B.C. man's drive of a lifetime on the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway

Dan Cassan says he was itching to drive across the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway, long before it opened.

Dan Cassan came to the territory in October and waited for the opening of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway

Dan Cassan and his two dogs have been in Inuvik, N.W.T., since Oct. 27. Cassan says he's the first tourist to drive across the highway. (Submitted by Dan Cassan)

Dan Cassan said he was itching to drive across the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway, long before it opened.

But it wasn't enough to just drive through it — he wanted to be the first.

It was a goal Cassan had since visiting Inuvik, N.W.T., in the summer.

"I always said that once the highway would open to Tuk, I'd be here for the opening and driving .... [as] one of the first ones," said Cassan.

So Cassan, a retiree from Tumbler Ridge, B.C., brought his two dogs to Inuvik on Oct. 27 before the ferries closed.

He stayed there, waiting for the highway to open.

The big day arrived on Nov. 15, and Cassan and his pooches made their way to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Afterwards, he hopped in his vehicle and drove.

Cassan, left, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Inuvik to Tuk highway opening on Nov. 15 (Submitted by Dan Cassan)

"The road was great," said Cassan. "It was in good condition the whole way."

Cassan said he and his two dogs were the first tourists to drive across that day.

Since then, Cassan said he drove the highway a handful of times, and saw a lot of wildlife: including wolves, ptarmigans and Arctic foxes.

Cassan said that he's having so much fun in the area that still hasn't left.

Cassan's two dogs by the Tuktoyaktuk sign. (Submitted by Dan Cassan)

He'll be heading back home next week from Inuvik, but not before he experiences one more thing.

"I want to see the reindeer herd coming down, so I'm waiting for that."

With files from Peter Sheldon, Wanda McLeod