Older females, calves and sub-adults of both genders will herd together. Older males tend to be more solitary, or will herd in small social groups. Males will congregate with the larger herd during the mating season. Bison will sometimes wallow on their backs in the dust to rid themselves of annoying insects. Males will also wallow to show off their size to potential mates."|
Every time we stop, I have to check over the rig and make
sure everything is A-OK. This particular time, I found the front spare
tire under the trailer was loose. It only took dad about 30 seconds to
tighten it, but he says he wants to put another piece of steel in the carrier so
it won't come loose again. He says that job will have to wait till we get
to Whitehorse, though.
Remember how mom fell in love with the NWT license plates?
Well, the Visitor Centre had some for sale, so dad put on on the back of the
trailer just so folks would know that this Arctic Fox was the real deal
Dad talks about how when Brittany was little and they'd come
to a slow down in traffic she'd say "Oh no, traffic!". Well, my whine of
the day is "Oh no, more buffalo!"
This momma buffalo was licking her kid's face. Ain't
that just too cute?
More buffalo ahead. Dad says the books on the highway
warn drivers to not stop their cars face-to-face with a buffalo. I guess
their a bit temperamental and they might charge the car. that's probably
pretty scary if you're in a car, but I'd think the buffalo would get a headache
if he butted that big steel 'Rancher' grill guard on the truck.
This is the bison look for 'Huh?' Such a big head and
such a small brain!
Momma bison and the kid butted and kicked each other for a
bit before the kid got what he wanted.
After we noticed the horns on the kid, I
don't blame momma bison for shoving the kid around a bit. Sure glad that
dogs don't have horns-those little teeth are bad enough!
This big guy was keeping his feet cool in a flooded area next
to the road. Dad stopped the rig so the rear end of the trailer was right
next to him, so dad snuck around the back of the trailer and was only about
10-15 feet away when he took this photo. I can just picture dad climbing
the ladder on the back of the trailer real fast if
he'd objected to having his photo taken. :-) Instead, he turned
around and faced the other way. Bison butts are not particularly
Did you notice how almost all of these bison seem to be
staring off into space and hardly ever make eye contact? I'm just a little
guy and I'm not afraid to make eye contact; what are these big guys afraid of?
Day # 16 - Sunday, June 22nd - Fort Providence to Fort Simpson, NWT [top of page]
Our campsite at Fort Providence
Mosquitoes looking for a way into the trailer via one of the three ceiling fan vents.
The Fort Providence ferry
We're onboard the Fort Providence ferry next to an oversized load.
Here's where we turn right and head for Fort Nelson, BC and the Alaska Highway instead of continuing to back track.
The end of the paved road comes very shortly after turning onto Highway 1
This truck pelted us with gravel. You can see the gravel from the front tire with its relatively innocent highway tread. Imagine how much is kicked up by all of those other tires and their aggressive traction tread.
A guy and his son in his broken down Ford truck.
You know you're in a remote area when the rest stops have survival cabins. Here's an example. Stark, but it could be Home Sweet Home.
Rest areas with survival cabins have this type of sign
Here we are at a rest area with another survival cabin in the background. This is where I disable the backup alarm for the trailer hitch.
We're stopped on the side of the highway. Starting to show the accumulation of dust & dirt on the rig.
The 'plan' was to spend the night at Sambaa Deh Falls Park, but we decided to just have lunch and press on.
Bo'sun inspects our site at Sambaa Deh Falls Park
The Sambaa Deh Falls as seen from the highway bridge over the river
The sky looks like this seemingly forever. Gorgeous.
We might as well take the road to Fort Simpson since we're so close. Fort Liard can wait another day for us.
The road to Fort Simpson
Bo'sun has had his daily quota of gravel roads and takes a nap in CJ's lap
Another survival cabin
The forest is sooo diverse.
Loaded on the ferry
Looking back at the dirt approach/landing instead of the usual ferry docks and landings we have in Puget Sound
The visitor centers in the Northwest Territories are incredibly nice, especially when you consider that they only get 1-2 visitors a day.
The Pope's Chair at the Fort Simpson Visitor Center from when he visited Fort Simpson
A fox on display at the Visitor Center
Our campsite at Fort Simpson Territorial Park
Another view of the site - and the dirty rig. The Arctic Fox name at the top of the rear cap is invisible.
Another view of Fort Simpson Territorial Park and our campsite.
Day # 17 - Monday, June 23rd - Fort Liard [top of page]
This beaver swam by our campsite three times during our stay.
Two photos of a Common Golden Eye duck. He was diving for dinner about 100 yards away.
Day # 18- Tuesday, June 24rd, Fort Simpson to Fort Liard, NWT [top of page]
One of the larger dragon flies lands on a reed
The Common Golden Eye duck
One very precocious American Robin was very proud of the grub he caught.
Another one of the larger dragon flies
A pair of the smaller variety of dragonflies mating
A moth in the forest behind our campsite
Day # 19 - Thursday, June 25th - Fort Liard, NWT to Fort Nelson, BC [top of page]
The first thing we did in Fort Nelson was stop at the local Laundromat and get started on a couple of weeks of laundry
Note the close-up of the sign at the Laundromat. Interesting place to do your laundry.
Day # 20 - Friday, June 26th - Fort Nelson, BC [top of page]
The Saloon & laundry at Westend Campground. I took this photo from our campsite just across the driveway. The location made for an interesting stay.
These two photos show the whole scene
Bo'sun & the RV park owner's dog have a little dance in the driveway between our campsite and the office.