Moto Adventures

Friday, July 08, 2011

Watson Lake

Ken shows off his catch of the day, two walleye caught in the Hay river. He is such a good provider and he is having so much fun doing it.

An evening sunset over Great Slave Lake, the water goes on and on.

Over 100 km of this or even worse(I was sitting on the edge of my seat for the worst of it)I hope the Inuvik road is much better. We talked to people who went through this road two days later and it was a dust bowl, I don't know which is worse!

We are doing some hiking, on trails like this one in Mucho Lake Park. What a view, the color of the water in the lake was incredibly beautiful bluey green.

Life is good!

Emma and Stephen demonstrate their rooftop tent-we want one!

Things get steamy in Liard Hot Springs.

At Watson Lake we checked everyone of the 15,000 signpost for the one we left 5 years ago but couldn't find it!

Well, hasn't it been a long time! Oh the kms we have travelled! After leaving Pete we headed north, and I mean straight north to the NWT and as we crossed the border I am sure the first gang on bulldogs(a huge horsefly) caught sight of us and hunted us down until we stopped and let them harass us for a while. Along the way just north of the border we stopped at a the Louise and the Alexanderia Waterfalls that were very nice and the hike into them was very much needed. The first 2 nights in the NWT was spent in Hay River and the Territorial Campground which is located right on the Great Slave Lake. That lake is big, second only to the Great Bear Lake in being the biggest body of water located completely in Canada. Sitting on the shore it looks like the ocean. We arrived a few days before the long weekend when the world jet boat races were to take place going up the Hay River (I wonder where the town got it's name) the falls we had seen earlier. There were some very impressive boat there from as far away as New Zealand and Mexico, the defending champ, however, was from Hay River. The weather has not been that great but we did take out the Zodiac for a little sightseeing on some of the channels in town and this is where we met Gary Carter. Gary has a fishing boat that he has renovated into a bit off a houseboat, and with his boat he goes out on trips up to 6 weeks in length to the East Arm of the lake fishing. There is a commercial fish market here and apparently at one time there were over 100 fish buyers and thousands of commercial fishermen fishing this huge lake, unfortunately they over fished the lake and the government took over the buying and restricted the number of fish that can be caught, bought or sold. Ken had some good luck here fishing, catch a couple of Walleye in the river which I have to admit are as tasty as Sea Bass.

With plans of taking the motorbikes up to Yellowknife we left Hay River and drove to Fort Providence (crossing the Mackenzie River on a ferry where they are building a fancy new big bridge)where we planned on leaving the truck while we rode the 300 km to Yellowknife. However there was a forest fire across the road and they were threatening to close the road and then it started to rain-not good for biking-so we decided against possibly getting stuck in Yellowknife in the rain camping with our bikes and instead continued on west driving the Mackenzie Highway and then south on the Laird Trail, but not before Ken had a change to catch a couple more Walleye. The Liard trail is a dirt road or should I say, when we went through, a MUD road, big mud! 210 kms of mud...1st gear, 4x4 mud! We were very happy to be finished and it took over $15 of loonies in a car wash at Fort Liard to wash most of the mud off. We spent Canada Day, or Aboriginal Day as they call it up here, camped in Fort Liard and stayed long enough to enjoy a free pancake breakfast at the hall chatting with the locals. After breakfast there was to be a parade with decorated bikes and atvs and later games including axe throwing, we opted to start out driving south again on the Laird Trail.

A couple more days camping along the way- Petitot River at a native gathering spot, stocking up on food at Overwaitea in Fort Nelson, and at km 589 on the Alaska Highway we found a quite camping spot along the Tesla River-took us to Muncho Lake. What a beautiful lake, aqua blue/green glacier water nestled in the mountains. Ken did more fishing but unfortunately got skunked, tube steaks for dinner! I got out the kayak and paddled around in awe of the scenery and colours of the water. We stayed 4 nights and had lots of time for hikes, mountain biking and boating. Its was at Muncho Lake we first met our new friends Stephen and Emma(an alias) from Germany, a great couple traveling North and South America-like we did on the bike a few years ago-only they are in a Range Rover outfitted with a really cool on-top-of-the-roof-tent. We continued to run into them a Liard Hot Springs and Watson Lake until they headed a different direction on the Robert Campbell Highway.

Uh yes, the Liard Hot Springs. This is the 3rd time I have been and the 4th time Ken has been, and there are some changes. The biggest one being this year there is nearly no mosquito's! Do you believe it. We setup our mosquito tent but really didn't need it, even as we sat outside with until midnight with Stephen and Emma and another couple Gaby and Heske from Holland, drinking tequila and talking travel. Gaby and Heske are also heading to Tierra Del Fuego travelling in a Rav 4. Ken and I are jealous of their trip but we were able to give both couples a few ideas. The second change at LHSprings is that the top Beta pool, the really hot one, is now closed. They have found a type of undocumented shellfish living in it so they have closed the pool to swimmers so the shellfish can hopefully multiply. I can't imagine them living in that hot water.

After a dip in the springs first thing in the morning we are on the road only to stop in Watson Lake to refuel, do the the Internet and take a look at the signposts. We tried to find the sign we put up last time we were here but we couldn't, there are just too many!

Now it is time to hit the road Internet for a while.

Our pictures don't want to load at the moment so stay tuned and I will load them when I can.


At 10:22 AM, Blogger Rose said...

No mosquitoes?! Lucky you. Liard has been one of the few places up north that we were always guaranteed them! The top pool was already closed 2 years ago when we were there, although I don't remember it as being hotter, mostly more murky because of the soft mud on the bottom.
So, I presume that you're now going to give the Dempster another try? Good luck, hope you make it all the way to Inuvik this time - it's an amazing trip!
In other news... Martin and Loni had a lovely wedding even though it was quite chilly in the evening. Summer is really taking its time settling in. They went to Cabo for their honeymoon and have now moved into the old Gorman house beside the mill.
Wishing you good weather (no rain on the Dempster!) and safe travels!

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Rose said...

Great pics! Makes me a twinge jealous - wishing I was back up north again ... except for that brutal road! Don't worry, the Dempster is not that bad ... unless it rains. Fingers crossed you get good weather for your trip to Inuvik!


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