Waterfalls, bison and a black cougar!

Published: August 18th 2008
Edit Blog Post

Keno, YukonKeno, YukonKeno, Yukon

drive in the clouds
Hello, all!

We have enjoyed the last part of our journey with our lovely new-used car. We saw Faro, Keno and Mayo, three little towns in the Yukon with boom and bust histories of mining for gold, zinc and silver. We saw a cow moose and two calfs , ate wild strawberries, raspberries, saw an abandoned mine, travelled gravel roads, camped at some very pretty campgrounds...it is nice to be on the road again!

Heading up the Liard Highway just before we cross Northern BC into the Northwest Territories, after seeing mountain goats, moose, black bears, foxes, caribou....we saw the most elusive of all animals. It was black, long tail, moved like a cat, and was very large! It was a black cougar! After confirming with a local man in Fort Simpson that cougars come in all colours, and that this cougar was spotted elsewhere in the area, we were very excited. No time for a photograph as the cougar moved fast crossing the road in front of us, but we have the memory and story!

We had another major highlight! We took a flight through the Nahanni National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in the Northwest
our new truck!our new truck!our new truck!

we decided the car was just too small so we've upgraded again. More room, and no one will pass us on the highway! only problem is the gas economy! (just kidding! Keno's mining truck on display)
Territories from Fort Simpson and saw Virginia Falls (twice the height as Niagara Falls and is the largest waterfall in Canada by volume! Niagara is shared between two countries and therefore is the biggest in North America). The photos will not do any justice to the beauty we have seen of course! Nahanni is indeed pristine, untouched wilderness and vast with its many mountain ranges, canyons, rivers....wow.....we even saw a forest fire burning from the 2000 feet elevation of our beaver aircraft. Spectacular!

We are currently in Yellowknife at my cousin, T-Bo’s place. When we arrived in Yellowknife, after a long drive, we were greeted with a lovely steak dinner and some wine! Yummy! Then we got to learn about jewellery making with T-Bo in his shop! How the piece of jewellery goes from a wax carving to a rubber mould to molten metal and finally the finished product after it is polished (well there are many steps in between of course).

The road to Yellowknife was paved part way and it was a gradual change to the Canadian Precambrian shield which means lovely pink granite everywhere you look, spotted with lichen, moss, trees and of course black bears......and many herds of bison. The thing with bison is, they see you stop the car and think it is an opportunity to cross the road to get to the other side where the rest of the herd is grazing. So, Mom and calf saunters across, then Uncle and nephew look up and minutes later they are crossing .... A spot on the highway took us back to Kenya when a watering hole (pond) was surrounded by bison, and the dusty air with the aspen trees created a familiar scene of past safaris in Africa...
We hiked to Sambaa Deh Falls and a small canyon which broke up our 9 hour drive.
During our ferry ride across the two mile wide Mackenzie River, we saw the first stages of the controversial $250 million bridge being built! The bridge will give Yellowknife year-round road connection to the rest of the country. However, to spend that much money on a bridge that gets about hundred vehicles a day doesn’t make sense! Also the people in this part of the Territory will lose there “isolation allowance” (a government bribe to keep them here).

Yellowknife is a very pretty city, surrounded by little lakes and boreal forest. A lovely hike around Frame Lake in the city brings you around boardwalks and nice climbs on bedrock. Some of the deciduous trees are turning yellow already as fall is just around the corner. First frost is likely the end of August up here. The information centre was very informative and there was a big display on the diamond industry. We were fortunate to have a live demonstration on diamond shaping/polishing by a lady who works in the diamond industry here in Yellowknife. There are 3 diamond mines north of Yellowknife now. We learned that the diamonds that are marked with special symbols are mined, polished and grated in the Northwest Territories. Meaning they never leave Canada and are authentic Canadian diamonds. As we walked into downtown, you begin to notice a diamond theme...even the local taxi: Diamond Cab is using the industry for advertising.....

A big thanks to T-Bo and Jacklyn for such amazing hospitality and great food and letting us sleep in the camper! We had an amazing time!!!!!

We now are on our way back to Sioux Lookout conclude this chapter of our wonderful trip across Canada and Alaska. Our trip has been shortened due to the limited 14 days of Ontario insurance on an out-of-province vehicle. One thing we wonder about this fine country of ours is when are the provinces going to get it together and actually communicate with one another instead of having different laws in each? Makes travel and moving around much easier! oh well, we can only hope one day...?

We look forward to sharing more of our stories and photo journals of such beautiful wilderness, wildlife and history on this fine country of ours!

Signing out for now! Stay tuned for more adventures....perhaps we will surprise you with our next destinations!

Your roaming nomads...and leisure specialists
Theresa and Dave

p.s. I now now how to reduce the file size of our photos! So hopefully you all can pull up the photos quicker on your computers?

Additional photos below
Photos: 29, Displayed: 25


Signpost Forest in Watson Lake, YukonSignpost Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon
Signpost Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon

Over 70,000 signs and license plates on display! We added our old honda civic plate!
flight over Nahanni National Park, NWTflight over Nahanni National Park, NWT
flight over Nahanni National Park, NWT

one of Canada's World Heritage sites (UNESCO)
Fort Simpson from the airFort Simpson from the air
Fort Simpson from the air

beside MacKenzie River

18th August 2008

Hi Guys, I spent 3 months in Fort Simpson in 2002 -- great place! Who flew you into Nahanni? The falls are amazing! FYI -- Kory and I split up. Sigh. He has left for Nova Scotia and I will be relocating to Ottawa for a while. Cheers, S.
20th August 2008

Hi Sarah, Dan was our pilot. We had Scott do the falls tour. Lovely place! Sorry about your news. Good luck with your relocation. Theresa and Dave
15th March 2009

Black Cougar Wicked
I have just moved to Smithers BC from London Ont. and i have been seeing the coolest Animals here! So far I have seen about 16 bald eagles, 3 moose very close up and this morning I was looking out my window and saw a Baby Moose and its Mom. They took off in a hurry, But then like 2 secs later we saw the BLACK COUGAR running down the mountain after a rabbit. We saw the cougar go back up the hill and then we saw the rabbit. No breaky for the cougar. Hope to see it again!!! Peace Tracy

Tot: 1.479s; Tpl: 0.041s; cc: 12; qc: 32; dbt: 0.0229s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb