April 9th : I woke to a clear cold morning and the site of fox tracks all around my tent and bike, but no gear missing or chewed up this time. After filling my growler thermos and hydration bladder with boiled snow and packing up while chomping down a few granola bars I was off into the clear blue yonder feeling energized from yesterday’s record mileage and stellar cycling conditions, just over 50 k to Inuvik NWT, Canadas largest community north of the Arctic Circle.
No tail wind today but the road was straight and dry, I sailed along almost effortlessly thinking the faster I peddled the sooner I would be at the end of the famous Dempster Highway and if all went as planned I would be chowing down on what is reportedly the best Bacon Double Cheese Burger in the NWT at the Inuvik Airports Cloud Nine Restaurant .
Best Burger on Highway 93 – Little Blue Joint Darby Montana
If you recall my last two end to end trips I spent a lot of time looking for the best Bacon Double Cheese Burger; Highway 93’s best burger was found at the Little Blue Joint in Darby Montana and in Winnipeg on Highway 16 it’s the Stafford Burger at the Grove Pub; from all accounts the Cloud Nine was number one in these parts so I had to try one out.
The tail wind I hoped to have push me to Inuvik never turned up so 6 hours later I wearily rolled my Kona Wo into the Inuvik airport and dismounted outside the Cloud Nine cafeteria only to find the doors locked, closed at 3,,,,, darn!
End of the Dempster Highway, Welcome to Inuvik
I still had almost two hours before my scheduled interview with CBC North and my Inuvik hosts Lee and Cheryl, so what better to do then tour around this unique Arctic community, meet the locals and take a few photos.
Young Inuvik winter cyclist
The town of Inuvik (Inuvik), which means “Place of Man” in Inuvialuktun – has a rather short but extremely interesting history; check it out here: http://www.inuvik.ca/en/discovering-inuvik/History.asp
Main street Inuvik
Colorful Inuvik Row Housing.
Lee and Cheryl Williams proved to be the most gracious and hospitable host anyone could ask for, after a gourmet dinner prepared by Cheryl we all retired to their attached garage (which was basically a modified rec room and bar) for cocktails.
Drying out gear in the garage
Throughout the evening a number of people dropped in to visit and hear of my Dempster adventures, and to watch the Flames beat LA!
Go Flames Go!
Before long it was well past bedtime and I had to be up bright and early to tackle the first leg of the Mackenzie Ice Road to so I respectfully turned in for the night.
next ,,,, The Ice Road