We left Eagle Plains at 7:30, and reached the Arctic Circle around 8pm, stopping for many photos and found a little rubber duck installed there.

The NWT border lies 57km beyond the Arctic Circle, on the height of the pass through the Richardson Mountains.  It was the most harrowing drive of my life.  The temperature was -36C, and the wind was 110km/h, gusting higher.  At several points, the road disappeared in the drifts, distant markers the only sign of the general direction.  Snow drifts hit at speed required regaining control. At other times, it was complete whiteout, and we had to stop and wait until it cleared, lest we drive off a cliff.

The scariest part of all was during some of the strongest gusts. I would push the 4x4 truck hard in low gear, but could not make much headway against the wind.  Despite revving up to 4000rpm, at times we couldn't manage even 50km/h.  In a crosswind, I worried the truck would flip, or we would be lost in whiteout until the storm abated.

At the NWT border, we got out again for photos. It was time to decide if we should give up on Inuvik and head back. I knew we were in danger, but feared going back, since by now, the drifts we'd passed might be too big for the truck, and the staff at Eagle Plains said the winds would grow in strength until the afternoon.

Dave said he was happy with going this far, that we had achieved a great deal, and that turning back was OK. I consulted the map, to confirm that there was likely less miles of mountain ahead of us than behind.

Not knowing the terrain ahead, I gambled that forward was less dangerous than turning around. Fortunately, after a quarter mile, the road cleared, the wind dropped, and it was a very enjoyable descent.  After just a couple miles, we exited the gates at the pass. They would be closed behind us, the last to get through. Later, we would see signs indicating the closure of the road. We got lucky.