Larry & Cheryl's 2019 Travels travel blog

Tok, AK to Destruction Bay on Kluane Lake, Yukon

Rainy day, what a drag

An old burn area with undergrowth beginning

U.S. Customs

Entering Canada

Yukon Border

We are practically in the cloud layer

Canadian border Crossing

 

Passing through Beaver Creek, Yukon

 

 

Out Lady of Grace 1961 made from an Army Quonset Hut

Permafrost Research project

Vents to cool the permafrost

Fall colors behind a rainy windshield

Clouds covering the mountain scenery

Named the White River due to the white volcanic ash

Mirror Lake and the Kluane Range of mountains

The Kluane Range barely visible

Largest Non-Polar Icefield in North America over Kluane Nat'l Park

Icefields Range of Mountains

We wish we could see the icefields today

Burwash Landing began 1900 as gold mining camp

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Mission Church & School

How Destruction Bay earned its name

Destruction Bay Campground was empty

 

"Destination Dust" atop the mountain behind us next morning

Not glacial ice, just fresh snow overnight, brrrr!


Today we were off to Destruction Bay RV & Lodge it was 4.25 hours travel time for 226.8 miles. Destruction Bay on on Kluane Lake (pronounced "Kloo-wah-nee"). The surrounding mountains are the Kluane Range.

We left Trunda at 8:50 a.m. going next door to the fuel station first to fill up our propane tank. The road today is rough from the border to the Donjek River in Yukon.

The Milepost says: From the 18th Co. Engineers’ pioneer road building in 1943 to modern engineering techniques of Yukon Dept. of Highways this section of the Alaska Highway, between the Alaska border and the Donjek River, has presented some unique challenges. There never seems to be a shortage of road to straighten, culverts to fix, bridges to replace or surfaces to level out. This was swamp ground underlain by permafrost, numerous creeks, lakes and rivers. According to Public Works of Yukon, much of the soil along the north Alaska Highway is of glacial origin and unsuitable for road embankments. The freezing of the ground in winter wreaks havoc on the drivability of the road surface by creating undulations and cracking. Frost Heaves.

We reached the U.S./Canadian border, crossing into Yukon Territory. The U.S. Customs Station (going into Alaska northbound) was first but the Canadian Customs building was farther down the highway several miles before the town of Beaver Creek. Beaver Creek had been the site of the old Customs Station, but the residents were pleased to see it relocated farther north of town in 1983, having long endured the flashing lights and screaming sirens whenever a tourist forgot to stop.

We saw some vent-like structures on either side of the highway. They are part of the Alaska Highway Permafrost Research Project, which is testing specialized construction techniques to minimize melting of the permafrost by allowing cold air to penetrate the road embankment and increasing surface reflectivity. They are monitoring the results for effectiveness. The jury is still out.

The mountains to the west are hidden by low clouds, very grey scenery. We stopped in a rest area to eat our lunch. We later passed the community of Burwash Landing, one of the oldest settlements in Yukon, began as a gold mining camp in 1900. The trading post was established in 1904 as a supply center for local miners. It has a log-built structure, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Mission, built in 1944 by military chaplain, Father Morrisset, at the construction camp. He was asked by the locals to start a mission church and school.

We arrived at Destruction Bay RV Park at 2:45 p.m. to find no one around to take money, just a note to put your money in an envelope in the mailbox. They were flying Good Sam Member flags, so we wanted our discount. I tried calling their number and even emailing them. In the end I reluctantly paid the requested $40 Canadian money. Pouting about not getting my discount.

It was raining through the night and got very cold in the wee hours. There was a light dusting of snow on mountain tops behind us by morning. Anisa, owner of Tundra RV Park in Tok, called it Destination Dust when I posted a photo on Facebook. “Destination Dust is a light, high altitude snowfall that indicates the end of summer. The gold miners hurriedly prepared for winter as the termination dust settled on the slopes above them.”

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