Trans USA & Canada Week 16, 9/7-9-13

Day 107 (9/7): This morning I headed into town and filled up on gas and found the local water treatment plant and filled my water tank. Have you ever been in a small town and seen something weird but everyone in town acts like it normal. As I was leaving the town I saw six of these guys walking down the side of the road and everyone was just driving on by. This is not normal.

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I then continued down the road to Fort Simpson there was not much to see or take a picture of. It was just mainly straight gravel road with trees on both sides and rolling hills. I did get to meet up with this medium size black bear strolling down the street. It seemed agrivated with me as it kept looking back and finally went into the woods.

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As I approached the fort I came to another ferry crossing. This river was flowing and they just extended the landings as the river has been dropping down. I always enjoy being the first on the ferry since you get the best view for the ones who don’t let you get out.

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I shortly after arrived at my campsite for the night. Pretty soon I will be forced to head south as most things this far north close down on the 15th for all the tourist. Tomorrow I will be taking the run up to Hays and then backtracking and working my way towards Yellowknife.

Day 108 (9/8): I woke up and quickly headed out. I drove north until the next ferry and decided to turn around and the landscape is not that interesting.

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One thing I have been seeing is these signs all over and figured them out. The sign on the left lets you know the ferry is operating the sign on the right means the ice road is not ready yet with the road weight limits. There are more ice roads up in this area then regular roads.

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I continued heading southeast and found a nice NWT campground. Next to the campground is this river and canyon. I walked up the river to the falls.

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There were these fossils in the rocks surrounding the river.

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And some friendly reminders to keep your eyes open.

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The river is quite small right now. At full flow I would be underwater and the falls spands the whole raven.

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Then I walked down stream to pass the bridge to the other falls.

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The park is called Sambaa Deh Falls Park. There is a farther walk that takes you further down river but it was starting to get dusk out so I decided to turn around. I was worn to be careful not to slip and fall in since the river goes into a canyon and it is a 6 hour float until you can find a spot to get out. I then took a shower for the first time in 2 weeks and made some dinner. It amazing how refreshing and regenerating a shower can feel .

Day 109 (9/9): Today was all about getting to Yellowknife. Almost instantly as I headed down the road I saw the glimpse of a brown bear running across the road far away. As I headed through the flat lands and pine forest there was not too much to see. Slightly further down the road I saw this guy but he did not want to stick around to get his photo taken, maybe because I had to slam on my brakes to slow down.

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I drove for quite a while before I saw anything interesting. I finally reached the shore of the great slave lake. The water was surprisingly dirty compared to all the other water I’ve seen up here before. This is just a photo of one of the large bays on the lake.

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I finally ended up in Yellowknife and checked it off the list. I filled up on gas and headed south looking for a good place to camp. I drove for about two hundred kilometers before finding a cleared out gravel pit to spend the night. I ended up taking photos of a pretty good sunset.

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Here are some of the photos I got from last night. I could not quite get the camera dialed in but they turned out pretty decent anyways. The stars were amazing as always when your in the middle of nowhere. Probably the best star viewing I’ve seen in my lifetime.

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Day 110 (9/10): Well I woke up surprisingly early even after last night sky photos. The northern lights did not show up but it was still a great night. Pretty much as soon as I left my campsite for the night I saw this big boy on the side of the road. He was not happy with me stopping so I decided to move on quickly since I did not want my vehicle totaled. Sorry about the photo. I forgot to change back some settings form the night before. As you can tell that whole side of the road was burnt in a forest fire. I don’t know if it is from this year but it went for about 150 miles or so.

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A little further down the road I saw this guy he was equally as large, but in much better mood so I stuck around a little longer. When walking by me he actually went into the woods a little bit then came out as soon as he passed me.

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As the name of the game today was to put some miles on the road I did not stop much at all. I have a feeling this will be common for the next few days. Once place I am happy I stopped at was this little. Side rest area, there was a short pathway to this wonderful view.

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I kept charging on down the flat straight boring road. I finally stopped at this little part to stay the night. The lake is manmade and nice and quiet. I met two older Austrian couples that are camping here for a short while. Tomorrow will be the same thing. Just keep on charging south.

Day 111 (9/11): Well I stayed up later then expecting to last night. But it ended up being a great thing. I got to see some northern lights. They did not cover the whole sky. But they were very unique. It started as this green ban across the horizon and slowly work its way into a arch. Pretty soon it was a band through the middle of the sky and then continued working its way to the opposite horizon. I really need a wide angle lens to capture things better. I think I’m going to pick one up in Edmonton when I pick up a cleaning kit or get it professionally cleaned.

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I woke up later then I wanted to but still with very little sleep. I headed down the road. Most of the day was just driving in a daze. Drive fill up with fuel drive some more. I pulled off onto this turn off to make myself a sandwich for lunch. While I was eating it I noticed that the vehicle infront of me had there hood up. I decided to investigate. It was a younger couple moving south from Yellowknife for better work. They had two vehicles both with trailers. They fired up the vehicle for me to see and I told them to turn it off right away. If you have ever watched a movie where a vehicle has problems that is what it sounded like. Something on the lower end was not happy. I told them they will need a tow truck as the nearest town was luckily only fifty kilometers away. The guy agreed with me. They called the tow truck and I sat and waited with them until it showed up. They basically came to the conclusion that they are just going to try to trade it in and get a new used one for cheap. I wished them luck and headed on my way. About another hundred miles down the road I figured I would check out this free campsite I had marked on my map. It is a decent place. Restrooms are kind of run down and the nats are horrible but it will do for the night. There is a river nearby which is always nice.

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Day 112 (9/12): I woke up to the sound of rain on the camper. Yeah been a while I don’t miss this stuff. As I traveled south it stopped in the later morning which was nice and helped clean of some extra weight. I barreled into Edmonton. This city was larger than I thought it was going to be. I stopped by two camera repair shops both were closed as in no longer in business and figured today is not my day. As it was starting to get into the later afternoon I headed south and figured I check out a few in Calgary on my way through. Tomorrow I should be back in the states. I suspect the drive will become more interesting tomorrow night or the next day as I head west through the mountains. Ohh I don’t know if I mentioned it. I will be doing the part of the trip I cut out earlier this summer due to technical difficulty. I will be doing it in reverse though. So I will start in Montana and head into Idaho. Then go through Washington and Oregon then back track through California and Nevada. Grand Canyon I might not have been on your edge during the 4th of July but you will not escape me yet.

Day 113 (9/13): I worked my way down to Calgary and stopped by a camera shop. I picked up a cleaning kit and hopefully my photos will be without spots after today. I also picked up a new lense witch will help me take better landscape photos along with night sky photos. It is partial cloudy today so I will have to test it out another day. I headed to the boarder and finally got there in the later afternoon. Wow what a line. Everyone is trying to go into the USA and it ended up there Internet was down so stuff was moving really slow. I took this photo while sitting on the boarder half in the USA, half in Canada. I believe it was called Chief Mountain or something similar. I can see why it would be a unique landmark.

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As it was getting late I was headed back towards glacier national park the jagged mountains are still amazing even though I already saw them this summer. I went to the entrance and asked about the camp ground. I guess there was a large fire that swept on through since last time I was there. One of the campgrounds was out of service due to the fire. Another one was down due to bear activity. The other one had room but once again with the trailer I would have had to drive all the way around. The ranger told me about a small campground several miles down the road that is in the park accessed by a gravel road. It had vacancies too. I headed towards it and got to see some great views along with the fire damage that was not there earlier this summer. There is still a smoky haze in the air from the fires which restricts the view of the mountains.

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As I continued on I saw these horses on the side of the road. I don’t know if they are wild or not but there were a couple young ones with the group. Please ignore the damage to the mirror after rocks shattered them I’ve been slowly loosing shards which makes lane changes more fun!

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I finally found the turn off and headed down the five mile gravel road to the campground. About four and a half miles down you enter Glacier National Park. Once I got there the Ranger told me that I was not allowed in with the trailer since I was over twenty one feet. But I could drop my trailer off there and head in. I told him it was my camper which had my bed, food, and water so I’m not going to go in then. He said I could camp on the land right outside the national park. He offered to move his truck to help me turn around but I said it was no problem and showed him how tight of a radius I could turn around on and almost jack knifed it around. I’ve had to do it a few times on this trip; I’ve had some good practice. I headed back down the gravel road and turned on a rugged gravel path and crossed a stream that was deeper then it looked. I found a nice quite opening to camp. Just a few bear paw prints around and I’m going to call this site Cow Pie campground for a reason. I have a decent view of the mountains and it will be nice to get a good night sleep without hearing drunks and vehicles in the background like last night.

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