The Arctic Ocean

The real start of our journey begins at Dawson City.  We’d missed the Fire Hall Museum on our previous visit, and it was a treasure trove for vintage vehicle enthusiasts like ourselves. The restored steam-powered fire pump, funded entirely by firefighters, was particularly impressive.

We also had the opportunity to learn about the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre. Among other methods they undertook to prevent the influence of thousands of newcomers, they entrusted their  traditional songs to the Alaska First Nations people which have since been returned. The Tr’ondëk-Klondike Heritage Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Canada,  protects a series of eight properties that attest to the effects of the rapid colonization of the area, including the Gold Rush, on the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people.

Display at Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre.

As we set out on the Dempster highway we were prepared for the worst.  Our research about the Dempster Highway painted a picture of a rugged, unforgiving road. We were prepared for the worst – flat tires, long waits for help.  It was nothing like that!  We have travelled much worse roads:  the road from D’Arcy to Seton-Portage (the goat trail), or even the road we took from Beaver Creek through USA on this trip for example.

The Tombstone Territorial Park is the first point of interest and where one is first introduced to Joe and Annie Henry. Joe was known internationally for his craftsmanship in making snowshoes and other bush tools. Instrumental in the construction of the Dempster Highway, Joe literally broke trail and determined the best route for the Cat train to follow from mile zero to Gwazhal Kak (Ogilvie Ridge). They were elders of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.  Many correctly refer to it as the Joe Henry Hwy rather than the Dempster Hwy as he was never given the recognition.

A monument at km 112 on the Dempster Hwy. .

Though the drive was long, we were never bored thanks to the stunning scenery that photos simply can’t capture.  As we get closer to Inuvik, it is amazing to see so many lakes and plush foliage.

And so here we are at our main destination… The Arctic Ocean!
Both of us in our element: Me with my feet in the Arctic Ocean (as I was determined to do) and Evan fixing a vehicle for a fellow traveller.

Stick around, there is more.


  1. Wow! You are there! A dream fulfilled. Congratulations and thanks for bringing us along with your blog!!

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