Week 16 – the Dempster Highway & a Dirty J

While the Alaska Highway was a disapppontment, the Dempster Highway is simply incredible! Turning north shortly before Dawson City, the Dempster Highway takes you 800 km along a gravel road all the way to the Beaufort Sea. We made it as far as Tombstone Territorial Park, 71 km into the journey, however, have vouched that we will return to make it the full distance. The plan is to fly into Whitehorse (without the boys) for a two week explorative trip, rent a jeep or motorcycles and off we go! While it’s going to be at least another two years before we can attempt the trip, please feel free to comment on this blog post in case you are interested in joining the madness or babysit the boys.


Dirty J does not refer to a joint gone bad, but rather to Jakob, who joined us in Whitehorse. Jakob’s last name is Schmutzler. Explaining the meaning of his name to some American friends the nickname Dirty (= Schmutz) J was born. To commemorate their wit, I have decided to hence forth refer to Jakob as Dirty J. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to live up to his alofted nickname.

With Dirty J’s arrival Gonki is now home to the six of us. Summer camp is probably the best way to describe the atmosphere when we settle down for the night. Routines are emerging and the boys are thoroughly enjoying the unencumbered playfulness of a 21 year old. How your own age suddenly hits you in light of other peoples’ youth…


Day is upon us, as the sun refuses to set and darkness starts to become a faint memory. While it’s an incredible experience to sun bathe at midnight we have learned to be wary of the constant light. Sleep deprivation becomes a serious problem, when you realize that’s it’s two in the morning and not 9 pm as suggested by your brain. Overall, the perfect conditions for anyone with little need for sleep as myself.


Our week in bullet points:

  • I spent a day exploring all the playgrounds in Whitehorse together with Benni and Alex, while Mieke used the time to work on one of her assignments for university. It was very nice to see how much the boys enjoyed some normality.
  • Together with Dirty J we paddled 40 km of the Yukon River to share the experience of our honeymoon with the little ones. Benni loved the trip, while Alex was most excited by the sausages we grilled for lunch… priorities of a 1 year old!
  • We enjoyed three marvellous days at Tombstone Territorial Park. We waded through a river in beaming sunlight and summer temperatures to play on unmelted pack ice in the middle of the Klondike River. We climbed the Goldensides Mountain to be stunned by the panoramic beauty of the surrounding valleys. We froze our balls off showering in the Klondike River. We BBQed the shit out of our beautiful campground on the Klondike River and borrowed an axe to make enough firewood for the ages!

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