My first experience of the far north was along the Alaska Highway, with a major side trip up the unpaved Dempster Highway to Inuvik. In fact I did the Dempster twice. As an avid reader of The Milepost I knew there were also a lot of interesting places to visit in the eastern part of the territory, with mostly paved roads and well-established towns.
But this part of the Northwest Territories is so far from my home base in California, 2300 miles (3700 km), that I didn't really think I would ever get there.
In the late summer of 2016 I found myself in Edmonton and had the crazy idea to head north from there. It is a thousand kilometers north of Edmonton just to the NWT southern border, then another 500 km to the Great Slave Lake. I made it all the way to Yellowknife, the end of the road, with a side trip to Fort Smith and Wood Buffalo National Park. I would have stayed longer, but my passport was about to expire and I only had six days to make it back to the US border in Montana.