Well, we've been out for a week and have met the most amazing people. The stories that we're hearing are phenomenal. Between the stories are many incredible landscapes - the awesome Richardson Mountains that form the divide between the Arctic watersheds and the Pacific, between The Mackenzie and the Yukon.

No bears but lots of bear scat. I'm calming down a little bit.

We'll try to get some pictures uploaded and write some of the wonderful stories we've heard when we get to Dawson.

We made it to the Eagle Plains Hotel!

Well, it took us six days but we made it to the halfway point on the Dempster Highway, the Eagle Plains Hotel. We've had a wonderful time - quite a stretch for us to do something this hard as the first thing on the tour, but we're well. The weather has been incredible. Because there's no night, the earth gets lots of warmth from the sun this time of year. In our first couple of days the temperature was in the 80s and 90s Fahrenheit! Really hot.

No bears! Nancy's worry level may be decreasing - she spent a lot of time talking with a woman whose extensive experience in the wild in this part of the world (and no problems with bears) gave Nancy more confidence to deal with possible encounters (and less fear that we'll have them).

And so far the mosquito season has hardly started. We have plenty of bites, but it's the kind of thing we've experienced before, not the intense disaster people talk about in July up here. However, we have a long ways to go... But we have mosquito outfits and spray and such.

Today we're taking a day off and just resting here at the Eagle Plains Hotel. We swapped a night's lodging and dinner with them in exchange for developing a website - - that they've never had before.

In Inuvik, SOUTH on the Dempster!

We made it to Inuvik and we're headed south on the Dempster Highway tomorrow morning! I'd hoped to have a picture of Inuvik for you but the library is closing so I'm rushing it.

480 miles to Dawson City. A store in Fort McPherson and the hotel at Eagle Plains are the only real things between here and there. It's almost all dirt, and of course we hear all the horror stories about it, like bears and mosquitoes and moose. I think we'll have a blast. We'll let you know in 10-14 days. We're glad to have you along with us!

Whitehorse, Yukon. Tomorrow we get to Inuvik!

Jack's Plane closeup

We flew from mile 0 of the Alaska Highway all the way to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. It's 10:11pm and the sun won't go down for more than an hour. But tomorrow the sun won't go down at all.

The flight was wonderful today - we hugged the river due to low-hanging clouds and had great views of beautiful places. The ride over the Continental Divide was spectacular. A few of the pictures are on flickr here.

Hope to update you more and provide some pictures from Inuvik, if we have internet access.

Dawson Creek, BC

Today our airlift of 12 planes flew us about 800 miles today from Helena, Montana up to Dawson Creek, BC, Canada, the beginning of the Alaska Highway. Some of it was a bit choppy, but it was a successful trip.

You ask why we need 12 planes to get us to the North Country? We have no idea. When we were planning this trip, my brother Collin and sister-in-law Marisa asked if we wanted a ride up there in their Centurion light plane. We said yes. They also invited many, many of their Parkwest Air Tours clients... and all of them said YES! So it's a really big group.

Tomorrow we go on to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory if the weather works, or perhaps to Dawson City, at the bottom of the Dempster.

As I write this, the temperature in Inuvik is 2 degrees above freezing, and we're wondering if we're really ready for that kind of temperatures. The forecast is a little better than that, though, and cooler temps mean less mosquitoes...

We are in Grand Junction where we will fly out of

Today is June 1st, 2006 and we are really doing it, we on our way. After months of prep we are on the road but not on our bikes. We drove to Grand Junction where we will fly out of Grand Junction Airport (Walker Field) in the morning in a Cessnar piloted by Collin Fay and Marisa Fay. Collin and Marisa do this all the time with their business, Parkest Air Tours.

We are flying to Helena, Montana to meet 13 other small planes which will fly us to Inuvik and drop us off with our bikes and all the gear. We will then ride south on the Dempster Highway, a 450-mile gravel road with very limited services. What a great way to see the world.

Wish us luck and good riding weather.

Dempster Highway Ferry Crossings

We're starting as early in the year as would be possible. In April, the Dempster is closed when the rivers start to melt, taking out the ice bridges. The highway reopens in June when ferries can operate.

The current road report shows that the ferries are not yet running on the Dempster as of May 23. If we started today, we could not ride the highway.

The historical data for the Peel River Crossing and the Mackenzie River Crossing show that the ferry usually starts running the first week of June, but in 1977, it didn't start until June 16. I don't know why we chose June 9 as a starting date because we didn't know anything about this. But I'm glad it looks like it was a reasonable date!

The Far-North Weather Page

Inuvik, of course, was our starting place:
Click for Inuvik, Northwest Territories Forecast

Here are readings for Rock River, which was about 200 miles into the journey.

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