Travel Day One

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Without knowing what the fire season was going to permit us to do as far as actually getting past Fort Providence, we decided to leave a day earlier than planned. We didn’t make any hotel reservations because we didn’t know which day we would be getting where.

The day started out questionable, with unexplainable insomnia and a brief bought of empty-stomach vomiting on my part. Don’t worry, everything was fine once I actually got food into my stomach and we got on the road. The rain that started the previous night followed us constantly all the way to Enterprise, and sporadically the rest of the way. There were no visible active fires near the road, although a couple of smouldering, smoking parts north of Providence. There was smoke being blown in from elsewhere, but visibility wasn’t drastically impaired so our progress remained good.

My first drive on our new Deh Cho Bridge over the Mackenzie River was a moment for me. It’s not as steep as I’ve been led to believe, but ask me again what I think after crossing it in the winter. It was thrilling nonetheless.

We stopped briefly at Big River and the 60th Parallel Visitors Centre before going to High Level for supper. It was only 6:00, so we decided to continue the remaining three hours to Peace River. Our decision not to book a hotel seemed to bite us in the ass as all the hotels in Peace River were booked solid. The Pomeroy in Grimshaw was recommended, which was only half an hour away. Unfortunately they were booked, too, but the helpful front desk clerk directed us to DeeJay Motel, just down the block. She told us it looks old, but the rooms are really clean. She was not wrong on either count. This is actually a perfectly fine little motel. The front desk clerk at DeeJay’s was very friendly, we were able to get a non-smoking room with two beds, and the room — while certainly old school — was immaculate. No wifi, but that’s what the hotspot feature on my phone is for when necessary, right?

Overall, a relatively uneventful but enjoyable drive. Wildlife sightings for the day: one chipmunk, one raven, several crows, a herd of about eight bison, one black bear cub, and various unidentified ornithoid.

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