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The Long Brown Road

This morning started as usual... fresh pastry and coffee for breakfast. Then I took a walk down to Louise Falls, a very pretty sight to see, shot some pictures, and returned to prep for departure. The morning's bugs were light, consisting mostly of mosquitoes. After a gas stop in Enterprise (a must), we headed out hwy 1 in a westerly direction. Shortly after passing the hwy 3 turnoff the pavement ended. Usually, one might think a dirt road is rough, and slow. The next 200-odd miles were mostly flat, smooth, and fast. Some sections were either watered, or otherwise treated to minimize the dust. There was very little to see along the way. Two highway junctions (hwy 3 & hwy 7) were all hwy 1 offered. The hwy 7 intersection was paved, but the road returned to dirt in just 100 feet or so. The nearest towns were quite a ways off the road (Jean Marie River -17 miles, and Fort Simpson – 36 miles). There were no gas stations, stores, or other services on this road, only in the two towns mentioned. We may have missed a few waterfalls along the way, but they would have been off the road some distance. We saw very few vehicles going in either direction, however we did encounter a cyclist peddling along all by himself. I don't know from whence he came or his destination, but I applaud his courage for passing this way. I know he had to spend several nights on this road. Hopefully, he was able to use the few shelters that the Territory had scattered along the route. At Blackstone campground we discovered that this facility, although a beautiful, well maintained campground for tent campers, etc. lacked facilities... no water, sewer, electricity, cell or WIFI, just a small number of campsites and a boat ramp on the Liard River. This route through the North West Territories is kinda boring. It's sorta flat, sweeping curves, mostly in forest, with few water features along the way. Oh, did I mention the highway was dirt (mostly well maintained, but still dirt). We did stop in the middle of the bridge for pictures at both Bouvier and Trout Creeks (very pretty). If you're not into dirt road driving, don't come this way... take the more classic route identified as the “Rocky Mountain Route” in the North To Alaska documents. Today's photo shows the intrepid cyclist on the dirt highway out in the middle of nowhere.

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