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Day 41 - Travel to Fort McPherson (Nitainlaii Territorial Park)

The day started at 12:15 AM with this picture of the sun. It is still above the horizon behind the clouds. It set around 2:00 AM.

Some parts of the road were in pretty good condition today. My speeds were from 15 mph to nearly 50 mph.

This bridge over the Eagle River was the only one we crossed today. It was built by the Department of National Defense as a training exercise. The bridge is built on permafrost. Pilings were driven about 90 feet down, passing though a 30 foot layer of permafrost.

We thought this was a good use for an underused road!

The sign reads: Notice: No Stopping or Parking.

Of course, every airstrip must have a windsock. The airstrip is used regularly by aircraft hauling freight to nearby Old Crow, Yukon's most northerly community on the Porcupine River.

The road continued on toward the Richardson Mountains in the distance.

Here we are at the Arctic Circle. We've all come a long way to be able to stand here.

View from the Arctic Circle sign.
Stop or start scanning by pressing the left mouse button while moving the pointer across the picture.
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Not long after leaving the Arctic Circle pull off, I saw a piece of tire in the road and saw Rzepka's and Olssen's rigs pulled off to the side.

I quickly learned the piece of tire was from a blowout on John's inside right rear tire. John is successfully loosening the nuts after Ed and Bill Shallbetter were unsuccessful.

Ed is installing the spare and the outside tire. What a good guy!

As you can see, a fairly good sized chunk came out of his tire.

The road meanders up a small incline toward George's Gap near the Yukon-Northwest Territory border.

We crossed back into the Northwest Territories and reset our watches ahead an hour to Mountain Daylight Time.

We are really in tundra here. No tall trees for miles. West of here, water flows to the Pacific Ocean; East of here, water flows to the Arctic Sea!

On the other side of the hill we came to Midway Lake, site of the annual Midway Lake Music Festival held the first weekend in August. Just wondering... where do the people come from who attend this festival?

We saw these frequently along the road. They look like little puff balls and are called Cotton Grass.

Cotton Grass is actually a collection of long white hairs that help the seeds disperse in the wind.

This is the Yukon Territorial flower. It is called Fireweed because of its sudden abundance after a forest fire. It is edible and produces high-grade honey.

We passed a number of small ponds along the way. This one caught my eye because of the Fireweed in front of it. Fireweed blossoms from the bottom to the top; when the top is in bloom, the first frost is about two weeks away!

This is the Peel River Crossing Ferry, Abraham Francis.

It is a double-ended Cable Ferry, using cables that are attached on each shore to pull itself across the river.

You can see the cable on the right side of the picture extending to the ferry and over to the other side.

I am approaching the ferry for loading. The deckhand just used his shovel to pile dirt onto the edge of the ramp to make it easier for me to drive up the ramp and onto the ferry. Thank You!

We are loaded and ready to go!

This is the interpretive center at Nitainaii Territorial Park. The interpretive center's logs were cut locally in the Peel River Valley.

Inside the campground the sites are spacious and widely separated. However, some of the sites were too short to accommodate our large rigs.

Bill Shallbetter is working on Jan's rig. The generator compartment, providing access to the fuel filler for the coach, was stuck and would not open fully. Bill was joined by Ernie Lindgren and Jim Stahl; they were able to open it far enough for Jan to access the filler cap. But he will have to drive with it partially open until he can get it repaired. (Arida Brand)

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