On Day 6 I neglected to tell you I had dropped into two information centres. First I hit the NWT information centre. I asked the lady there, “what would you do in Inuvik if you only had 4 hours?”. She told me to see the round church, check out the aquatic centre, and go to Alestine’s for dinner. I made notes. Then I hit the Yukon information centre across the street and asked the info dude there about running trails in the area. He brought out a little map and pointed out a loop around the town that connected back to the dyke that ran along the river beside town. I asked him if I should be concerned about bears and he said they could rent me a can of bear spray. Translation, yes, you should be concerned about bears. I explained I had my own bear spray, thanked him for his time and took the map he had highlighted for me.
Now back to the early hours of Day 7. I went off in search of the loop and found it after asking for directions from a guy walking his dog. The loop was pretty cool as it went behind town up on the slope where all the prospectors had set up camp around the town in it’s two year hay-day (I’ve included a photo way below that shows you what town looked like then). You could see evidence of old garbage (cans and bottles) as well as some rock foundations. I then ran past moose hide slide. There’s a bit of a neat story to that slide so check out the link if you have time.
After my run around town and before heading back to the hotel, I ran to a bakery and purchased the most delicious sticky bun I’ve ever eaten, a loaf of bread (because I threw my other 7 dollar loaf of bread), and some other dessert-like treat I can’t recall thanks to the sticky bun that I still dream about. We went back to the Alchemy Cafe for breakfast (second breakfast for me) and I had the most delicious cold brew coffee.
I had been working on convincing husband that we needed to drive at least part of the Dempster Highway and he finally conceded. We drove to Tombstone Park, about 70km up the Dempster. Holy doodle, what a cool place, but what a lot of people! I wasn’t expecting that. It was also kind of smoky from the fires. We got to the interpretation centre and I asked a helpful staff person where there was a shortish trail that I could run in 30 minutes so as not to annoy my husband too much. She didn’t laugh, but took my request very seriously. She provided me with directions to this perfect trail and off we drove a little ways up the Dempster. We found the side road and parked where it ended. It was pretty off the beaten path, so much so, that once I started running, I lost the trail. Then I saw a caribou carcass, freaked out and started running back to the truck. Then I experienced a severe leg cramp and hobbled the rest of the way back. It was a short run.
Apparently July 2019 was the driest the Dempster had ever been. Perhaps that’s why there were so many fires happening too.
We proceeded back to Dawson City and hit the museum and walked around town a bit more checking out the historic sites. There was also a music festival happening over the weekend so a lot of bands were coming to town and you could hear lots of bands practicing or doing sound checks. I realized I was old at this point as I mostly found it loud.
For dinner we hit the hotel restaurant and I had arctic char, again! This is my all time favourite fish. After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get organized for our morning flight to Inuvik the next day. We’d be staying overnight at the Arctic Chalet in Inuvik – the place that Judi the Herschel Island tour organizer ran. I had only brought a small day pack with me so it was a bit tricky packing everything I’d need for one night into a very small bag considering I was packing warm gear for Herschel Island, just in case.