Monday, September 26, 2011

Driving the Gravel Roads -Ft Simpson to Ft Nelson

Tues, Sept 13th – We continued our ‘adventure’ on the gravel road……heading to Ft Simpson where we spent Tues night. Ft Simpson was not much of a town….about 1200 people…..but it listed several ‘sights’ to see…….
In 1987,  Pope John Paul II visited this small community. He addressed the people from this Tee Pee structure, and they dedicated the rock memorial, representing the spiritual significance of the four directions, to him.
Ft Simpson lies at the confluence of the Liard River and the Mackenzie River, a place of great cultural and spiritual significance to the native peoples.
We just thought that this caution sign was rather ‘unique’.
Wednesday, Sept 14th – We headed on down the road to Ft. Liard, then to Ft.Nelson. It was on this stretch of road that we saw the bison……lots of them! On both sides of the road……
The herd consisted of a number of cows and calves………
Along with several very large bulls…….
This guy just looked so funny rolling over in the dust………
But it is a good way to control the flies…which seemed like they would drive the poor bison crazy!
We also caught sight of this black bear…..I got a shot of him just as he was heading into the trees.
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Driving the gravel roads was not bad……EXCEPT for the dust! Or mud…..when the road was a bit wet. It covered our camper……and the truck with multiple layers of grime.
Front, back and sides, and tail lights…..You couldn’t see out the windows of the camper, until we scrapped a bit of the mud off!  Fortunately, the campground at Ft. Nelson had a pressure hose to wash off your RV.
Unfortunately, the outside wasn’t the only thing that got dirty…..The inside of the camper looked like it had survived (barely) a dust storm. There was a layer of dirt over everything in the camper…….counters, walls, floors, sofa cushions, bed……everything!  We spent the evening cleaning up and dusting off every surface, and running sheets and towels through the laundry.  At least we were somewhere where we could wash up!    
Also, it seems that while driving on the gravel road, a rock had ‘jumped up’ and hit the drain valve on our fresh water tank on the camper, knocking it off. Our fresh water tank was empty, and would not hold water without a fix. Fortunately, that night, and the next several nights we could stay in campgrounds that had a fresh water hook-up. And Fred – ever resourceful - picked up a tube of caulk at a hardware store in Ft. Nelson, and sealed off the drain valve leak. We let it dry all the next day, but when we tested it….it didn’t leak! A temporary fix, but good enough to get us home.

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