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

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Day Three - May 18, 2005 - NW Territories

Rather than going back to the main Highway 22 the same way we came, Dale insisted on being adventurous and making a loop. I insisted the road wouldn't be paved the entire way but since we were not in any hurry, why not! Why not indeed! We did encounter some very rough, unpaved terrain and almost got lost, but after a few unpleasant turns, we were back on the main road towards Mountain House.

After spending some $90 (Canadian) for gas, we felt justified in asking for water from the gas station, but at the price of $5 for a fill-up, we felt we could wait. Sure different than in the States!

Straight RoadOur original route would have been way to the west of Mountain House on the trunk road, but with the change in plans we were back going north on Highway 22. From Mountain House on, the road seemed an endless straight ribbon going directly north with nothing but intermittent green pastures and coves of deciduous trees, mostly aspen, on each side. We made a pit stop for the dogs by the noise was due to some underground electrical wires but decided it had to be thousands of mating frogs! Boy were they loud!

We stopped for lunch at the Drayton Valley turnoff; then on to the McDonald's Golden Arches in Whitecourt where the dogs got a nice treat. At Whitecourt, population 8,300, we crossed the McCleod River just before it joins the Athabasca River (David Thompson' alternate route to the Continental Divide after Piegan Indians caused his party trouble on the North Saskatchewan).

North of Drayton Valley, we joined the main Interstate Highway 16 for a brief distance west until Highway 32, which took us north again up to Whitecourt, a town sufficiently large to have a Wal*Mart store.

Carsons PegasusBy now, the terrain had changed to more dense woods of fir trees, almost resembling the tigas of Alaska. After crossing both the Saskatchewan and the Athabasca Rivers, we stopped for the day at Carsons Pegasus Provincial Park at McLeod Lake, just north of Whitecourt, where we were treated to the first showers of our trip.


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