Here are some of the preparation
that happens before the trip.
Here we go. I decided sometime in December to do the "Deh
Cho" road. I was thinking about this trip for a while. The only
about this trip is that Michèle will not be with me.
Why this trip?
Why not! It is not too far from Cold Lake (so to speak).
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Denis and I am
military, happily married, with 2 boys of 20 and 18 years old.
My "rig" is a 1996, class "C" of 24'' from Triple E.
I have never done a blog before, so I have to decide what I will talk about! I will describe the sight I see
the 'experience' I will have during my trip. Also, I will
add a little humor to my text. Boys being Boys. I
also keep some statistics on things like $$$, the road, the people...
And of course on me...
Friday, February 10, Michele and I went to the RV show in
Edmonton. We were looking at our next motorhome/fifth wheel. We
also are looking for some info on the NWT. The man at the info
was great! He gave me some reason to visit and not to visit some of
places. During my research, I found some very interesting web
sites on the Metis
and on the treaty with the Native
Very interesting reading. The web is an amazing
info, almost too much.
May 14, 2006
I have bought myself a Cargo Carrier and modified it with my bicycle
The purpose of this
purchase is to allow me to carry my generator and gas and other things I
do not want inside the motorhome.
May 24, 2006
It is decided! I will be leaving Monday
the 29 at
around 7 am. Let me tell you, I just can't wait. If
voyage is only half as interesting as the stuff I have seen/read on the
it will be fun. The motorhome is slowly emptying the
stuff to be replaced by the needed stuff, like the spare tire... I
believe the stuff I need or think I need. Let us just say
are going well.
only fine-tuned my
blog. Everything is written in sand. Things can change and
than likely change as time moves on. What? It is a voyage,
Here are some of the goals I set for myself and the blog.
maintain my blog every day, even if I can't update my site for a few
I will write
that goes through my mind... and not change it later.
If I talk
about $$$ it
is only to compare our price with the one here... and yes, I will talk
about $$$ for the gas, mile per gallon, etc... ( I'm a guy, I
like that kind of stuff).
Not to rush to do
things (control time
and not time controlling me).
To walk about 10
Km per day and/or
bike 25 to 30 KM per day.
Take a day 'off'
every 4 or 5 days.
When I get up in
the morning, put
on my "kids" eyes and look at things as if it were the first time.
To take my time in
the museums, on the
road, just plain enjoy the moment.
Got work to do!
May 29, 2006
6:30 am. It rains with a
beautiful +8 C
bike will travel inside for the first day.
go at 7:30 am.
rain stops around 9 am. The sun is coming through.
yes! I have another goal to add, not to go faster
km with the motorhome. I also have to modify one of my
goals. When driving, only put one "kids" eye because I have a hard time
keeping my eyes on the road.
the roads are great in Alberta!
fuel up in Slave Lake for $100 for 95 litres at
$1.049. The lake is named 'Slave' not because the native were
slave, but because the name of the Dene tribe is "Slavey". The
early settlers gave it the name Slave.
weather to travel. It got a little worst in the
when the wind picked up, right on my face! Well! If this is
biggest problem, I can live with it.
arrive in Peace River at 4 pm.
decide to stop for the night and go see "Twelve Foot Davis" on my
bike. By the time I got to the bridge and look behind me... Some
big, black clouds were coming. Well, I went back to the
a 4 km bike ride on day one, so much for goals... OK, I
have a beer as a punishment and forget about it.
I drove 614 km.
camping at the Lions Park on the West side of the
river. The town is on the East side of the river.
campers are mostly oil rig workers. All the campsites are full.
Well! The rain never came. If it does not rain
will go to town and see the statue of Davis and maybe the
If it rains, I will see it on the way back.
May 30, 2006
Up at 8:30 am. Bad news, I bought some black socks so dirt
would not show up after a wash. Well, they are in Cold
I drove past 2 WallMart. Oh well, next town. I
campground at 10:30 and went downtown Peace River. I biked
bike path that follows the river's edge, very nice.
I have lunch by the "Twelve Foot Davis" statue.
what I have read about him, he was one of the few good guys. He was
liked by all, native and white alike. He worked very hard all
life and lived until 1900 at a ripe old age of 80. At 70, he was
still packing a 200lbs load on his back to the Fort of the
north. The Native named him "the Wolf".
He was a
nice and generous man.
I visited the Peace River Museum. Nice museum, the lady
there was super nice.
I left Peace River at 11:30 after having topped
$1.089 for a total of $80.00 for a distance of 252 km
So far, my average is 27.5L /100Km. Not too bad, but not very
accurate until I have more km traveled.
My next stop is Grimshaw, 21 km away. Pfiou! It is
I camped at the Elks RV park with all services for a big $15... WOW!
At 1:30 pm, I decided to visit the "Lake Cardinal
Village". It is a village of the '20s and '40s. I
discover that Mackenzie was the first white man to travel to the
Pacific ocean, it is 12 years before Lewis and Clark (Americans), but the Americans
say they were the first! I'm getting sidetracked
here. Back to the village, it is all volunteer work,
including restoration. They do beautiful work.
I get back, I took my bike and went to the "Mile
Truck Museum". It was closed, my guess is that on a Tuesday at 3
pm, they close early. I took pictures of the ''Mile
of the Mackenzie Highway.
When I got back to the campground, there were some mean
clouds... I am next to the library. I went to check if I could
Internet. No luck, they close in 10 minutes, no time to get
laptop and get back. It rains, it's windy, it's sunny, and
May 31, 2006
is 7:30, I emptied my grey and black water. On my way to La
Crête and Fort Vermilion. Very nice road, I took the ferry at
ferry is free and
only runs during daylight hours. This means about 22 hours a
day in the summer.
ferry saves 90 km of driving for the
traffic going south from La Crête or Fort Vermilion.
arrived at the ''Heritage Village'', well, it is closed... A detour
of 150 km for no reason. I am not impressed...oh well!
my way to High Level and to the NWT. In High Level, the gas was
at $1.089 and I took $125.50 worth of it. My average is 25.5 L
/100Km. Driving 90 km sure makes a difference. Ah!
Guess what? I am now the proud owner of 24 pairs of black
socks. 12 in
Cold Lake and 12 with me. High Level info center has a small
nice, well laid out. High Level is on the 58
parallel and guess what? It has more frost-free days than
H.L. 110 days, Ed. 104. It also has about 2000 hrs of sunshine
year, no wonder it is a farming country. At 4 pm I decided to
continue to the NWT and spend the night at the 60th Parallel
Park. The road is very nice, but from time to time I wonder
is on the road... Caterpillar...
of caterpillars... Enough caterpillar that when I stopped,
motorhome stunk like rotten meat because there was so much caterpillar
meat on the mud flap.
info center is OK, not very big.
campground is OK (10 sites), shower at $3, sites at $16.
of deer flies. Slow night, updating my blog.
BTW, for my
goals of walking/biking, I think about it. I will make up for it (I
June 1, 2006
night, it was daylight until 11 pm.
7:45, breaky, brushed my teeth, found myself to be
and smart... OK. OK. OK! I am getting carried away here.
road to Hay River. Very nice road so far.
at the Louise, Alexandra and Escarpment falls. Man, it was
pretty and wild. I stopped at Louise falls because it is
centrally located. Backpack, water, camera and off I went to
Falls are 14 meter high.
nice and with a very good lookout, a spiral staircase
get to the base of the falls.
very impressive with the gorge and the river. I followed
trail that joins Alexandra and Louise falls (6
km return). The lady at the campground mentioned that bears are
area, let me tell you that my Bear Bell was ''belling away''.
trail was well-done and maintained. The trails have many lookout
some information stations relating the
importance of the
river and the falls to the Native.
stations explained the roles and social status of each individual in
a tribe. It also mentioned why the native would leave the
ground of Alberta and move up to the Great Slave Lake for the
summer. The gathering on the shore of the lake could have as
as a 1000 person present, mostly from the Dene tribes. It was a
trading, learning, settle disputes, and celebrations. It was
the high time for the tribes of the North-West.
kept walking, it was weird to hear the noise of the fall diminish
and the other fall getting louder. When I saw Alexandra
falls... Chocolate it was gorgeous and big.
the gorge, the river the falls. WOW! Alexandra falls
tumble 35 meters (Niagara falls are what? 50 meters!).
''Twin Falls Gorge Park'' is very well-done. You can go
to the edge of the falls, with no fence or guard rails. I guess they think
that if you fall, you were too close, your fault dumb ass!
at the motorhome time for lunch before I went to Escarpment
Falls. Pretty little falls.
the Falls, I took the road North. Enterprise is 6 km to the north
and my destination is Hay River, 38 km further. I blinked and I
missed Enterprise, population 88.
at the info center in Hay River. I got lots of info. I
decided to stop at the truck wash to get some of the caterpillar of the
motorhome. Man, my motorhome stunk. Finally, I got most of
topped up for $90.74 litres at $1.214, not bad. I expected
$1.50. My average is 24L/100Km. I slowed down to 85
and not using air conditioning, make a difference.
at the Hay River Territorial park for $20 per night with
electricity and free showers. My site was about 50 meters from
spent the rest of the day and evening updating my blog and also
making an English version of the blog for my Anglophone
Not to complain, but I never realize it would take 1 hour a night to
update the blog, and I have not had a busy day yet. WOW! It
is OK during the updates I have a beer, Scotch. Dam, I'm
good-looking and intelligent... I'm drunk...Oh well :-)
delirium.... What are people going to think? Too all, see you
got up at 8 am. It has been daylight for the last 4
Lazy morning, read the local papers. At 10 am I took my bike
went to town.
followed a trail marked on the maps for the city. It is a quad
trail, and muddy on top of
that. Hay River is about 10 km from
the campground. Even taking my time, it took me 30 minutes to
the whole town. 6 streets and 15 avenues. Not
But there was something special in this town. A purple school.
Really! When the school was built in 1971, they asked the student
the time what color they wanted and they picked purple.
Some info on Hay River. The Dene chose this spot over 800
years ago for their summer camp. Later, the Hudson Bay
and the Churches came to Hay River. During the second
The Americans came to Hay River and build a runway which served as a
base camp for the building of the Canol Pipeline.
some mining companies, the Coast Guard and the Northern Transportation
Company Limited which moves fret up to the villages in the
This gave the nickname of ''Hub Of The North'' to Hay River.
1963, tragedy struck with a big flood, which forced the town to
the town up-stream. Today you have the "Old Town" by the
of the lake and the "New Town", 6 km further up the river.
River has a population of 3835 souls. I have to say, the
of Hay River are very friendly.
I bought a small tripod
at the cost of
$15 and let me tell you, it is very useful and easy to carry in a backpack.
A picture of me working
on my blog... Having a little Scotch.
Let me tell you, nobody
steal a picnic table, they were made of cement.
news, I did 26 km
on my bike today, watch out Lance Armstrong :-).
I will be on my way to Fort Resolution, 156 km east of Hay River.
June 3, 2006
7:30 am. I lied yesterday, the sun does not rise at 4 am, but at
am. And between midnight and 2, it's not dark! I
looking at a map of the world. I noticed that the 60th parallel is
the middle of Hudson Bay! Isn't there Eskimos live up there? Oh
well! Let's continue. On the road by 8:40 am. I took
road n.5 for Fort Resolution. Nice road. I turned
onto n.6 to
carry on to Fort Resolution. Let me tell you, there was not
between Hay River and Fort resolution Trees... Trees. I even
counted them. 153,345,234 and now I am tired of it.
further away I am from Hay River, the worst the road
Then I hit the gravel road for the next 66km. Not bad, just a few
spots. Let's go back in time... When Michèle and I were at
the RV show in Edmonton, the guy in the info booth for the NWT said
there is not much to see in Fort Resolution. Well, he was
It was not worth the detour. But that was OK... Been there, did
get a t-shirt. Fort Resolution is a small native
525 souls. They must have good jobs because they all have new
trucks, even a hummer! I was reading that there are
2 sawmills in the area. All the street names were in Chipewyan.
much to do or see here, lets go to Fort Smith, but not
I filled up for $60.00 at $1.279 for a total of 46 litres. I
road n.6 and then turned onto n. 5 to Fort Smith. It is about 200km
away. Guess what? Trees... Treesssss. Big
ones... Small ones... Burnt ones...Green ones... I will be
dreaming in treesssss! Chocolate !!!
I was in Wood Buffalo National Park.
in 1922 to protect the Wood buffalo. It has an area of
44,800 sq km. It is bigger than Switzerland.
When the Park was created, only 1500 wood buffalos were in the new park
boundary. Soon after that, 6600 were brought up from the south. Now the heard stands at 3500 buffalos. They all are
my first buffalos at km 126, man it is big and ugly...
reading that the buffalos have a big head to plow into the snow to
get to the food they need.
stopped to see a Karst. Man! That is one hell of a big
that is created when an underground river forms a grotto and the
roof collapse. This is the "hole", 18 meters deep and I do
know how wide. It will keep on growing in size, amazing.
at the motorhome. Dam... I was missing a hub cap...Chocolate!
Where did I lose it??? Should I go back? I can't
remember hitting a big bump! What can I do? I removed the
last 3 hub
caps and carried on. Back on gravel roads, for the next 104
km. It was raining, nice job on the motorhome.
little stop to see the wetlands. The Park protects the Whooping
Back in 1941, there were only 16 left. Now we have more than
this picture to show you how ''bad'' Buffalo can be, look at
many km later, I hit the Salt plains. Following a
nice... Little road for 13 km. Lucky for me, no traffic...
to have supper as I waited for the rain to stop... OK, I go... Rain gear
(can you see the bugs?).
boots and bug juices. Very Nice site well laid out, nice
trail leads to the bottom onto the plains With the rain
coming down, very little salt is visible. I found some anyway.
natives were the first one to harvest the salt, its purity is
unequal, I tasted it, very nice, made my blood pressure go up right
away. The salt comes from the salt that was
years ago. The springs bring back the salt and the evaporation
allows the salt to be seen and harvested. The only problem is
the bugs, man...
in Fort Smith... After 518 km of driving...
camped at the Queen Elizabeth Territorial Park. $20 with power
and free showers.
7 pm I just got here. I did nothing, just shower and work on
biking to town. if it rains... motorhoming to town
Next, June 4 to 11,
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