M-A's Musings and Travels

A place where I can ponder and remember wonderful trips, camping excursions and hiking adventures.

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Location:Whitefish, Montana

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Day Six - May 21, 2005 - NW Territories

We woke up to overcast skies but our camp spot had “stood its ground” during the night’s drizzle and the camper was on solid ground.

NW Territories borderWe reached the 60th parallel, the border between Alberta and the Northwest Territories, at 7.40 am and were happy to encounter a heated, clean, and modern restroom at the Visitors’ Center that was open even though the sign said it wouldn’t open until 8.30 am.

Bear in Tree
Our first excitement in the new territory was to find a black bear high up in the birch tree on the side of the road about 1.5 km north of the border. We stopped and took lots of pictures, but alas, he doesn’t look much more than a black blur in most of them. Shortly, another black bear crossed the road ahead of us, but he didn’t stick around for any pictures.

Alexandra Falls
Louise Falls
The road number changed to Highway 1 once we crossed into the Northwest Territories. This road is also known as the Waterfalls Highway, so named for the many gorgeous waterfalls located on Hay River which runs parallel to the highway. We stopped at majestic Alexandra and Louise Falls which were viewable after short walks from the interpretive areas.

Great Slave Lake
We followed Highway 1 to the town of Enterprise-little more than a few buildings at the junction of Highways 1 and 2. From here, we continued north to the town of Hay River, where we also caught our first glimpse of the Great Slave Lake. Imagine our surprise when we found the lake mostly frozen with high snow banks on the shore!

Hay River School
Hay River is one of the larger communities in the territory and even sports a high rise visible as far away as from the Slave River Lowlands Overview on Highway 1, way down to the south and west. The town was also home to the city hall as well as an unusual looking school building.

Lady Evelyn Falls
From Hay River, we returned down to the Waterfalls Highway, heading west towards Lady Evelyn Falls Territorial Park, situated about 6 km from the main highway. The campground was absolutely full, with almost every spot of the day use area filled with overnighting campers as well. We joined the rest of them and eked out our own spot right in front of the restroom (which was closed during the night) where we were able to have the second shower of our trip. We waited until about 10 pm for someone to collect the camping fee and even asked if someone would be around. However, according to the native hosts, they “were to busy at the moment.” Well, their loss, we figured, since they still had not collected the fee by the time we left the next morning.


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