Saturday, December 6, 2008

Day 8 --> Hay River to Yellowknife, NT

Day Eight à Hay River, NT to Yellowknife, NT 482 Kms,

Total Kms. 5,192 kms (other distances related 5,271 Bangor Maine to San Diego California and 5,654 from Seattle to Key West)

Time 8:45 AM and still very dark.

The final day of driving started out with breakfast at the Keys Restaurant at the Ptarmigan Inn. I checked out of the hotel and went for fuel before heading out onto the Ha River Highway (#2) I drove the 40 km to Enterprise a tiny hamlet of about 90 people and turned to the west. There had been about two inches of snow over night so there was some snow on the road which made the drive go at about 90 km/h. The Ferry had been put back in and I expected the highway to be busier. Every once and a while a wave of two or three cars and trucks would come past in the other direction. I turned onto highway #3 and drove towards Fort Providence.

I arrived at the ferry at about 11:45 and waited about ten minutes for the ferry to arrive. There were about five trucks in line and because they could only go one at a time, I was able to drive right on with a tandem-trailer truck. The crossing took about ten minutes and was really smooth. The work on the bridge is about a third of the way out with pilings so the finish date of 2010 might be hard but once they get the decking done it will really go I expect. There were two tractor-trailers and two SUV’s on the other side waiting to cross south. I put another ten dollars in the tank and heard that the drive was pretty clear except for some bison. I was also warned that there was “NOTHING” between Fort Providence and Yellowknife. As soon as you cross the Mackenzie River there are signs warning about Buffalo/Bison. Ian had told me that they would be along the side of the road but he had never seen them on and that I needed to stay alert. It helped that they are North America’s largest land animal, they have dark brown hair and are set into a white back ground. I took the advice and watched the road and the sides closely. About an hour into the four hour drive to Yellowknife from Fort Providence, I saw the first pair close to the brush line. About twenty minutes later a herd was seen on the other side.

I continued the drive long and boring just thinking like the Little Engine that Could … “I think I can… I think I can” As I approached the final 100 km it was starting to get darker (this is at 3:00 too.) I rounded the last corner and came up to the lights of the Airport what a nice sight to see, lights and buildings.

I pulled into the Northern Frontier Visitors’ Centre and got my certificate for coming “North of 60” I picked up a map and headed down the street to City Hall where I finally got to meet Cathy Tumoth from the HR Department. I was introduced to the other people in that department and also in the community services department before being sent down the road to the pool where I was greeted by the Supervisor and Assistant Supervisor and some lifeguards. I took a quick tour of the facility and was told that I start on Monday at 8:00 AM. I left there to check into the Nova Hotel (and apartments) where I found my room to be a suite including a full kitchen, dining area/living room, bedroom, laundry and bath. I have this for two weeks. I went over to see Michele, Nia and Sean and came back late to partially unpack and for the long drive to sink in. Tomorrow I will be getting the kitchen set up and resting for a change.

1 comment:

The Nag said...

Glad to hear you made it safe and sound.