Last time I drove to Ross River, I turned my GPS on to see how many miles were ahead, check my fuel mileage, and so forth.
As I went past the turnoff into Faro, I noticed the GPS showed the road ahead narrowing down — then it displayed “unpaved road.”
Sure enough, after travelling over 200 miles on smooth, chip-sealed and paved roads, I hit mud, pot holes, sink holes, washboard, embedded rocks, and hair-raising curves over and around the hills.
The 40-mile trail between Faro and Ross River is the only gravel road to a community in the Yukon (except for Old Crow).
If you decide to visit the little town of Faro, you will drive over a widened, almost new chip-sealed road right into the town itself.
When you go down the last hill into Ross River, you’d better slow down or the washboard surface will shake you into the ditch and you’d better not have a can of pop between your legs.
Two communities with the same size population, both towns almost totally dependent on government funding. One is predominately white, the other mostly First Nation. Need I say which one has the good road?
I hope Justin Trudeau knows that prejudice is still kicking within the vast government bureaucracy of the Yukon. They have millions to blow on un-needed projects but everyone in Ross River has to endure that cow path year after year.
First Nation people leave a small footprint on the earth compared to society as a whole. Most people I know only want a little place to live, something to drive that runs most of the time, ammo for their hunting rifles — and to know that their family members are okay.
You won’t find them building a 4,000-square-foot house for a family of three. You won’t see them in a two-block line-up to get the latest iPhone. Nor would they kill a beautiful animal for the sake of its horns.
But I doubt if they want to wait another 75 years for a decent road to their community. Justin, are you there?