The Sockeyed Blog

Ben Johnson's Blog

Tombstone Again

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It was grey and drizzly in Eagle Plains when we gassed up and headed out. The journey across the plains again felt somewhat bleak and overwhelming, with endless boreal forest rolling in every direction, largely devoid of animal life. It began to open up about an hour or so into the journey, at the same time as the sun began to shine through the clouds.

Dropping down towards the Oglivie River, the scenery and weather improved, and we were again among the interesting rock formations of the Oglivie Mountains, then the less-exotic Taiga Mountains. We stopped for lunch in the Oglivies near a outcrop known for fossils, but didn’t find any.

The mountains gave way to the Blackstone Highlands – the wider tundra plateau – then we climbed gently into the Tombstones again. At around 4pm we crossed the Continental Divide for the final time, and just a couple of kilometres short of the Tombstone campground, we pulled off the highway and drove a short distance to a microwave tower.

We got on our hiking gear and set out for a stellar hike up Goldensides Mountain. It was a steep grunt straight up a steep slope of scrub, then lose barren rock. Stopping to catch our breath, we turned to take in great views west towards Tombstone Mountain and the North Klondike River valley. Cresting the ridge, we were treated to spectacular 360 views, particularly when we hiked the short distance on the open heather ridge to the summit. To the north and south was the Dempster running along the valley. To the west was Tombstone and Monolith, and east were numerous other peaks and valleys. The sun was low and gorgeous, and there was the tiniest hint of snow on the north faces.

We soaked in the view for a while, taking pictures of the scenery and each other, then began the steep descent down about 300m to the van. Once there, it was a short drive to the campground where we snagged the same spot from a few days ago, and I whipped up a fajita dinner to be proud of at home. Now we’re just sitting under blankets and hoping for more northern lights.

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Written by sockeyed

September 18, 2010 at 18:16

Posted in Travel

Tagged with , , ,

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