Today was to have been an adventure on gravel roads in the wilderness. Some of our colleagues had driven in a previous rally on the Robert Campbell Highway and they had been enthusing about the experience. Sadly, the local information was that, after the first 20km of tarmac, there were 20km of roadworks and then a road in bad repair since the mining activities in that area have increased. With much regret it was decided that it would be one adventure too many and we continued on the Alaska Highway.
The first thing that we noticed on waking was that we had the first proper rain since 1st May! We had a shower on the way into Banff but otherwise we have enjoyed glorious sunshine. The gravel might not have been so much fun! The Alaska Highway showed us glorious scenery and, as the morning went on, the rain reduced. We stopped to look at the Rancheria Falls and enjoyed a 1km walk with the umbrella. The next stop was at what is called the ‘Continental Divide’ – where the flow of the rivers changes direction. The Rancheria river, explained the notice, flows, eventually, into the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic whereas the Swift river flows through Alaska to the Bering Sea. The two are only separated by sand and gravel.
After that was a coffee stop and a stop at a viewpoint where we could see a beautiful lake and surrounding mountains. The only wildlife we saw today was a solitary deer. We also saw a white bearded gentleman driving a 1908 Buick from Fort Nelson to Whitehorse and back to celebrate its centenary.
24,000 people live in Whitehorse – 75% of the population of the Yukon. Thw Yukon really is the back of beyond! There is a paddle steamer and a good little museum of the Yukon and we have been to see some ‘First Nation’ people making handcrafts. Not much else going on in town on a Sunday evening though. Several fairly strange people wandering around town, so we are happy that the cars are in a locked compound behind the hotel.