Alaska, the Last Frontier - Summer 2012 travel blog

Boya Lake


lake overlook

Cassiar Highway


Cassiar Highway

Jade Shop

jade samples

watch out for repairs

The drive southeast from Whitehorse was the only part of the AlCan Highway that we drove twice. And we hardly recognized it. On the trip here we drove through driving rain and the road washed out and closed shortly after we drove over it. The AlCan was closed for a few days and Whitehorse started running out of food, because no trucks could get through. This time the sun was out and the scenery benign and beautiful in spots, but there was no mistaking the washout once we got to it. Right now a temporary bridge is there along with a one lane road. It appears that the road will not be properly repaired before the snow flies.

The Cassiar Highway takes us south from the AlCan and is one of those roads travelers around here speak about in hushed tones as a driving challenge. It was finally paved fairly recently, but there are steep drop-offs from the pavement and guard rails aren’t everywhere they are needed. But paving it must have greatly improved the drive and it was very scenic. Lakes and rivers bordered the road and mountains loomed. Some mountains looked volcanic and others pushed up due to plate tectonics. There were a number of spots where we would have liked to take a photo, but there was nowhere to stop. Perhaps the next road improvement plan will create some pull-outs for some of the best views. We camped at Boya Lake, a provincial park with two sites side by side for us and our friends right on the lake. It was warm enough to eat outside and have a s’mores campfire. Now that’s camping!

The Jade Store is near the summit of the Cassiar. About 80% of the world’s jade comes from this are in northern BC and all manner of stone in natural form and polished were for sale. The Chinese especially value jade and regard wearing it as lucky and two men with heavy accents were making a big purchase. Gold mines are also common along the Cassiar as they have been almost everywhere we've been this summer.

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