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Saturday, August 28, 2010

On the Road Update - Dempster Highway

Hi everyone. Well, the past two weeks have been interesting to say the least. In a nutshell, here are the gory details:

- a grizzly jumped on my car. And since I didn't know it was even there, it scared the living daylights out of me. It then got off my car and proceeded to march down the middle of the road.

- it rained for seven straight days, effectively turning the 730 kilometre long Dempster Highway into the world's longest mud pit.

- the caribou were indeed crossing, but it's not the main herd -- and the ones we did see are being heavily hunted. Still, there were days we got to see 200-300 caribou, which was cool. There were other days where we couldn't see anything because it was so rainy and foggy and snowy, which was not so cool.

- there are a LOT of grizzlies on the Dempster. Besides the one that jumped on our car, we also had two come and parade through the campground we were eating lunch in and another that ripped down a tent in the same campground the day before we got there. Needless to say, we did not tent.

- my car does not like mud. First, we got a flat on Day 6, right in the middle of one of the mud pits. REALLY fun to change a tire in mud. Even more fun to discover that the silt in the mud seized up the tire studs, meaning I had to snap one off to get the flat tire off. And even more fun to learn yesterday that the mud had completely caked under my car in every orifice, causing my car to drive with a severe vibration that I was unable to fix with an hour at a car wash spent hosing down the undersides of my car and insides of my tires from on my back in a muddy quagmire. When the mechanics in Dawson City tried to take the tires off to clean the mud up, five more tire studs broke off. But the real kicker? The worst of the worst of the worst, was that the mud completely and utterly destroyed my back brakes, to the point where one pad wore down to the rotor, and the other pad simply disappeared and was nowhere to be found. So right now I'm sitting in Whitehorse, awaiting an entire back brake assembly to arrive via air freight from Toronto on Tuesday night. Now that's fun!

I'll try to update again in the next week. I'm off to Kluane to see if I can find any big dall sheep rams for a few days, so please wish me better luck than the Dempster gave me!

John

5 comments:

  1. I told you you should have stayed in Yellowknife, lol. Sorry to hear it was a rough trip, after the Nunavut issues I don't think you needed other problems with travel. I hope the rest of your trip goes well.

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  2. I am sure Klune will bring better luck. However, I have to say that your struggles over the last little while are far more exciting than even my best day in the office! Good luck. I am looking forward to hear about your next adventure.
    Shelly

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  3. Wow, sounds like one heck of a trip so far. You've certainly had your share of bad luck. I hope things turn around for you in the time you have left.

    Good luck!

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  4. FYI Hunting is how many survive up there. Maybe it would be better if they got thier meat at the store where no animals get hurt?

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