|Thursday 29 July 2010
Left the Montana RV Park at 9.30, after emptying out the waste tanks. Then went into Carcross township; at the Information Centre we discovered that it was the 110th anniversary of the driving of the spike for the railway from Skagway over the White Pass into Carcross. They were making quite a thing of it; had two big cakes to share with visitors and they were expecting tourists and an official of the parliament to arrive on the train from Skagway later in the afternoon.
Carcross was one of the stops on the way to the gold fields in the Klondike. There is a general store called Mathew Watsons, which has a lot of the original fixtures and fittings and memorabilia from that era and has an amazing array of souvenirs. We explored part of the walking trail around Carcross and walked down to the sandy beach on the shores of Lake Bennett. There were a number of quaint cabins along the beach front of which quite a few were log cabins. There was a footbridge over the lake to the other shore and we walked half-way across this. We started talking to a local and he said that the temperatures can get to minus 45 before coming back up to minus 20. Some of the cabins were only used in the summer months. The town is obviously geared up for tourism; they get bus and train loads of tourists who come up from Skagway from the cruise liners. We were pleased to see the town before the tourists all arrived.
Left Carcross at 11.00 am heading for Whitehorse; on the way stopping to take a photograph at Emerald Lake. We had lunch in Whitehorse; which is on the banks of the Yukon River; quite a large town of 25,000 people, which was named after the historic rapids on the river which resembled the flowing manes of charging white horses. We left about 2.00pm to head up Highway 2 to Carmack on our way to Dawson City. We were told in Carcross that the Taylor Highway is currently open so we hope that this remains so when we need to leave Dawson City heading to Alaska.
At Braeburn we stopped and bought a cinnamon bun; supposedly the largest in the world - and it was big. We were told about these when we bought petrol just out of Whitehorse.
The road between there and Carmacks had been laid with fresh metal which had been watered so the Motorhome is now covered in dirt. May leave it that way until we have been over the Taylor Highway and through the repairs they are doing to the road near Chicken. Apparently they had a big washout there the other day.
Have stopped for the night at Coal Mine Camping Ground, which is on the banks of the Yukon River just north of Carmacks.
Dave is still looking for Moose; typical moose country that we are going through but no sightings so far. There had been a fire along the highway in 1958 and the soft wood trees are starting to regenerate, and are now about 2 metres tall, making it very hard to spot wapiti which are present in the area. It would be a lot easier in the winter with no leaves on the trees. On the radio they said that Highway 37 was closed because of forest fires (caused by lightning); we need to travel on this highway in a couple of weeks so hope the fires are put out before then.
It is another cloudless, warm (Dave says hot) day with scattered cloud appearing later in the day. The temperature at Whitehorse was 19 degrees at the airport and could have been hotter than that in town and at Carmacks.
Carcross to Carmacks - 291 Km.