April 5th Easter Sunday 2015
On the road again, I rolled in the fresh tracks of the grader, the feeling was exhilarating, (finally I was moving) it wasn’t long before the yellow Peterbuilt was miles behind me, it was a blue bird day I was making good progress and life was good. As I rounded a high ridge where the road was blown clear of snow, I could see something a way off in the distance, it looked like the road grader and it wasn’t moving.
As I got closer I saw that that there were in fact two graders and a semi-tractor a white Peterbuilt with the front cowling tilted forward and 3 bundled bodies crowded around it. It was Ryan and his partner the road maintenance crew from Eagle Plains and they were conversing with the truck driver in front of his ice filled engine compartment, I could see their predicament, the truck was stuck in a snow drift in the middle of the road and it was frozen solid, looking behind the stranded truck I saw miles of snow drifts, the graders were blocked by the stuck truck, again it looked like I was going nowhere!
The men seemed preoccupied and hardly noticed me until I mentioned that I was a mechanic and perhaps I could help, the looked at me in disbelief as I approached them clad in my spandex winter cycling gear. Long story short 2 and half hours later we had the truck running and I was surfing through Dempster snow drifts once again. My plan was to reach the Yukon NWT border before setting camp but is soon became obvious that was not in the cards. A couple of hours before dark and well short of my border crossing goal I pitched camp on the side of the road and began boiling rabbit tracks for a gourmet Easter dinner of dehydrated chicken, rice with vegetables.
Early to rise; well at least earlier then the day before, I set off bundled in all the outer layers I had, it was cold but the sun climbed over the arctic horizon, made a feeble attempt at piercing the clouds but non the less soon I was shedding layers. The road was still un-plowed but at least the snow had developed a hard crust which made the roller coaster ride a lot of fun; at least until I hit a soft spot and flipped over the handle bars. Today I head for the border!