February 2nd 2010
Once you've driven the Dempster, everything else is a walk in the park. I don't live in Toronto but I've tackled the old 401 in high traffic, and let me tell you that it's got nothing on the Dempster. In light of this, the road from Dawson City to Whitehorse was no more difficult than lacing up shoes. Our progress was briefly hampered by a tanker truck and a pickup, but we soon left them in the powerful wake of the mighty smart fortwo...
By the way, if you were looking for picture-proof that our convoy made it up to Inuvik, you probably won't find much either on Facebook
or on Twitter
. Simple fact is that we got there in pitch darkness and left hours before the Sun came up. A local journalist from Inuvik conducted an interview with the President of Mercedes Canada, Markus Breitschwerdt. A copy of the local paper is expected to be made available for us, so I'll take a picture of it at some point and add it to the gallery.
Now, we all know about the smart fortwo (if you don't, I'll break down a few details on the car in the few days) but how much do we know about the Yukon? Here are a few interesting stats: the Yukon Territory is three times the size of Switzerland, has 34,000 citizens of which 25,000 live in Whitehorse (compare that to the near 300,000 in Anchorage, Alaska for example) and the population density is of 0.06 inhabitants per square kilometre. You'll never have to worry about noisy neighbours!
Tomorrow, Muncho Lake. All I've heard about the place (from the people in Leg 1, the CBC TV crew and others) is that it is incredibly gorgeous. I've got 700 km to tackle to get there and I'm not worried one bit!
One thing though, I've been told that an internet connection is harder to find there than a Siberian Tiger, so it is possible that an update will not come as per usual. Fret not though as I promise to return the following day with a brand spanking new report.
February 3rd 2010
Funny how the whole event has become a "way of life" for me at this point. Throughout my entire journey, I will not have stayed more than one night at a hotel/motel. I've been unpacking-packing every evening and morning followed by loading up the fortwo and heading out to our next destination. I feel like a nomad or the Littlest Hobo always searching or waiting for my next destination.
This stage of the Expedition had us cross into British Columbia, then back into the Yukon, followed by a quick stint back into BC, a return to the Yukon to finally end up back in BC. You see, the "1" flows from one state to another as it carves its way through the Rockies. The road was mostly uneventful save for making huge new furry brown friends and seeing 61,000 signs...
The Big Browns, not the Cleveland-type, were bison parked here and there along the highway grazing for hidden grass under the snow. Although most were not bothered by our presence, a few did give us dirty looks (it was dinner time after all), clearly not impressed by our fleet of smarts that were no bigger than they were.
We also made a pitstop in Sign Post Forest where you will find an estimated 61,000 signs from all over the World; seriously. I found many from Quebec, Ontario and the Prairies but most impressive were those from countries such as Portugal, Germany and a few from South American countries.
By far the highlight of the day and the second most rewarding part of this adventure (after showing the Dempster who's Boss) was a dip in the Liard Hot Springs. This naturally occuring source of hot water is collected in a pond of sorts where the brave (me and most of the gang along for the ride) took the plunge into 42 to 52 degree water while the outside temperature was closing in on -20 degrees. Oh, and the changing rooms are NOT heated and their floors are covered in ice! But what a relaxing and replenishing experience.
As you may have noticed, we do have an internet connection here at the Northern Rockies Lodge in Muncho Lake. The Siberian Tiger does remain elusive...
Tomorrow we maintain our course Due South (just for you... you know who you are) towards Vancouver. But first, we have to get to Fort St-John. No problemo... for the smart fortwo!