For the next 3 days we drove 794 km up the road to the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk. The first day drive to Eagle Plains was the most interesting. The road goes through mountains which are partially covered with trees and deep valley with river streams. Eagle Plains is only a local midway station with a hotel and campsite originally used by the road builders. It is on a high plain and hence very windy and cold (which is a blessing as there were no mosquitoes around). The road follows the crest of the mountains and then down to the first ferry short crossing at Peel river, followed by the much larger Mackenzie river which we also had seen at Fort Simpson. Just before the Peel river, you go from Yukon to the North West Territories and time jumped ahead by one hour. The landscape becomes flatter and the trees much smaller. At Inuvik, we spend the night at the town playground area next to a lake. The camper was so covered in mud from the wet muddy road that Jamaliah took out a bucket and with freezing water from the lake, started to clean it. The following day we drove around Inuvik town. Visited a tourist shop for souvenirs and dropped into the local visitors centre where we received our certificate for crossing the Arctic circle. We also saw an interesting video of how the ice road to Tuk used to be maintained before it was replaced by the all weather road.
Tuktoyaktuk is our most northerly destination in Canada at N 69,45 deg. The road was only completed in 2017 (140km from Inuvik) and the town now attracts many campers and travellers (on motorbikes or bicycles). On the way in we saw several large Pingo’s (Ice hills). The thing to do here is to dip your toe in the Arctic Ocean. We both stood with our 2 feet in the cold water. The town has some 20 campsites along the Arctic ocean front. The sun has finally come out and is shining straight into the camper providing us with some needed warmth. It’s a freezing temperature here. Since the sun will not sink behind the horizon we will have a long day. Tuk is much bigger than I thought. Individual wooden houses are spread out over the many land tongues sticking into the ocean. The town used to be the centre for offshore drilling. Outside town you still see large wooden 2 story buildings which housed the Oil companies staff. Oil was found but the price to produce it, given all the environmental regulations and the remoteness, is too high to bring it on stream (yet?).
Congratulations for crossing the Arctic circle!