Sunday, November 18, 2007

Trip to Inuvik - Day 7 - Sunday, 07/14/2002

Inuvik, NW Territories, to Eagle Plains, Yukon

It was Sunday, and the only church we found was the Catholic Church (the Igloo Church). We considered attending the service there, but discovered that it started around noon, which would put us on the road to Eagle Plains too late in the day. So we ate breakfast in the hotel and said good-bye to Inuvik at 9:25 a.m. [Since then, I have read that there are two other churches in Inuvik - an Anglican and a Community Church.]

We weren't too far down the road when we saw a wrecked car, down off the road. It looked like it must have rolled. We were concerned that it might have just happened, and that someone might still be in the car, so we stopped and Dan got out and climbed down into the bushes to check it out. We were relieved to find that no one was in the car.

We made good time to Fort McPherson and across the two rivers by ferry. However, soon after crossing the Peel River we came upon the first section of road with freshly-laid shale gravel. Shale is very sharp, and before we reached the Arctic Circle, a piece of it punctured our rear driver's-side tire.

Dan jacked the car up, removed the tire, and used our tire patch kit to plug the hole. [Until now, we hadn't realized that our spare was one of those little emergency donut tires. Dan didn't want to try driving on it.] After getting the patched tire back onto the car and pumping air into it, we found that the plug was not holding.

Dan began using a can of aerosol tire sealant. Two men from the road crew stopped while he was doing that and warned us that the sealant would ruin the tire; but Dan was pretty sure that the tire was already ruined, and he was only hoping that we could "limp" into Eagle Plains with it. We went two or three miles down the road, and then checked the tire. It was still leaking. Dan pumped more air in and we went a few more miles -- still leaking, more air. We continued this routine all the way into Eagle Plains. I lost count of how many stops we made to air up, with our little portable air pump.

The good Lord was watching out for us, though, because the puncture happened only about 50 miles out of Eagle Plains. And it was heart-warming that no one passed by without stopping to ask if we were okay or if they could help. Everyone watches out for everyone else's safety here, we have found. We arrived in Eagle Plains at 4:45, which was 5:45, Inuvik time. Our tire adventure added a little more than two hours to today's travel time.

Once we were safely to Eagle Plains, we bought a new tire and had it put on at the garage (they have a good inventory of tires). So, again, Eagle Plains was our oasis.

I had hoped to call Tim tonight, but there was no phone in our room.


Anonymous said...

Someone's bound to say it....might as well be me.....

WOW! Even I can't imagine a more tiring day than you had.


Linda said...

Les, good to hear from you. No Schwaab Tire Stores down here in NM. Think you could do something about that for us?

Anonymous said...

Little darlin', I no longer hail from Oregon territory...

I have gone to that big ranch in the sky and ifin' ya can believe it these here streets are lined with rubber...a more grand aroma s there never twas.

I'll send word to the board...the future is in Alaska and NM.

Until later,