Into the Beautiful North!
I have been back in Portland, Oregon for two weeks and I am constantly thinking about Dawson City. I want to return….in winter. (Below: Cabin on Front Street, downtown Dawson.)
My former housemate, documentary filmmaker Andreas Horvath, drove as far north as possible, to the edge of the Beaufort Sea, on the amazing Dempster Highway. He went to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk (aka “Tuk”), Northwest Territories. Inuvik is a ~14 hour drive from Dawson (people usually stop half way and spend the night at the Eagle Plains road house) and Tuk is another three or so hours on a frozen shelf of ice that melts in the spring. He made a brief visit to the Tuktoyaktuk Beluga Jamboree, saw the snow mobile racing and “was appalled by it and left immediately.” He says lodging is around $220 a night and gas is about $10 per gallon.
On the way back, Andreas had to shovel snow for half an hour to make a detour on the ice road, because it was completely underwater. He said “It was literally the last minute to pass” and just after him, three fuel trucks broke through the ice and were partially submerged in the Arctic waters. Scary but no fuel leaked and no one was hurt. Officials with the Department of Transportation said that if trucks travel too fast on ice roads, a wave is created beneath the ice which weakens the the surface. The ice road to Tuk is closed May 1.
Can’t wait to go back! To see some amazing photos of the far north (above by Justin Lewis) check out this blog about Greenland: 70 Degrees West. Scroll down half way.