My trip north, Part 3

So, where were we. Right Eagle Plains, roughly the half-way point up the Dempster.

After crawling along, trying to baby the trailer we were pretty tired.
We slept in the car for a while, hoping things would open, snapped a picture of the rising sun... etc...

Eagle Plains Motel Placey Thingy

It's worth mentioning that somewhere along the way, we had an excellent encounter with a lynx on the side of the road. I can't remember at what point we encountered it but I walked up to within 30 or so feet from the thing as it obsessed over something buried under the snow.

Mr. Lynx Glares At Me
Mr. Lynx Returns To His Buried Treasure

So, hungry and barely awake we wandered into the dining room of the Eagle Plains Restaurant rubbing sleep from our eyes and looking forward to breakfast. The place was barely open, a couple of ladies were wandering the hotel lobby and restaurant as we headed for coffee.

The woman behind the counter looked us curiously and asked "Are you heading north?"

Something about the way she asked didn't seem good, all too true when she finished "You don't have much time, they are closing the road to light traffic."

Ali looked at her, slammed back his coffee.I'm not sure how hot it was, but I imagine plenty as they had just made it. He filled up a to-go cup and we headed to pay for our drinks. The lady waved us away and suggested we hurry. We asked when the gas bar opened, but we couldn't wait as it didn't open for another two hours. Nothing like cutting everything fine all at once.

Mourning the death of breakfast I piled back into the Jeep shoeing dogs out off my seat and we were off like a "flerd of hurdles" (as my mom would say).

Not knowing how much time we had left, hours by the sound of it, Ali put the pedal down and we headed back out onto the highway with the previously gingerly looked after trailer flying along behind us. We went at least 80km/hr trailer be damned.

It was a long tense drive, if we didn't make it in time things would pretty muck suck. Ali even though of calling his friend with a helicopter if things went bad. Regardless, we flew. As the kilometers slowly ticked past, things held together remarkable well. I did learn a few things about high-speeds, gravel roads and rocks.

We seen road pebbles do some neat (and scarey) things. Many rocks picked up by the tires flew out in gracefully arcing trajectories, some even curving back to crack off the windows, sometimes even the side windows! One rock flipped out, whizzed up and around and chipped the wind shield in front of Robyn. It bounced three times before the wind took it away, pinging off the windshield each time. One rock, at least the size of a golf ball cracked off of Ali's drivers window so loud everyone jumped, especially Ali. Luckily it somehow didn't even leave a chip.

We finally made it to the first crossing "Peale River", it was supposed to be the worst one of the two; and it was! However, despite the dire warnings it was solid, in fact there was little sign of any issues with the ice bridge at all. I don't know how out-of-the-loop that lady at Eagle Plains was but I won't say much more, she did give us free coffees. Regardless, it was solid, healthy-looking ice. We begin to wonder if this was the good one and the next one was the bad one.

We had noticed something else going our new speed. We were burning more fuel that we expected. In fact, we had to stop and fill up from the Jerry-Can along the way. Next stop, Fort McPherson located between the two ice bridge. It would really suck to get caught between the two melting bridges unable to get to either side!

Some Random Snowy Place On The Dempster

But we made it to Fort McPherson, and the trailer made it along with us although the wheels were starting to slant outward alarmingly without the stabilizer struts. I don't know weather any of us breathed during the last stages of our trip, I remember holding my breath a lot; but we must have.

Another Random Snowy Expanse

As the kilometers ticked away, everything miraculously held together, the duct tape window held out the dust, the trailer didn't exploding into a sheared wreckage of bouncing tired and splintered wood. Things just worked, somehow.

We made it; and I know I breathed then, I'm sure of it.

There's aren't many photo's from the last half of our trip. It was stressful and we moved fast. I did take some video though, I'll go through it and if it's sufficiently interesting I'll put together a short clip or two at some later date.

Until then...


Anonymous said…
nice picz

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