Leg # 4
"The Alaska Highway": from Fort Nelson, B.C. to Whitehorse, Yukon
June 27th thru July 3rd
|21||June 27th||Fort Nelson, BC to Liard River Hot Springs, BC|
|22||June 28th||Liard River Hot Springs, BC to Watson Lake, YT|
|23||June 29th||Watson Lake to Teslin, YT|
|24||June 30th||Teslin to Whitehorse, YT|
|25||July 1st||Whitehorse, YT|
|26||July 2nd||Whitehorse, YT|
Day # 21 - June 27th - Fort Nelson to Liard River Hot Springs, BC [top of page]
We're passing the road back to Yellowknife. Virgin roads ahead.
The Alaska Highway looks like almost any other two-lane highway since it's been paved.
Well, maybe not like every two-lane highway.
A black bear just taking his Saturday morning stroll.
Steve helps a trucker fix his broken truck. A few wraps around a holed radiator hose with the 'Rescue Tape" we carry and his truck was ready to roll again. Note the massive grill guard - moose proof. CJ took this photo especially for the ladies. :-)
More Alaska Highway scenery
Stone Mountain ahead.
Actually Stone Mountain is named for some guy, not for the obvious fact that the mountain is stone.
More photos of Stone Mountain
Stone Sheep, also named after Mr. Stone, are plentiful in the area. They spend a lot of time on the highway because they like to like the salt off the road.
At first we thought these were Stone Sheep, but they're a couple of caribou
Caribou-speak for "Up yours!"
Bo'sun sleeping on the center console, oblivious to the camera strap over his face.
Mountains and trees and lakes
Another Alaska Highway scene
Now, they tell us about the caribou!
And yet another drop dead gorgeous scene
This crazy caribou heard us coming and ran along the road for nearly a minute before we got past him. We were afraid he'd zig in front of us, so we passed him very carefully. Most caribou pay little attention to traffic, but this one was crazed.
A mother moose and her two calves. CJ stayed in the truck with her D70s and short zoom while I got out and stood between the truck and trailer with my long zoom. The first three photos are CJ's from inside the truck.
The following three photos were taken by me from outside the truck. BTW, my zoom was set to less than 200mm. Yes, we were THAT close!
Momma moose takes the kids back to the woods.
We take a lunch break
Stone Sheep & a lamp at Muncho Lake
Some village in BC is missing its idiot and he's traveling with his family. The guy in the striped shirt stopped his car, walked across the road into the little herd of sheep and picked up this lamb. We'd stopped about 100 yards away and CJ got out & got close enough to yell at them to put the lamb down. We got photos of the whole thing and passed them onto a BC Park Ranger an hour later. The Ranger remembered seeing the car and he busted them. The idiot tried to tell the Ranger that the lamb just jumped up into his arms, but the Ranger had already seen the entire sequence of photos so he wasn't buying it.
Gracie and Bo'sun ready for bed.
Day # 22 - June 28th - Liard River Hot Springs, BC to Watson Lake, YT [top of page]
And we thought we were done seeing buffalo.
This photo shows one of the old 'historic' Alaska Highway milepost. They seemed to have nearly disappeared since our 2004 trip. All we've seen in Canada so far is contemporary KM posts. In the old days, and to a large extent today, addresses are given as "Milepost XXX, Alaska Highway".
This particular idiot was from Minnesota. He put an apple on the road in front of his car and then hid behind the door to get a photo. The bear turned out to be smarter than he was and left the area without the apple.
This bear was eating on the periphery of a group of bison. Proof that the two species can feed together and get along.
But, then the bear noticed one of the bison was approaching him which got the bear's attention.
As you can see here, the bison got pretty close and the bear didn't much like it.
After rearing up on his hind legs to impress the bison, the bear decided that moving a bit further away was a better idea.
OK, we know our dogs can do this, but who ever thought that a bison could? Or would want to?
CJ wondered if this is where the expression "cow lick" came from???
One of the bison cows was wearing a collar.
A short while later, we came across two bear cubs & their mother. This was the brown cub, the other cub was black.
Momma bear studies the other photographer
A close-up of momma bear
CJ took this photo of an Alaskan guide (grey sweater) that's envious of my 150-500mm zoom. Of course, I was envious of his new Nikon D3x compared to my D90. Oh well.
More bison along the highway
This is the solitary bull that's standing out in the road in the photo above
One of the bulls checking me out.
I didn't seem to be too much of a threat, so he went back to eating, but . . .
Another young bull expressed an interest in crowding him and was quickly rebuked. I saw the old bull shove the young bull, but couldn't move the camera fast enough. I did catch this stare-down a second later, though. The young bull backed down.
An example of a typical gas station/motel/store along the Alaska Highway
Norrie tipped us on the low prices for fuel at Contact Creek, so here we are fueling up. It still cost $107 CDN ($93 US) for just 1/3 tank.
A cute sign on the counter at Contact Creek
One of the old out buildings at Contact Creek
The "Road" goes on. Most locals refer to the Alaska Highway simply as "The Road".
We'd seen warning signs for horses, but we never saw horses outside of their fences before this group along the road. I thought the Paint was really pretty, but CJ preferred the buckskin.
Would you believe a genuine draft horse was part of the group? I wonder if there's a Budweiser wagon nearby?
We arrive in the Yukon
Watson Lake will be our home tonight
Watson Lake is the home of the famous sign forest. Steve puts up the old name board we had made for our Beaver motorhome as our contribution to the forest.
Steve poses for the camera
Our sign close up
Our sign is just to the left from the highway entrance to the sign forest.
The entrance to the sign forest
CJ points to the HRRVC sign from our 2004 trip.
A reenactment of the original sign put up by one of the soldiers working on the Alaska Highway
Yes, there's over 65,000 signs in the sign forest.
The guys next to us at the RV park give evidence as to why we don't have a pop-up camper. Something about privacy, I guess.
Our campsite at Watson Lake, Downtown RV Park
Day # 23 - June 29th - Watson Lake to Teslin, YT [top of page]
The scenary near the Continental Divide
We don't even try to keep track of how many times we'll cross the Continental Divide on this trip.
Wouldn't you like to know the story behind some of these names?
Actually, the Road crosses back and forth something like 7 times between British Columbia and the Yukon, but this sign indicates that we're done with that.
Just another lousy scene along the road.
Some bridges are a little too small for our rig
A 'gator' lies alongside the road
More mountains and trees and rivers and road
The derelict Message Post Lodge
The entry in the Milepost about the Message Post Lodge
A small lake behind the remains of the Message Post Lodge
Lunch time again
The bridge over the Nisutlin River at Teslin
George Johnston was a well-known native trapper & photographer.
George Johnston's car
A male Stone Sheep. The males are a lot harder to find, so we resorted to a museum display.
A beaver on display
Two buildings of the Tlingit Council - one old and one new.
The Tlingit Heritage Center in Teslin
Some displays in the Heritage Center are more interesting than others.
Mukluk Annie's was one of the more famous stops on the Alaska Highway, but it closed a couple of years ago.
Teslin Lake Campground
The campground at Teslin Lake was pretty tight. Most of the sites weren't long enough for us. We fit in this one, but not by much.
As you can see, we had to back the rig in very carefully so the cargo box fit between the barriers.
Sunset at Teslin Lake
Gracie sleeps off a long day on the road
Day # 24 - June 30th - Teslin Lake to Whitehorse, YT [top of page]
Lunch on the Yukon River. We had lunch at the same spot in 2004
"Meals on Wheels"
Swan Haven viewpoint
Swan Haven bird count - lots of different birds
Barn Swallows at Swan Haven
Small camper on still too-small truck
Day # 25 - July 1st thru July 2nd - Whitehorse, YT [top of page]