In Dawson City we fill up our supplies and may then also experience how the German football team messed up the Soccer World Cup. And for such a game we got up at 6 o'clock in the morning. Unbelievable.
But life goes on, as well as our holiday, and of course we do not let ourselves be spoiled by such trifles. Our next big destination is the northernmost point we want to reach on the American continent, which is at the very top of the Arctic Ocean, just below the 70th parallel. In between are 900 kilometers earth road of gravel and mud. Construction of the Dempster Highway began in 1959 and it took 20 years to complete
After a rest day, we set off. Sun and rain alternate in beautiful uniformity and after a few kilometers our MOMO is splashed from top to bottom with dirt and it looks like that will probably remain so in the next few days. Immediately after the first few kilometers there is a large truck with trailer in the ditch and a little further on, a caravan team has strayed from the paths. When it rains, the track soon becomes very soft and muddy and runs like ice. The landscape is magnificent and gives one the feeling of an infinite space and loneliness. Also see the video: Dempster Highway
After three days we reach Inuvik, our first milestone. A small town with about 3000 inhabitants. There is not much going on here. In the past the track ended here but since November 2017, a new road was opened leading up to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean. Before, the place was only reachable in winter on the frozen McKenzie River while serving as a street. So, we kick MOMO again 150 km over gravel and dirt and then it's time for champagne. After the southernmost point in Ushuaia on 1.1.2014 we are now, four and a half years and 84500 km later, at the Polar Sea. Mission completed! A strong Arctic wind blows and much more than 10 degrees are not reached. In winter, minus 57 degrees were already measured here. In honor of the Canada Day on July 1, there will be a festival on the village square with music and traditional dances.
We spend a cold and bright day right on the Arctic Sea and make our way back the next morning. Next to us camped a cyclist who did 4000 km on his bike to reach this place. We do not really want to swap with him. After a total of 10 days and 1900 km we are back in Dawson and have to wash mud and dirt from the car before we explore Dawson.
Dawson has not changed much since our first visit in 1986. The beautifully restored old buildings and the saloons are still worth seeing and the piano player at the Downtown Hotel is there every night as usual. At the Dempster we met Rita & Hermann from Bad Tölz with their BayerMAN and now we go with the two through the pubs. Of course, you should not miss a visit to Gertie's, the legendary gambling salon which was opened in 1971. The Can Can Girls are, as in 1986, still a feast for the eyes, but were probably replaced in the meantime by younger girls. The next day we say goodbye to Rita & Hermann who unfortunately are traveling in the opposite direction. Was very nice with you. We hope to see you in Europe at the end of the year.
Now we have a lot of driving ahead of us. At the Five Finger Rapids we take a minute's commemoration and let the moment pass again, when we paddled there in 1986 and afterwards we got the water from the canoe. From the top it looks actually quite harmless, but in a canoe, the waves can reach one meter.
In Whitehorse, we stop briefly and then drive the 800 km long Cassiar Highway through a beautiful landscape that must be clearly ranked among our top 5. A short detour of 100 km takes us to Stewart and Hyder but unfortunately we arrive 2 weeks early. The salmon and bears that you can comfortably watch from the wooden pier during the season are not there yet. But the Salmon Glacier is not less beautiful and the long journey is absolutely worth it.
Miles after mile it goes back to midsummer. Slowly we reach temperatures of 25 degrees and more and we have one or the other break at beautiful lakes and can swim again which we haven’t done for longer. Across Jasper we drive along the Icefield Parkway to Banff with thousands of other tourists. One or the other black bear grazing peacefully on the roadside is obviously unaware that it is causing medium traffic jams. Although we have been riding here for the third time, the track has not lost any of its charm and is one of the most beautiful in the world.
Through the Kootenay National Park it goes down to the border of the USA. Shortly before we make another visit to Fort Steele, a lovingly restored place which was founded in 1864 at the time of the gold rush.
Then we drive over the border to Montana. There we make a longer stop at Ashley Lake and visit our Canadian friends Leona & Brad, where we spent already two wonderful weeks last year. After the thousands of kilometers in the last two months, a longer driving and recovery break is now urgently needed.
Then it goes quickly to Chicago. Of course we will continue to report. Until then, enjoy reading and taking pictures.