Inuvik, Dempster Hwy, North West Territories – More grizzlies

The snow-white igloo church is the best-known attraction in town. The Our Lady of Victory Church was built from 1958 to 1960 to represent the culture of the North. The Catholic Church was the first building in igloo shape not made from snow. Since there was no way to put it on piles, a deep gravel bed was made with a concrete bowl inside. The round wood building rests only on the edges of the bowl and has got a double wall to allow the cold air from the bowl to circulate upwards and escape. Take a tour with sister Maryjo or one of her colleagues through the church where you can go up into the roof.

One lane of Dempster highway is said to be open, so we are leaving Inuvik. The ferry has got problems to pass the river, whole trees are drifting downstream. Later we’ll get to know that just ten minutes past us the ferry stopped working and the road was closed again! How lucky we are!

Dempster Highway crosses untouched deserted nature – animals’ paradise. But critters are not easy to discover since they are not used to civilisation and timid. The luck is still with us: Numberless caribous are crossing our way, as well as an arctic fox and a pine marten. A deeply dark grizzly bear with a pretty good amount of winter flab is enjoying its berries beside the road. Nothing can disturb it. As we are settling down for the night at the Arctic Circle parking lot, the fur of another blond grizzly is flashing in the sunlight. We are able to watch the beast for hours, just shovelling the berries. I decide not to want to harvest berries today and leave them to the bears. I have a generous day, and they need the fruits for their hibernation more than I do. We are sitting in the sunshine until 1:30 in the morning. What a night!

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