Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trip to the NWT Part III Waterfalls and the MacKenzie River

Top photo is Jean Marie River. It is a neat little place 27 km from the Mackenzie highway right on the river. 90 people live there. This is the old school built in 1953. Next is the highway....and then my trusty van 'hotel Montana'. Actually it ended up way muddier before we were finished.
Sam Baa Deh waterfall is right on the highway. There is another fall called the Coral Falls about a km upriver that we hiked up to. So strange to have then just pop up in this flat place. Found some neat fossils here in the road crush on the side of the highway.
Next pic taken from the ferry on the Mackenzie river. They are building a bridge that will take 3 years to complete. Last pic is Fort Providence on the other side of the river....we got to ride the ferry twice the same day. This place had the worst black flies I have ever experienced.

Trip to the NWT PartII Water Everywhere!

Top Photo is where the Petitot River joins the Liard. Lots of water in each river. Then a riverboat at Fort Liard. 100 km downstream the river is crossed by a large ferry. Last pic is looking upstream at the ferry landing. These rivers are huge and we haven't gotten to the Mackenzie yet! I am so used to seeing the Liard river where the Alaska Highway crosses it, big for the Yukon, but one of the clear, blue rivers. Here it is really muddy. In fact even the rivers that the people here call clear are brown to me, like the Blackstone. It is because they all come out of the muskeg, dyed brown with tannin. It looks impossible to travel in this country overland, much too wet. However in winter with all the water frozen it must be a dream. Totally flat!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trip to the NWT, Part I:Liard Highway

This September we took a trip into Canadian fur trading history. Even though we live in the Yukon, the NWT is seen by many people as the real North. All the early fur traders hung out there and the drive to find the North West Passage took place there.
We also just wanted to see some more wild and unpeopled places. Well, we came to the right spot! About a mile over the border we saw this huge bull buffalo. Later on we saw several more of his pals grazing on the side of the road. The Liard Highway starts out by fooling you that it will be an easy drive-fresh pavement (not even chip seal!!) for the first 30 or so miles. Then chip seal and THEN good old gravel.It is 97 kms through B.C. to the NWT border. And once you cross the border it goes into 37 kms of potholes and ruts. Made us realize how spoiled we have become in the Yukon with our now good roads. The bridges are one lane.
There is a photo of the crossing of the Nelson River. At the pull off on the north side there was a poster proclaiming a 'no idling zone' "Keep Our Air Clean". Must say I laughed my head off on that one. The entire trip to Fort Liard we saw one other truck.
The top photo is of the campground (free) at Hay Lake at Fort Liard. That is where we spent our second night of our trip, of course Liard Hot Springs was the first stop.