From Watson lake, YT to Fairbanks, Ak.
It’s about 6:00 pm. We’re finally done with the groceries and stuff and, since we have plenty of daylight to burn yet, we decide to hit the road again. Driving later in the day increases our chances to see some wildlife, which is cool !
Mama black bear and her three cubs cross the road just as we get there. In fact, she sticks around for a bit longer to actually wait for the third little guy who is a bit slower and that gives us a chance to see them even better.
Not even half an hour later:
F: “Stop! Stop! Stop! Look, down there! There’s a couple of moose!”
We’re glad we made the decision to extend the day today!
The next day;
“Hiccup… Well excuse me officer … Hiccup…But my GPS says we’re at 1,64 km of the bridge… Hiccup!…Cheers!”
…Which is actually sand dunes left behind by glaciers zillions of years ago.
It’s only a short drive from Carcross to Whitehorse YT.
Whitehorse, famous for three reasons:
We enjoyed a very interesting visit of the boat as it sits pretty much the way it was in the early 1900s complete with onboard freight and everything. Very instructive too. It’s interesting to see how well designed these boats were considering the technology available at the time. The S.S.Klondike was one of largest of the river boats during the gold rush period and was capable of hauling up to 300 tons of freight. It has two steam engines totalling 525 HP that required to burn one cord (4X4X8) of wood an hour to keep going. Loaded at full capacity, it still only had a draught of 40″ !
And Whitehorse is famous for it’s salmon migratory pass. Did you know Chinook salmon travel against the strong current of the Yukon river for up to 3200 kms from the Bering straight to Whitehorse to spawn?
We’ve pretty much seen what there is to see in WH (and so did you) so we move on out of town and find yet another routinely beautiful campsite…(Note how much daylight we still have considering the time of day as shown on the photo…)
The morning is grey and misty.
The city of Dawson itself is awesome. The road is paved to get there but pavement ends as you enter town. You see, Dawson has a city ordinance that stipulates all buildings, new and old, should reflect the construction style of the gold rush era.
They did a really good job of preserving the feel of the Klondike gold rush period. Contrary to what you usually see in some re-created villages, Dawson is not a re-creation, it is an actual functional town that has the looks and feel of the early 1900s. Walking the streets, it’s easy to put yourself in the shoes of the many who came to seek fortune…Only to go back empty handed. Fact is, most of those who made money here in Dawson made it supplying goods and services to gold seekers…
And even the cemetery:
Times they are changing. Dawson has become a major tourist attraction.
Where thousands of people used to come to find gold, now gold comes to Dawsons’ resident in bus loads…
…And then onto the Top of the world highway…
There is no easy way to get to Dawson City, (unless you fly air Yukon) but once you’re there, the experience makes it all worthwhile. So much so that we found the town to be host to many young (and not so young) bohemian, gypsy, new hippie style folks that just hang around for the summer. Could Dawson be the new San Francisco?
..Goes right back to miserable..
The Alaska highway: Check !
Next on the list; Prudhoe Bay and the infamous Dalton Highway.
Coming soon, a recap of all stats regarding miles, wildlife viewing, costs, the works.