Hitchhiking by boat to Inuvik

After spending one day in Norman Wells, we hitched a ride with Jeff Brackenbury to Fort Good Hope.
Downtown Fort Good Hope >>>>>

The next day we went sightseeing at the Ramparts.

The Brackenburys had a kitten... not quite the same as my cat Pepper, this kitten was rugged! A necessary trait for the north.

(Pepper has a cushy life in California!)

We met some missionairies in Fort Good Hope, Stephen and Sherry Legault.
We celebrated Börje's birthday there on August 16th.
(The ice-cream cost $12 for 2 liters!)

After three days in Fort Good Hope, we arranged for a boat trip to Inuvik with Leon and his four year old son, Alexi. Yes, that's a 16 foot boat with 5 adults, one child, one dog and a fair amount of "carry-on" baggage!
(Not to mention enough fuel for a 300 mile trip.)

We visited a fish camp along the way.

About 45 minutes past Arctic Red River, the boat motor gave out. Tom and Leon attempt to fix it, to no avail.

Stranded! Leon and Arne walked back to Arctic Red River along the rocky shore - over twenty miles! The rest of us stayed behind and set up camp. This section of the Mackenzie is rarely traveled by boat, so the chances of anyone seeing us were remote.

Leon and Arne arrived at the ferry crossing too late (1:30am) so they slept in an abandoned mobile home and took the first ferry the next morning to Arctic Red River. The first person they met was Fredrick. He and his wife took them in and gave them a hearty breakfast. Afterwards, he came to our rescue and brought us back to Arctic Red River.

The Dempster Highway goes through Arctic Red River, so we decided to hitchhike on the road to Inuvik. Here we are waiting for the ferry to take us to the Inuvik road, just across the river. In the distance you can see the barge which has our truck on it.

We waited for quite a few hours by the ferry crossing for someone to take us to Inuvik. A family (mom, dad, five children and two grandparents) in a converted school bus were happy to give us a lift. (In this picture, propane is being transfered from the cooking tank to the main fuel tank!).

We arrived in Inuvik that evening. This picture shows how the utilities are above ground in "utilidors" - due to permafrost.

The truck arrived the same day. None was happier than Sadie, she was happy to be finally going home to Penticton!

Continue with Driving back to Penticton...

Return to Mackenzie River Trip Home Page