We left our truck there — near the Hudson Bay airstrip — because that was the end of the Canol Road maintenance. We crossed the Yukon/ Northwest Territories border. From now on, we had to ford the creeks and rivers without the aid of bridges.
My dog was quite unhappy the next morning when he found out that I was on one side of all that water, and he wasn’t!
The people from Johnson’s tried to get him chased across. Then Hansel went up to high bridge — until he found that it ended in mid-air!
Leon was good enough to go back and half-carry and half-chase him across.
The next creek Hansel tried — after crying a lot — but he got hung up on a boulder. He couldn’t get up it or around it. Again, Leon went back. Then — away we rode!
We passed through large meadows and beautiful passes from then on. The washed out bridges looked very rustic. I did wish the NWT would clean up the old telephone wire and junk on the road, however, because the horses got tangled in it once in a while, and I’m sure other animals do, too.
Our next major camp would be Godlin Lakes. I can’t recall all the camping places on the way, but it took us eight days to get there. We saw a few moose and caribou.
Wednesday we pulled into Godlin and there was a lot of activity around. An exploration camp was there, another outfi tter’s camp, an airstrip, and a biologist’s family. The biologist studied the bears in the area during the summer by capturing the animals and then putting transmitters on them. The grizzlies’ travels were followed by flying over the area and picking up the signals on a receiver.
On Thursday we got to rest while we waited for Perry to come out and give us instructions as to where to go to set up base camp for the summer. It was a nice hot day, and Godlin Lakes are nestled in a beautiful place with mountains surrounding them. I was lucky to get to shower in a gravity fed outdoor one. The water heats up some from the sun in the black pipes that carry the water from the creek. But after the hot water runs out — watch out — brrr!
Perry came at suppertime and I met him for the fi rst time. It was decided that John, Ormand, and I would head for McClure Lake and the rest would go to Carcajour. We would ride together three more days.
At Mile 108 (108 miles from Norman Wells), there was an army camp that still had one useable shack with a barrel stove. We holed up in there before splitting ways the next day. It was fun to cook “indoors”. I did hate to see Leon and Andrew go. Leon is about my age and was a good riding companion, and Andrew doesn’t say much but he works hard and grins a lot!