Part 2 - At the Other End of the Road
As far as this can be called a road. Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada can only be reached by road going vehicles if the weather conditions are right. Which they start to be in december. That’s when it’s cold enough for the Mackenzie River to freeze up. That's when they plough a road on the river up to Tuktoyaktuk. Along the Mackenzie river, through the delta, out to the Beaufort sea. Yes, The Sea. Big Salty. A frozen bay to ride on. It's like doing Miami-Havana on a bike. Tuktoyaktuk. Population 1.000, gas stations 1, supermarkets 1 and yes, one cemetery. Plus one precinct of the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We pay them a short visit. Just to let them know we’re here. In case someone can't stand the prattle-prattle of the bikes. Another reason why we have Edward on our side. Edward from Inuvik. He grew up in this area, his sister lives in Tuk and the people know and respect him.
We realise this as we are waiting for our chicken sticks and fries in the local supermarket. Whoever comes in, Edward gets a warm welcome and a little chat. We came up here with two Milwaukee Hogs that have been prepared for the ultimate challenge: To find ot if there's a way to ride a 48 Pan and a 2005 custom Shovel at minus 35 degrees. On ice? And if, how far? And how will it feel? And which rider will take the windchill at minus 35 and 45 mph - which equals minus 57 °C according to the conversion tables.
Cold glow. What’s really different up there is the light. Long before the night ends the sky starts to radiate in a strange, blue hue. As if someone had switched on a light behind the blackness, ever so slowly growing brighter.The frozen air seems to radiate too. A mystic light starts to fill the world. Snow, ice and sky melt into each other. But then, with each ray of sunlight creeping cautiously over the horizon, the magic is slowly vanishing.