The man is always trying to put people into boxes. We don’t fit in a box, we’re completely the wrong shape. That’s why we’re in a circle. The Arctic Circle!
We left Dawson at a leisurely pace and started up the Dempster Highway that goes from the Alaska Highway to the northern most point that roads go in the Northwest Territories. We got a little more than half way to Inuvik (the end of the road), and 50k north of the Arctic Circle before we stopped for camp at beautiful Rock River Campground. There’s a base about half way up the 750km Dempster Highway called Eagle Plains. It is a compound started by the government that is completely independently run, with their own water, power, and TV, which they get directly from a satellite. They have eight employees who live on site year round, as it is 350km on a dirt road from the nearest town. It’s very weird. So thankfully we didn’t stop there to spend the night.
The campsite we got to, Rock River, is beautiful. It is right on a river (Rock River), just south from where another river converges with it. One of them is red and the other blue, so this one is red and blue (not purple unfortunately). The red is iron. The blue is water. And it gets beer cold in about 2.3 minutes. Very handy.
Rock River campground was such a delight and the Dempster Highway so far has been a pleasure. The views are outstanding and today has been the absolute best conditions. It feels like a well groomed dirt track. There are some giant pot holes here and there, and some stretches of gravel, but most of it is just hard packed dirt with very reasonable traction. We’ve been cruising at about 90kph, but we are going to slow it down tomorrow in hopes of seeing some more wildlife. We haven’t seen much, and everyone we talk to has seen multiple grizzlies, caribou, bison, eagles, etc. Going slower means we can pay more attention to our surroundings, and less to the giant pot holes that might appear right in front of us. At one point today, in a stretch of deeper gravel, I did almost eat shit. So I’d like to formally thank Scott’s for making dampers, and Super Plush Suspension for making my bike handle so well.
On a final note, we are now so far north that it isn’t really getting dark. It is thwarting my attempts to see the Northern Lights. Any advice is welcome. See, here’s Chris at camp at 11:28pm. The sun has set and it’s dusk, but the sky is still very blue. It looked a tiny bit darker two hours later.
We’ll be doing the rest of the highway tomorrow, so hopefully it goes just as well.