Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21 - Stranded at Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories

Just got a call from Mike on his Iridium Satellite Phone.  John, Tommy, and Mike are stranded at the ferry crossing at Fort MacPherson.  The river is much higher than normal and is unsafe for the ferry to operate, so they are stuck till the river subsides.  Not only that, the ferry cannot make it to either shore as it is hitting bottom maybe 20 feet shy.    They were advised that it could be possibly be running by tomorrow morning and worse case 3-4 days.  The mounties were very understanding and told them they could pitch their tents behind their vehicles and they have a good weeks worth of food and water.  It is currently 77°, 12 mph winds and no rain in the immediate forecast.  That's a good thing!   Can you believe it 100 miles plus north of the Arctic Circle and its 77 degrees!

UPDATE!    15 hours after the shut down the ferry,   we finally were able to take the trip across the Peel River around 12:15am this morning.    What they decided to do was to build up ramps and extend them into the water on both sides of the river so cars could get on the ferry and most importantly so the ferry could reach the ramps.  They also had to do something with the cable we were told.    The good thing is that we were one of the 1st cars in line after they closed the ferry so we made the 3rd trip over to the other side.

Better than waiting a few days for sure.

The bad news is that the fuel, motel and restaurant at Eagle Plains, the half way point and a must fuel point closed at 10pm.    We made it that far and slept in our Jeeps until 8am when the gas station opened then continued back to civilization.

Pictures of them rebuilding the ramps so we can cross the river.   It took 15 hours from the time they closed the ferry until they reopended it.
 Taking  a grader and dump truck to the other side to work over there
 The grader works on the other side while the dump truck loads more gravel and dirt
 Dumping tons of dirt and gravel
 Ferry bottoms out and can't get any closer
 Our side 90% complete the hoe cleans it up
After 15 hours of down time the ferry finally takes us across.    The ramps are wet and soft but they work


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