Stories and videos from the 2006 Into The Arctic expedition by crew members Andie Trépanier (then age 11) and Sydney Trépanier (then age 7).

02 Sep The Rest of the Days

09,02a,2006_comp We invited Martin to come with us back to Whitehorse, where he lives.

I have to say that the Dempster Highway held a lot more wildlife on the way south. We saw some grizzly bears and tons of caribou. At two moose lake we did see two moose again. A mother and a baby. We also saw lot of fall colors up there. When we went for an afternoon hike through some bumpy tundra for Dad to do some painting, we actually saw a grizzly bear follow Dad until we warned him of it. I wasn’t really scary, just a bit. We had bear spray and bear bangers. However the bear kept coming and stopping and coming until he was scared of Dad and Martin yelling at him with all of their might and went over to some caribou on the next hill. Another bear came that day but he was running a lot and didn’t stop to check us out.

We did make it off the Dempster though and got back on pavement.

09,02b,2006_compSo, this is a very important summer, and a bunch of great things have happened, but I think that home sounds very appealing now. So I will end my journals here and I will end this summer here too.

JOURNAL UPDATE: We are on the way the home and now in Alberta. I know this doesn’t have much to do with the Arctic, but it is exciting and it happened to us.    

We glided across British Columbia until we got to Alberta and visited with Mr. And Mrs. Eberts for 3 days. They were very, very nice, Mrs. Eberts even set up 5 horses for us to go riding on through the fields. We weren’t exactly very experienced, except Mrs. Eberts and Dad, but we have all ridden horses more than once. We were riding them in the field when Mrs. Eberts saddle slid off of her horse and spooked her horse. Which sent him off running. That spooked my horse too, so he started to canter which was a bit too much for me, so I tried to stop her, but I couldn’t pull the reins because the horse kept stepping in holes, if I tried to grab the reins, I would stop holding on and fly in front of the horse. He kept on going faster and faster and I jumped off and landed feet-first right before he broke into a gallop. Mom and Dad couldn’t do anything because if they ran their horses, my horse would of gone faster before I went to bail. We couldn’t get the saddle back up on that one horse, so we left it so the cowboys could pick it up. I got back up on the horse though, but it was led this time: by Mrs. Eberts. But now that I think of it, if I tried a canter a few more times, it would be fun. But that whole day was awesome, with the horse run or not. And I would like to do it again some day.

We also went to see the Spruce Meadows horse show, it is was named the best horse show in the world 2 years ago. We saw a jumping horse show, walking horses, miniature ponies, and British police horses. But they don’t only show horses, they have people from all over the world so there are dancers, cuisine, and all sorts of stuff. We also went to see the Prarie Dogs’ dog show. They had a run-around-the-barrel race and 3 border collies won 1ST, 2ND, and 3RD and a young pup black retriever won 4TH. And guess what, we are picking up our very own Border Collie when we get back home! His name will be Yukon Jack, and he will always remind us of this summer up north, when in the Yukon we decided to get our first dog. We had a wonderful time, and I hope we can visit them again soon.

– Andie Trépanier

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28 Aug Pat’s Place

I am truly sorry, folks, but there are no terribly important or spectacular events that are very long so I am still skipping some days. We arrived in Inuvik yesterday and slept over in our RV there. Dad, Martin (remember him from one of my other journals?), Kate (a new friend) and Pat are going to Ivvavik to take pictures, hike, paint, and enjoy the scenery with the arts in the parks program. During that time Mom, Sydney and I agreed to house-sit and pet-sit for her and it was fun. She has great pets they are a black and brown dog, Belle, an orange cat, Peaches, and another black cat, Cally.

We spent a lot of time at the library there that was great. Inuvik may be small, but it has one of the best pools I have seen. There is a “lazy river” where a current pulls you through a channel. It also has a great water slide. So 7 days seemed to fly by like nothing.

When the gang came back we made a few calls to home telling them that tomorrow we are on our way home!!!

– Andie Trépanier

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16 Aug Days Out There

08,09d,2006_compI’m going to be skipping a few days here; again. Ok so where do I start?


We woke up that morning and it was very foggy, and slightly raining. We took this as an advantage to take our tent and move it around to the middle of the plateau and had nothing but rain and fog most of the day.

The next day, we found out that Jonah had to leave early to guide some mineral 08,09b,2006_compprospectors.

The next day, Steve came over with his dog, Floppy. Later, Jonah left. 

On the next day, we worked our way down to the bottom of the canyons and went fishing. I caught 4 grayling! And we has a great campfire by the river.

On the last day out, we made it back to Paulatuk and slept over at Steve’s place. 

The next day we spent at Paulatuk and talked to their school about maybe setting up a pen pal e-08,09a,2006_compmail system with some of my school classes and some of theirs.

The next day we spent packing up for our flight back to Inuvik, but then got fogged in and our flight was cancelled.

And last but not least, we flew away back to Inuvik and went to Pat’s place; friend who offered us to stay at her place for a while.

– Andie Trépanier

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08 Aug Storm

Today was very exciting indeed. But I wouldn’t ask for another one like it. We were with Dad while08,08,2006_comp he was painting. But we soon got up and left. That day was very hot and sunny so we got the idea that we would have no trouble. Until, huge walls of black clouds started to swell up. From the direction of the wind, (Which was behind us) we thought it was going to pass right away from us; even Jonah was sitting down with a cup of coffee while watching the huge streaks of lightning. It was so electrical my hair was standing on end! The thunders’ roar was magnificent and we were having a fine time enjoying it. Dad had started to pack up painting gear and made his way back.

So here we are all drinking a bit of coffee talking. Dad was taking some footage until it started to sprinkle. We tied of the ATV to our tent along with the sled and slipped inside. We were all fine until a big SWOOSH and a huge, powerful wind coming towards the cliff came towards us like a bullet. And with it, came very heavy rain our tent was big, and built for ventilation. It was so powerful that Mom and Dad had to hold up the tent. Sydney was crying and we were scared, especially when it started to hail. When the storm let down for a tiny bit, we dashed into Jonahs’ tent (which was farther away from the cliff and closer to the ground. Jonah was as relaxed as could be, waiting out the storm with a cup of coffee and a warm tent.

So as you can tell, we all made it and had quite a time.

– Andie Trépanier

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06 Aug On Our Way

08,06a,2006_comp We packed up today, which was particularly a foggy day, and we took a boat to go to a fish camp past Paulatuk where we would go out to the Brock Canyons where Dad could paint.

When we reached the camp we got ready to go out on 2 ATV’s and a dog sled that was going to carry the gear and Sydney and me. A man named Jonah was going to be one of our guides; he was going to be driving an ATV with Dad and a trailer behind to carry gear. The other man was a guy named Steve and he was driving the ATV with mom on the back and a dog sled behind him with us in it and some more gear. There was also Jonahs’ dog: Princes08,06,2006_comps.

We started out great and had fun on the sled and ATV’s but then we stopped. Jonah’s trailer had blown a tire and no matter what they had tried they couldn’t fix it. We ended up leaving it there and going on. Jonah and Steve would go back later and get it.

Out in the field, after we had gotten past a bunch of bumpy terrain, we got onto Gravel and moss terrain. Princess was running along until she saw a sik-sik (Arctic Ground Squirrel) and she darted after it. It put up a fight, b08,06b,2006_comput Princess claimed her prize and cracked every bone in its body.

We almost made it to Brock Canyons, but we were getting tired, so we stopped early, made supper, went to bed, and Jonah and Steve went back for the trailer.

– Andie Trépanier

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02 Aug Paulatuk

Today was the day to take a plane to Paulatuk, which is a little town out past Inuvik. There are no roads past Inuvik so there is no choice but to take a plane to get in and out of the town.08,02a,2006_comp 

I have never been on a plane before, and Sydney has twice, but she was only a baby. We packed our bags and waited for the plane to come. Finally, it came time to go. We got on the plane and stuffed earplugs in our ears. Then we started to go up higher and higher until we got into the clouds.

When we were almost there, we were shown a tail of a plane that had crashed there years ago, they now use it for a sign that it is very shallow water there. They also showed us an abandoned, old, broken down, barge stuck on one of the sandbars of the Arctic Ocean that surrounded Paulatuk like a peninsula.

When we arrived in Paulatuk we went to the visitor center in a truck with our gear thanks to a nice man named Ken. He also gave us a little tour of the town.08,02b,2006_comp

When we got to the visitor center, some of the local kids helped us take in our gear. The lady at the counter said that she had a tent that we could use, the kind that is made of wood and canvas and doesn’t get taken down at any point in time.

They attached a little platform to their truck that trailed behind them and they took the tent out to a lake behind the visitor center. We settled down and got our stuff unpacked, than we went some swimming and met some kids.

– Andie Trépanier

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01 Aug Inuvik

08,01,2006_compAfter a while of driving we had finally made it to Inuvik, the end of the Dempster. We actually made it! It was a bit bigger than I expected. And it had lots of huge buildings. But no Tim Hortons.

We couldn’t wait till tomorrow. We went and parked in one of their RV parks and visited their public library. We read some books and were now waiting for the fly-out day to Paulatuk, a small town of about 300 Inuvialuit people on the edge of the Arctic Ocean.

– Andie Trépanier

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30 Jul More Moose?

Today we drove to a place called “Toad creek” and ate at their restaurant that held a collection of around 72,000 hats. We also tried a buffalo burger from the bison out there. In my opinion, they are much better than hamburgers.

We did some laundry at its RV Park, and looked around. We took a look at Toad Lake that was on the RV park property. There was a moose eating the waterweed. Dad got his video camera and took some footage of her. Before we left, some girls there showed us 3 fluff-balls, kittens. By the end of the day we had also picked a fair amount wild raspberries. Then we were on the road again.

– Andie Trépanier

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29 Jul The Lakes

07,29b,2006_compToday we kept driving and driving and driving. Up ahead was a lake called “Two Moose Lake”. Sydney asked, “Mom, is there gonna be two moose in Two Moose lake?”

“I’m not sure.” said Mom.

We finally reached Two Moose lake. It didn’t have much, just some info boards. But as we looked into the bushes, we saw a few figures, 2 of them, they were 2 moose! We were stunned to see Sydney’s wish had come true.

Afte07,29d,2006_compr shooting some footage, we also saw some little sandpipers swimming away without a care in the world.

We continued our drive until we ended up at another lake: Chapman permafrost lake. Permafrost means a layer of the earth s07,29c,2006_compo far below the surface of the earth stays permanently frozen. That’s why the lake stays there; it doesn’t sink into the ground all way .

We had much fun that day, canoeing all over the place, we even saw 2 loons who seemed to be very annoyed by us. We also went fishing and got a few nibbles, but the grayling didn’t stay on the hook. Later we saw a trumpeter swan, 07,29a,2006_compwhich swam away from us at first sight.

Before going back to the RV, we went swimming in the permafrost lake. It wasn’t even that cold!

We had a very exciting day, and Dad had even started another painting!

– Andie Trépanier

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27 Jul Painting in Tombstone

07,27a,2006_comp That morning it was still raining. It was grey and gloomy. We had breakfast but the rainfall continued. We ended up spending most of our time in the RV that day.

From time to time it stopped raining, but it never fully let it up.

When the rain got milder, Dad ran out for a hike to a place to go paint. While he was out, we started our own watercolor paintings.

Later, Dad called us on our walkie-talkies signaling us to come over. So we packed up and left.

When we were on our way, we saw a rock ptarmigan. We got 07,27b,2006_compsome great footage of it. When we reached Dad, we set up a tent for shelter. In the end, Dad got a great painting started.

– Andie Trépanier

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26 Jul More of That Pretty Stuff

07,26,2006_compWhen we woke up in Tombstone Territorial Park, we got a good look at the scenic mountains surrounding us. They were very jagged, like the teeth of the shark. We even saw patches of snow on some of them. That day we went to the visitor center there. They had info on all the animals around that place. They had something called “birch syrup”. I asked the lady there if she knew it tasted good. She said that she personally didn’t like it, but it tasted a bit like molasses. So far there is nothing that can compare to maple syrup! (In my eyes.)

After that, we returned to the RV and went for a drive to a nice place Dad had wanted to paint. The lighting was great! So he took some reference shots. But it was too late to go hiking, and we were all tired. We had a nice cup of coffee and tea, and went to bed.

– Andie Trépanier

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25 Jul Dempster!

Today we woke ready to leave. To Dempster Highway! We drove out of Dawson City and went to the entrance of the highway. It was paved, but only for a little while, than it went to very hard, dusty, grey gravel.07,25,2006_comp

We were driving and stopping and driving and stopping, just because it was so beautiful. Before we knew it, we were in the mountains. And more importantly, we were in the middle of them: in Tombstone Territorial Park.

I had a nice cup of hot tea to get me ready for bed. And Mom did too.

That evening it had been raining and it continued to all night. But, all the better! It lolled us to sleep.

– Andie Trépanier

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24 Jul Sight Seeing

Today we woke in the parking place we got at the RV place in Dawson city. When Mom went to get her laundry done there, she met a nice lady named Joan who said would tell us if the “gold” we got was real or not.

Dad went with us to see the result. She panned through it all and it happened to be mostly mica, a substance that looked like gold, but quickly and easily dissolves and breaks.

07,24a,2006_compIn the end, we got one small piece of gold. We thanked her very much for also giving Syd a little piece of her own gold, which was the only piece she found in the Yukon panning competition. We hurried back to show Mom the gold.

We also met another lady named Tina in the laundromat, and when she heard us talking about the gold, she said that her boy friend, Alfredo, is a gold miner and he could show us his gold in the truck ( he was filling up with gas).

When he came back, Alfredo showed us his gold. He even gave us some nuggets to put in our vile, where I put my nugget.

Later we went into Dawson City and drove up to Dawson lookout. We could see down over all of07,24b,2006_comp Dawson and the Yukon River. We also sat on a big bench up there that was hand carved with the words “The top of the world bench” or something like.

Within the time we spent there, a fox came along. However, instead of trailing away from the people, it went right towards them, but not us. Then, he came closer. Mom knew this was a very strange thing for a fox to do. She thought that he was rabid. Then she saw that he had quills in his chin, which belonged to a porcupine. He was very sick, the poor thing.

We went back to Dawson and got some great ice cream at “Klondike Cream and Candy.”

Then we went back home and went to sleep in the same park.

– Andie Trépanier

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23 Jul Dawson Gold

Today we woke up around 10:30 and Dee-Dee and Tanya took down their tent. We did a few more casts, but it was hopeless. We packed and left.07,23b,2006_comp

Now to you readers, whenever you think about the Yukon (unless you have been there before in the summer) you sometimes think of a tired gold prospector being eaten alive by mosquitoes watching the cold arctic ice barely melted by the cloud covered sun slowly gushing down a mountain into a half frozen solid lake. Wrong! Well, at least half wrong. There are some mountains with snow on them, new age gold prospectors here, and plenty of gold, mosquitoes, and lakes. But there is no snow and no frozen lakes and no cold!!! Believe me, I come from southern Ontario and up here it can be as hot as it is down there. And the mosquitoes only bite when there is no wind. And they are huge! That was the weather this day. It was hot and sticky with no breeze and lots of mosquitoes.

We checked the other lake that the local told us about, but it was wee bit too weedy. So we carried on.

Later, we stopped by the Klondike River to fish. Dee-Dee took out his rod, Dad took out his fly rod, and I took out mine. We started fishing for grayling, and I soon got bored and went to check out the water.

Then Tanya came over saying, “Andie, do you see the gold in the water?”

07,23a,2006_comp“Gold?!!” I exclaimed. We looked in the water. The river’s sand was sparkling with chips of gold! Well, that is was we thought it was, anyway. So we started picking for the beautiful small yellow rocks, and got many, many, many, bits of gold.

Meanwhile, Dad had a tug on his line. It was a good-sized grayling, about a 1.5 pounds actually. We all went back home satisfied, and there was even lots of raspberries so we could snack on them.

Near the end of the day, we reached Dawson city and our new friends left to go to the nearest campground. After packing and saying good-bye we also left to a place called “Klondike Kates” and had supper.

– Andie Trépanier

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22 Jul Those Darn Fish

On our drive earlier today we went to a RV station to fill us up with water and to dump. When we went to leave, a nice, Swiss couple were trying hitch a ride just this one time. They were on their way to Dawson city, just like us. So we gave them a ride. Their names were Dee-Dee (short fo07,22a,2006_comp r Dieter) and Tanja (pronounced “Tanya”).

We stopped at a few places on our way, like a very nice 1 km hike down to the Five Fingers Rapids look out on the Yukon River. We got a few a pictures of us on the peak with the rapids behind us. We even saw some baby seagulls on the rocks.

We also stopped at a small chip wagon that was selling fries and burgers and things of that sort. Dad asked if they sold fishing licenses, they did. He also asked about some good fishing places. The cashier told us about a nice lake off the road that chock-full of rainbow trout. A local also told us about another lake farther then that one that was full of pike.

We checked the first lake, and you could see big ones jumping out of the water. It was also07,22b,2006_comp a beautiful place. It even had one campsite. We camped our RV there and Dee-Dee and Tanja set up their tent. Then we did some fishing; however it seemed as if the fish were laughing at us. Why, I even saw the fish going after my lure, but out of the blue, he abandoned his interest in it. No fish bit at all for some strange reason (I don’t know why) and we decided to go canoeing instead. I even did some solo canoeing! After that we went swimming in the lake. It was freezing! I stayed in the water for about 3 minutes because my body couldn’t even get used to the temperature.

We built a nice fire a hung around it until almost 1:00 A.M. And we had a great sleep.

– Andie Trépanier        

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13 Jul Hot Springs

Today was awesome. We went to a place called “Liard Hot Springs”. It’s where heat comes from the core of the earth seeps through the ground into t07,13,2006_comphe water. At one end of the springs there is boiling water, which even bubbles! I read it’s over 130 degrees! Ouch! At the other end of the pool, there is an almost ice water spring. Brrr…

If you start at the boiling end, it gets cooler, (but not too cold) on your way to the other end of the springs. Near the back end of the pool there is a floating play log and a log crossing the spring. You can hang and play from there and we did.

I really want to go there again and I hope I do sometime.
– Andie Trépanier

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