(Ron Writing) We continued northwest on the Alaska Highway this morning. We made a stop at the Kluane National Park and Reserve Visitor Center at the south end of Kluane Lake. The visitor center is located at the base of a steep mountainside where dall sheep are frequently sighted. They had some nice viewing scopes and the attendant helped us look for the sheep but they were not in sight today. She said that they typically start moving to an area with better grazing on the other side of the mountain at about this time of the year.
Since we started driving on the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, we have had very good roads nearly all the time and few of those “frost heaves” we had heard so much about. There were a few short stretches of gravel where the road was being repaired but even those weren’t bad. Today was a little different. Just north of Burwash Landing toward the north end of Kluane Lake the highway got much worse. Much of the time we couldn’t drive over 40 mph even in the better stretches and there were many really bad areas where we drove about 30 mph for long stretches. There were many long stretches of gravel – some of which were washboard or had many potholes. I guess we’re now at latitude where the permafrost exists that creates all these problems with the roads.
But driving slow isn’t such a bad thing. We tend to see more along the way and better gas mileage!
Late this afternoon we again crossed the border into Alaska and now plan to stay for a while where the gasoline is so “cheap” – compared to Canada that is!
We stopped at a filling station just inside Alaska to purchase gas and use their free wireless to post the blog and read our email. We still can’t get a cell signal in this remote area but hopefully when we get to the larger towns we’ll be able to use our phone and cell modem again.
A couple miles further down the road we found a nice large turnout where we are parked for the night.
Weather: Overnight low of 43°, today in the low 60’s, partly cloudy with a little drizzle this morning.
Critters: Black bear (couldn't get photo), swans, and moose at a distance.
Scenery: Views of Kluane Range and Kluane Lake, miles and miles of forest.
Gasoline Price: $4.509 ($US/gal.) in Alaska right after crossing the border.
Mileage: Today - 179 miles, cumulative since leaving AZ on 4-6-11 – 5,085 miles.
Tonight’s stop: N 62.68081°, W 141.10384°, 2,154’ elev.