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Old 07-24-2022, 08:15 AM   #1
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To the Arctic Ocean and Back 2022

This will be a picture heavy thread. We were out for nearly 5 weeks, so I've broken the trip into 5 day sections!

Day 1-5
After a quick three day’s journey from Southern California up the 5 freeway to Auburn, Washington, and some time at a mechanic’s there, our real adventure began. (Joe at Active Auto in Auburn, WA was amazing and worked hard to get us on our way.)

The border crossing into Canada was uneventful and we continued in the intermittent rain to Whistler for a walk around and some ice cream! We then continued on to spend the night at the community barn in Pemberton. Every time the sun broke, we saw another magnificent snow-capped peak. We continued on to Quesnel to stock up on supplies and camped near Lightning Creek,, along with the hummingbird-sized mosquitoes, at our first of many free Canadian Recreation Sites. (We highly recommend a Thermacell for mosquitoes.)
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Old 07-24-2022, 08:23 AM   #2
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Looks like a good thread to follow along with

Since we'll be headed to the Canadian Rockies at the end of the summer, also bringing our doggo - was the only thing required at the border proof of Rabies vaccination or did you also need a clean health examination? Mixed information provided by our vet on this question.

Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2022, 08:29 AM   #3
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Days 6-10

Days 6-10
We toured Barkerville, a historic gold rush town with a bakery and tasty treats! In addition to the amazing scenery we saw deer and black bears before finding another amazing Provincial Park on the Skeena River near Kitwanga. We were beginning to notice the long days - 11:00pm and it was still light.

We continued to have gray, rainy days with amazing sun breaks and scenery.There were way too many lakes and rivers to count. We camped at Dease Lake, and continued on to the Yukon. There was flooding everywhere and we saw houses with water half-way up the walls. We spent two nights in Whitehorse and were there for their community market in the park on Thursday - the lemon blueberry ice cream was amazing.

If you are shopping at the Real Canadian Superstore, don’t forget a loon ($1 coin) so you can get a shopping cart. 10 days after beginning our journey, we made it to the start of the Dempster Highway. The Dempster is approximately 500 miles of unpaved road with the first 400 miles to the town of Inuvik fairly packed and well traveled. The Dempster is the only way to travel by land to the Arctic Ocean in Canada. We shared overflow parking with the most interesting people while camped at Tombstone National Park and continued to meet fellow adventurers as we traveled. The visitor’s center at Tombstone was great and gave us a fabulous guide to the Dempster as far as Inuvik. (https://yukon.ca/sites/yukon.ca/file...travelogue.pdf)
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Old 07-24-2022, 08:56 AM   #4
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Arctic Circle to Dawson City

Days 11-15
We reached the Arctic Circle and spent the night parked near the sign - definite checkmark on the bucket list! Patches of snow and ice were now down near where we were and along the edges of lakes and rivers. The map of this area, when you zoom in far enough, looks like a maze of strips of land between waterways.

We were really glad that we had watched a YouTube video of someone who needed cash for gas when the internet was out because we brought emergency cash and needed it to buy gas in Eagle Plains where their credit card readers were down. We continued on to two different ferry crossings and the town of Inuvik. This town was originally built to support gas and oil production, but it was discovered that because of its location and the curvature of the earth, it was a perfect place for satellite communications.
On day 12 we reached our ultimate goal - the town of Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, on the Arctic Ocean. The road from Inuvik to Tuk is the newest and trickiest part of the Dempster. It was just completed in 2017 and is not well packed yet. The gravel was loose and a little “squirrely”. We drove through the tundra with the permafrost making tree growth impossible. There is free camping available right on the ocean. This little town is not at all “touristy”. There is one food truck type trailer (that was always closed) and one souvenir shop with about four shirts. The people were lovely and the view could not be beat. We did the “Polar Bear Plunge” and went all the way under. There was still ice that we could see, but it wasn’t as cold as we expected. It was light all night long!

As we started to retrace our steps on the way back down, a semi kicked up a rock that left us with a windshield chip and we discovered a chunk missing from a tire (most likely from the ramps at the ferry). We weren’t losing pressure, but not wanting to take a chance on this road, we changed it (well, John changed it and Janet took pictures!)
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Old 07-24-2022, 08:58 AM   #5
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Steven C. I found conflicting information too, but going into Canada we just showed rabies certificate (and they wanted to see the dog). On the way back, they just asked us to hold the dog when they came to inspect the fridge.
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Old 07-24-2022, 09:16 AM   #6
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Tuktoyaktuk to Hazelton

Days 16-20
We said goodbye to the Dempster Highway and were back on pavement. We found a great spot near a local swimming spot at a little lake near Dawson City for the night. We enjoyed Dawson City and were given a certificate for completing the Dempster by the Friends of the Dempster visitor’s center.

As we got back on the road, we parked at a rest stop pullout for the night along with at about 4 other rigs and to work on regrouping due to a fire and a road washout that sent us in a different direction than planned. We ended up in the beautiful and interesting little town of Atlin, BC. Now we camped at Surprise Lake nearby. Another great day. At 11:30 pm it was dusk. The darkest we’d seen in a long time.

We returned to the same campsite at Dease Lake and saw a forest fire on the ridge across from us as we drove. We drove to Stewart, BC. It’s right on the boarder with Alaska and has ice sheets and glaciers all around. Like many other towns we’ve visited it was originally a mining town and much larger in it’s hay day than it is now. We are camped back at Anderson Provincial Park on a very cold, swift-moving Skeena river.
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Old 07-24-2022, 09:28 AM   #7
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Hazelton to Tonasket

Days 21-25
It was dark at night. Real, actual, can’t see without a flashlight dark! Sunset here is at 10:15 and sunrise isn’t until 5:00. We had a sitting around watching the river flow by kind of day. It was wonderful. After a rainy morning, the sun broke to beautiful blue skies with amazing clouds. Hazelton to Prince George for shopping and gas. We camped high above the city of McBride.

We left our beautiful campsite overlooking McBride down a muddy road in the rain. We headed into Jasper just for a look around the town. We will have to come back and really do Jasper and Banff when we have more time. We stopped at Mount Robson Park and camped at another fantastic sport on a lake at Yellowjacket Creek Recreation site near Valemount. We went into the town of Valemount to check out a Swiss bakery that is supposed to be amazing. 4 strudels, 2 trifles, and a coffee later we agree that it is indeed amazing. We also visited the local train museum. We met a couple from Indiana and Australia. We are loving all of the fellow adventurers we have encountered on this trip.
The Canadian sky put on a light show at sunset for our last night in Canada. (Until next time). We are spent 2 nights in Tonasket, WA, the town where I did summer service work 35 years ago
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Old 07-24-2022, 09:37 AM   #8
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Tonasket - Seattle

Days 26-30
We picked up some cherries at a local farm stand and drove around to see what had changed in 35 years. I saw more horses and fewer orchards, but other than that it looked about the same.
We drove through beautiful Washington farm country and past many lakes. Finally returning to stay with family in Auburn, WA. We visited Snoqualmie Falls, Pike Street Market (and the first Starbucks), and the Space Needle.
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Old 07-24-2022, 09:46 AM   #9
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Auburn, WA to La Verne, CA

Days 31-34
We said goodbye to Washington and saw our first views of the Oregon coast. We camped at the Blue Heron Cheese Company for the night. We drove down the beautiful Oregon coast and had lunch by the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. We stopped for the night at Camp Myrtlewood hanging with the friends.

Then, we decided to just hit the five and head for home. CA looks hot and dry compared to the Pacific Northwest. 34 days after we started out we are home and thinking about where our next adventure might take us!

(Thread submitted by Janet - the photographer and record keeper)
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Old 07-24-2022, 10:05 AM   #10
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That's a fun trip, really like that badge-of-honor pic with the Artic Circle sign. kudo's to Janet for a well documented adventure.
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