Sunday, July 22, 2012

The long way home


   We're home and settled into our new house, but first the photo's of the long trip here.  I had to leave 24 hours early (but  still 3 hours late as the road closed due to storms just as we entered the difficult part).  I left early when I saw the weather report which was apparently a good move as the road closed while we were on it and remained closed for the next 7 days.  When we arrived in Eagle plains, we were met by Ice road Truckers film crew who were filming the closed gate and Duboski was going on how the conditions were deadly.  Then in the middle of the shot I pull up to the closed gate in my Subie and with trailer in tow, get out in my short sleeve's open the gate drive through and then close the gate behind me, somehow I think they reshot that particular scene though.
  I'd like to give a special shout out to Albert, who we met on the road out of town,  I guess he was just parked waiting for us, but it really meant a lot to us to see him waiting there.

  So far so good as we head into the Richardson mountains for the last time, this particular valley has been several times on the blog but never during the heat of winter.  We didn't realize the Dempster was so bad at this point.  Little did we realize we had already passed the last vehicle we would see in the next two days of travel.
   We paused here at James creek, trying to figure out if we should push on,  we talked to the gatekeeper who explained that if you were on the road before they closed it you could continue,  with aprehension we decided if we could just get to Eagle plains everything would be smooth sailing from there on in  (we were wrong).

   Crossing into the Yukon for the last time (I will never again drive the Dempster highway unless they pave the god-forsaken road) ,  this is also traditionally where the road and environment step up and kick your ass.  Still nice weather though, so we reamined optimistic that this was just another storm made up by truckers who wanted to stay at Eagle Plains for a few beers and a snooze.

  Our first sign of trouble shortly after the border as the winds started to pick up into the 100 kph range,  I can always tell when the trailer starts to off track, at this point it was about 2 feet out of line.  Which is a brutal amount for a 12 foot trailer.

    The conditions and wind keep picking up,  real hard to tell where the road ends and the plains begin.   And three seconds later...
  Luckily the wind died for a split second, but both the trucker and my heart's leapt into our mouths for a second,  neither of us knew where the road was or who was on the right side or the left.  BTW I know I lied earlier about the last vehicle we would see but this is the last one I promise.

     Not the most vista filled trip through the mountains we ever had but oddly enough I was afraid to blink.   Oddly enough I'm going to skip the rest of the photo's for the rest of this day as they all resemble this one.

   Whenever you arrive at Eagle it always seems as if the weather is perfect, must be why they chose the location.  Our three hour jaunt to Eagle Plains took seven hours and all thoughts of pushing through to Dawson city were dashed after the stress of this leg.

   And finally the view from our fortress of solitude at the Eagle Plains hotel Yukon Canada.  Day one completed with the most honest belief the worst is behind us,  I was wrong.