1 cylinder, 13,000 kms

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by squonker, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Dude, every few kilometres there was somewhere I wanted to investigate further. I could have stayed up there for months. The hiking in the Tombsone Mnts (I'll write about them next week) alone could keep you busy for several weeks...
    #41
  2. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Hey Mac! Yeah, we sure had a good time, eh? Great to meet you too, and glad that we're still in touch (sent you an email earlier today, btw).

    I was going to mention that you'd done the Liard Hwy just ahead of me when I introduced you when I get to the D2D posts. Good heavens man, be patient will ya? Who's RR is this, anyway?!!

    Mac, I don't know how you did it, bud. The truck driver I spoke to explained how they were just turning the mud over, letting it dry out for a few days and then turning it over again. There'd been pretty decent weather for the week or so before I did that road, but when you went through it would have had two days less to dry out. You got some balls, man! :clap (Either that or you're even dumber than me, and that's unlikely!)
    #42
  3. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Hey brunstei! I think I know who you are - one of a group of about 5 riders from the lower mainland (or southern BC, anyway) right? You guys got to Bell 11 late and rented a cabin 'cos the bugs were so bad at the tent spots? I think I took down your username, if not your email address, but I haven't opened my notebook since I finished the trip, which would explain my lack of contact...

    How was your trip? Man, that Cassiar's a great highway huh? LOTS of Dempster pics to come over the next few days, believe me.

    Thanks for posting!
    #43
  4. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Glad you like it, Dave, but there are plenty of better ones from the Dempster still to come!

    Stay tuned....
    #44
  5. obsidian

    obsidian Scared of the dark..

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    This thread just keeps getting better and better. That Cooper Bessemer is somethin else!
    #45
  6. pilotfish

    pilotfish subnewbie

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    :D Looking forward to it.
    #46
  7. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Thanks obsidian! Yeah, I couldn't believe the size of that thing when I walked around the corner and saw it. I wonder whether, next time I'm in Fort Nelson, I can try and get to see the four that are still hooked up for backup. I would have climbed up the ladder and gone on top but I think the museum was officially closed for the night and I felt a little bad for being there without having paid and didn't want to make myself any more unpopular than I already would have been had I been caught....
    #47
  8. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Well, here's your intro...

    ...as you can see it looks as though you could walk for days, if not weeks, and never see anything other than more mountains and more wilderness. At the pull out where I took some of these pics, which IIRC is the first major pull out on your way north climbing up into the hills, I realised that if I were to go to the other side of the road I could climb even higher and get an even better view. As I was crouching up there, a big rig came down the hill from the north and as it passed in front of me I thought that it would make an excellent photo, with the hill, the Dempster, the rig and the moutains in the background. I looked in the direction the truck had gone (which was a bit windy so you could only see sections of the road as it would back down into the valley), and there in the distance at the bottom of the hill was a truck coming my way! Perfect - so I waited. And waited. Then waited some more. And a teeny bit more yet, before 5 or 10 minutes had passed and I figured I must have looked so fast as to have seen the rig heading downhill - the one that had passed me - and mistakenly thought that it was another one coming my way. So I climbed back down, crossed the road and went back to the pull out and my bike. I was looking through my binoculars when I heard a roar, and turned around to see a rig heading uphill at about 20 km/h right where, had I stayed in position, I'd have got my shot! Darn it - I hadn't been mistaken after all, but the hill was obviously steeper than I realized, and the trucks were having to gear right down. because it was going so slowly I'd have had more time to frame it in the perfect shot, too. Oh well, whaddaya gonna do?

    The Toombstones are the frst major 'wow' on the Dempster, the first wonderful views and a taste of what's to come. From here on in i just keeps getting better and better.

    I'll write more about them on my return back down the Dempster 'cos I stopped in at the Interpretive Centre then...

    ...in the meantime here are some pics I uploaded last week. More Dempster shots.

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    This is the Tombstones:
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    As are some of these:

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    #48
  9. pilotfish

    pilotfish subnewbie

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    Holy cow--I'd never want to leave. Very nice pictures!
    #49
  10. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    You better believe it!

    <link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5Cmahoney%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> I didn&#8217;t write that much in my journal for day one on the Dempster, other than that it was unlike anything I&#8217;d ever seen before, and that I didn&#8217;t have the words to describe it. And it&#8217;s true &#8211; no description of the vistas and no photograph that you see posted online does that road justice. It is literally indescribably beautiful.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Kari (Hecktoglider) and I had a system whereby we were riding partly alone and partly together. We&#8217;d agreed that we were on our own ride and didn&#8217;t want to be joined at the hip, but we appreciated each other&#8217;s moral support, and the system worked well. Kari is a much better rider than I am so he was always shooting off ahead, and when I caught up I&#8217;d either stop to chat or not, and that worked for both of us. Likewise, if he happened to pass me pulled over taking pics, he didn&#8217;t feel compelled to stop if he was into his ride at that point. One of his favourite things was to fish, and many times he&#8217;d be pulled off to the side with his line in a river or a stream, and often he had a lot of success. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The views became more and more spectacular and I was in increasing awe of the surroundings. At one point we climbed what I later realized is called Seven Mile Hill, and going up you could tell the view was going to be something special. At the top of the hill was a pull out, and as I turned into that I saw that there was a little track that would take me a bit higher yet. I rode up and found Heckto up there looking at one of the most amazing views I&#8217;ve ever seen. We spent a few minutes there together before he pulled out again, and I have to admit that it was impossible to keep my eyes dry being up there alone. That experience is one I will never forget as long as I live. I&#8217;ll post some pics from up there tomorrow.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Here are some more pics. We rode as far as Eagle Plains that night, and I&#8217;ll tell you about that when I get to the relevant photos! Enjoy&#8230;


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    You can see the road winding up the hill in this shot.
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    #50
  11. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Here are some more pics from the Dempster. I had meant to post these yesterday, but a slight cranium/computer interface problem occured - I left them at home :D

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    #51
  12. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Here are some pics from the top of Seven Mile Hill. This is one of the most spectacular views in the world, in my (limited) experience. I hope the pics will do it some justice, but you really have to see it for yourselves....

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    I love this shot of Heckto
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    And while you're looking at that, this:
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    and this:
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    Is behind you. Not bad, eh?

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    More to come after lunch....
    #52
  13. Yukoner

    Yukoner Motorcycle Addict

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    To go back to one of your first post where your bike was running unpredictably when it was cold and raining, it could obviously a wet sparkplug lead but I think it could also have been carb icing. As the air speeds up in the carb the pressure and temperature both drop. This is a common problem with light aircraft and I had a Datsun pick-up that would get carb-ice then it was cold and raining. It you shut it down for a minute and then fire it up and it runs perfectly then ice could be the cause.
    Sometimes wrapping the carb or ducting warm air to it solves the problem.
    #53
  14. motomac

    motomac Mac

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    Simply amazing Ben, you've got more pictures in this report so far than I took of the whole month I was up there and you haven't even got to the YT/NWT border with the report yet!!!! Great stuff my Friend!!!
    #54
  15. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    I hadn't considered that, but yeah...worth looking into - thanks!
    #55
  16. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    You ain't seen nothing yet, Mac, I have hundreds more...really! Thanks for checking in, bud!
    #56
  17. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Ok, last pics this side of the Eagle plains half way point.

    One of my faves. I only wish this was completely in focus, but I have seen it blown up on a widescreen TV and it actually doesn't look too bad. Think I might have to get this one made into a poster...
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    #57
  18. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Wow, this brings it all back like it was yesterday. I am still spellbound by that whole ride up there. We sure had the great weather as a bonus too. Waiting for more..........
    #58
  19. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    you're right - I forgot to mention that the weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold, but bright sunshine from within about an hour of our hitting the Dempster.

    <link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5Cmahoney%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="State"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:35.4pt; mso-footer-margin:35.4pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> It was only just shy of 11pm when we pulled in to Eagle Plains that night, and I was shattered, both physically and emotionally. We pulled up in front of the building and went in, stopping to speak to the woman who was working reception. She&#8217;s from Germany, and when Heckto asked her how she&#8217;d ended up there, she said that a couple of years prior she&#8217;d been travelling, and on her way up the Dempster had called in at Eagle Plains and fallen in love with it, deciding that she didn&#8217;t want to leave. So she didn&#8217;t! She lives in a camper on the back of a Ford truck in the parking lot, and as far as I remember stays there year round.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We paid for a tent spot at the far end of the campground, but before we moved our bikes we went in to the bar area, which was quite busy. I still had my gear on, and as I walked in two guys sitting on the couch called out to me, asking what bike I was riding. Heckto and I sat down with them and had a chat &#8211; they bought me a much needed beer, too &#8211; and we found out that they were in a party of 4 who had ridden from <st1:state w:st="on">Ontario</st1:state> and were on their way back from <st1:place w:st="on">Inuvik</st1:place>. They were all on GSs and one of them had taken a small spill earlier in the day, but was ok (as was his bike). They were really nice guys, and one of them, Rick, had had very cool stickers made up, which we later saw on their panniers (pics to come). He had also had some very unique bracelets made up using porcupine quills, and I really took a shine to this guy, who seemed interested in my story, too. We arranged to meet the four of them for breakfast the following morning.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I was more tired than hungry and would have been happy to go straight to bed, but Kari wanted to cook up some of the grayling he&#8217;d caught that day. He offered to share and I reluctantly agreed to cook up some of my noodles too so that we could have dinner there together in the campground. While we cooked we set our tents up etc and it was very windy and very cold &#8211; I estimated that it was only just above freezing (<sup>o</sup>c) and I was silently complaining, wishing that I was asleep tucked up in bed &#8211; I often become very negative when I&#8217;m extremely tired. But was I ever given a smack in the face when the meal was ready and I took my first bite &#8211; it was absolutely delicious, in fact it was the best meal of the entire trip because it&#8217;s the only one that stands out. I don&#8217;t know whether it was the situation and circumstances or whether that fish was pure magic, but it was a superb meal and I soon changed my tune. Thanks Kari, I appreciate it. I was in such a better frame of mind having eaten that I made use of the deliciously warm shower before finally unpacking my long underwear and turning in for the night.



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    At the stroke of midnight, though, I&#8217;d taken some photos and you&#8217;ll see them very shortly.<o:p></o:p>
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    For those of you researching trips here in the future, my odometer read 398 kms when I pulled in to the parking lot at Eagle Plains but that&#8217;s not an accurate distance from the last gas station as I had backtracked 10 kms at one point. Therfore, I made it 378 kms from the pumps at the bottom of the Dempster to here. And for those of you that ride KLRs, I hadn&#8217;t even hit reserve yet!


    Some more pics from Eagle Plains (and there are more to come from on our way back again).


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    Contrary to popular belief, we don't get 24 hrs of sunlight in Yellowknife - 22.5 is about the best we'll do on the longest day of the year - and I'd seen my first genuine midnight sun in Dawson. I took these shots right at midnight from in our campground.


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    #59
  20. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    [​IMG]

    <link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5Cmahoney%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:35.4pt; mso-footer-margin:35.4pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> I woke up the next morning much refreshed, although the wind had been so strong during the night and it had been so cold that neither of us had slept all that well. We met Rick and all three of his friends for breakfast (Kari, care to post how you got yours for free?!) and Rick asked me so many questions that one of his buddies even asked whether he was thinking about potential husbands for a daughter! All six of us got along very well, and after breakfast we packed up and all met again outside the main entrance.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Before this though, Kari and I had been alone at the end of the meal and the waitress told us that she&#8217;d just heard over the radio that a big rig which had been parked at Eagle Plains all night had gone off the road and flipped. No details emerging other than that it was serious, but the driver was ok &#8211; albeit a bit shaken.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    As we were packing up, Rick rode his GS over to the campground (the four of them had stayed in the hotel) and told me to take it for a spin around the parking lot. I&#8217;d only known the guy for 12 hrs and here was saying &#8220;Take it&#8221;. First time I rode any BMW bike, let alone a GS. First impressions are good, even though I never got above 2<sup>nd</sup> gear and was only on the thing for about 2 mins total. This wasn&#8217;t the only time during the trip that people I&#8217;d only just met told me to take off on their bikes&#8230;in fact it took Rick a long time compared to the others. Stories coming up at the appropriate times.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    As we all gathered outside the entrance and I took this great shot of Kari posing with one of the stickers Rick had had made up for his friends&#8217; bikes
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    <o:p> Neat stickers.
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    He (Rick) pulled Kari and I aside and showed us a handful of spare bracelets he&#8217;d had made. There were 5 or 6 of them, all in different colours, and he told us to take our pick. These ones used beads rather than the porcupine quills, but were still very cool bracelets, and he said they&#8217;d bring us luck&#8230;which I was to put to test before the end of the day. I wore mine for the rest of the trip and will do so, for that luck, on every long distance ride from now on. If I remember to, tonight I&#8217;ll take a photo of mine and post it here tomorrow. Rick doesn&#8217;t have email, but I got his snail mail address and will be writing to him while I&#8217;m in Nunavut this fall.


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    The four of them set off heading south, and Kari and I hit the road in the other direction. Next stop, the Arctic Circle pullout!


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    #60