Back from the hinterland

Back from 10 days of hiking, fishing and driving in Alaska, Yukon and the NWT. It’s beautiful country up there but not for the faint of heart. It got down to 3 degrees several times, it never got dark for 11 straight days, the mosquitos were plentiful and the grizzlies were always lurking around somewhere.

My brother, rather sarcastically, asked me why I didn’t go up to the Yukon and promote economic development and double or triple the population. I repeated to him the same mantra I repeat on this blog. Economic development is not about growth for growth’s sake. Economic development is a means to an end. We need more successful economic development in New Brunswick because we are misaligned. Our government doesn’t bring in enough own source revenue to pay for government services and the gap is increasing and our economic foundation is not strong enough to support the existing population let alone attract new people.

I don’t know the situation in the Yukon. There may be a need for serious economic development but there may not be.

Here’s a few pics.

A shot of the mountains on the 500 km dirt road through the Yukon to the NWT.

Yours truly at the NWT border.

Ditto at the Yukon border.

We ate artic grayling over an open fire four nights. The fish has a different taste but is a welcome source of food after a major hike/fish.

My brother was desperate to get inside the artic circle. Most people want to go south for vacation, my brothers want to go north. Go figure.

It’s a desolate place. The Dempster Highway is 500 kms of winding road through mountains and valleys and at one point there are no services for 370 kilometres.

They are kind of paranoid about grizzly bears out there.

…..For good reason. However, this guy didn’t pay us any attention and just kept digging up something in the dirt he found interesting.

After 10 days of eating flies and boiling water for 10 minutes before using (anyone remember the boil orders in Moncton years ago?), it was good to get out and back to civilization.

And the best scenery of all. We hiked up on a ridge overlooking Denali/Mt. McKinley and camped for the night (or the day there was no real night). Beautiful but I had a hard time enjoying the scenery while climbing up the steep inclines with a 30 pound pack on my back.

There’s a better picture of Denali.

And of course, these days you really can’t get away from it can you? Here’s what awaited us in the remote parts of Alaska.

And we saw more than just bears. There were Lemmings, rabbits, many birds and this fella.