At the 60th parallel visitor's center, we got more maps and information about the NW Territory. The road north is referred to as the Waterfalls Route because of - you guessed it - waterfalls. The first waterfalls were at Twin Falls Gorge - Alexandra Falls and Louise Falls. Past the town of Enterprise was NcNallie Creek falls. One of the most spectacular was Lady Evelyn Falls a few km. on an unpaved road. It seemed like we were the only ones there.
After stopping to view all the waterfalls, we crossed the Mackenzie River. There is no bridge - only a small free ferry that transport large tractor trailers and cars. This was also our first encounter with the famous black flies. They are actually large gnat-like bugs that surround you - especially the face. Every time we got out of the car our arms were flailing trying to get them away. When we stopped at the first town after crossing the river, Fort Providence, the locals also had their arms flailing. We made a short stop to mail postcards then encountered bison on the road - twice. Took some pictures and immediately back in the car with windows up.
Kirsten was actually talking about continuing north to Yellowknife until we heard the road is not complete - about 60 more miles of pavement to go. After re-crossing the Mackenzie River we proceeded to stop for the night in Hay River on the Great Slave Lake. The lake empties into the Mackenzie River which goes to the Arctic Ocean. We were told the river is a life-line where people receive their food and other essentials on palettes delivered by river boat. Not my way of life.
We stayed the night in Hay River. Kirsten asked for change of a $5 bill and the motel desk clerk then said "twoonies or loonies?". When Kirsten said she had no idea what she meant, the clerk gave a short explanation about Canadian coins. They have $1 coins (loonies) and $2 coins (twoonies). During our trip we heard others talking about the twoonies and loonies. We smiled since we knew.
The next morning it was raining in Hay River, but I still managed to take a few pictures of their famous purple school and the tallest building we saw north of Edmonton. The town is a railway terminus where goods are loaded on boats for delivery via the river and lake.
Now we were headed south back to Alberta. We had to retrace our steps - one way in and one way out.
North West Alberta is next