POTTSLUCK: NORTHERN EXPOSURE travel blog

 


No cell service, no internet, no TV, no radio - do you get the sense that we're not in Kansas or Pennsylvania or anywhere else near to civilization? Got fuel ($3.06 per gallon) and some groceries in Tok after again waiting (sort of) for the pilot car to guide us through more construction. However, we actually didn't wait too long because Bob decided that he really hadn't seen the sign at the entrance to the RV park that said "Wait for Pilot Car" since no one was coming from the right and since they were holding traffic coming from the left - so he just went, with several other brave souls behind. At the other end of the construction, he simply said there hadn't been a sign and that the guy in the white pickup truck told him to go. The guys behind us simply said that they were following us.....Of course, we expected that Bob's license number and photo would be posted at the border into Canada but the flagman probably couldn't read.

The road from Tok south on the Alaska Highway into the Yukon and at least through to Burwash (about 220 miles) was as bad as yesterday without the pilot cars. A lot of gravel and series of bumps and dips that jarred the teeth. And that was the improved section. The white line on the side of the road looked like a zipper - zig zagging up and down. They did have red flags marking the irregularities but we were convinced that someone simply took a truckload of red flags and tossed them out the back of the truck - there were that many. In fact, I would say that dipping was the rule rather than an irregular occurrence.

The scenery was OK but not spectacular except for the areas where there had been a recent forest fire. In those sections, the pink/purple fireweed was covering the blackened ground and it was a striking contrast to the burned trees. Lots and lots of ponds and lakes and the Kluane range of mountains on both sides as we traveled a broad valley. As we got closer to Burwash Landing and the Haines Junction we could see the St. Elias Mountains in the distance. They are snow-covered and are between 16,000 to 19,500 feet in height so they look imposing even from this distance.

We decided to stay around Kluane Lake - after traveling 248 miles. We didn't bother to re-set our watches for Yukon Time ( 3 hrs. difference) because we knew we'd be back on Alaska time (4 hours difference) tomorrow. We had stopped for about an hour and a half to take a nap around 2:30 because we were hoping to travel further and because it was a pretty intense, jarring trip. By the time we camped, it was 7:30 Alaska time. We are camped at Cottonwood RV Campground which is right on the shores of Kluane Lake, the largest lake in the Yukon covering over 150 miles. It is a lovely spot encircled by the mountains behind and the lake and more mountains in front. The people are really nice here too - this is a hobby for them. There was only 15 amp service but we made do.

We ate a part of the fish that we got yesterday - the red sockeye salmon. Boy, was it ever good!!!! Nothing like fresh fish. I put it in a packet of tin foil with lemon slices and cooked it on the grill (charcoal). Worked great!!!

Saw first gray jays in thickets and first tundra swans today in the ponds along the road. I saw the jays eating some berries. Turns out these are what they call soapberries and are a favorite of the grizzlies. At this campground, there are no trashcans - you have to pack out your trash - because of the bear issue. When we stopped at a Yukon campground to check it out - there was a big sign warning tent campers to camp at their own risk at this time of year because of the bears and soapberry issue. Really interesting and so different than at home.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEB HUNSBERGER!!!!!!



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