July 23

We are up early, the sun is bright at 3 am, and hit the road by 6 am. We pass no one on the road for the first couple of hours, until we are near the Peel River ferry. The inevitable happens, a rock from a passing vehicle hits our jeep windshield and leaves a chip in it, probably fatal. We stop in Ft. McPherson and then it is off to another river crossing at Tsiigehtchic (sig-e-chic), where we have lunch along the Arctic Red River watching six bald eagles fish and play with each other in the air. We cross the MacKenzie river and stop about 20 miles short of Inuvik which we will save for tomorrow. At Campbell Lake we find a neat campground, fewer mosquitoes and fewer people. We were all alone in the campground until another couple arrived. Not sure why the place was empty, maybe it was too near Inuvik and people just press on. The First People is what they call the natives here, and the local group are the Gwich’in. The Gwich’in man at the visitor center in Ft. McPherson said he had 36 visitors on Monday, 16 on Tuesday and just us so far on Wednesday. They really appreciate their visitors. It is income but it is also the personal contact.

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