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Whitehorse - Jfoto

Whitehorse

August 18, 2009  |  6 Comments  |  Leave a comment  |  More photos

The Alaska Highway is long and we’re only half way there. At Whitehorse we left the Alaska Highway to head north along the Klondike Highway. First stop is Dawson City and beyond to Alaska. But before we do that I’ll tell you about our travels up the first part of the Alaska Hwy from Dawson Creek to here.

From where we last left off in Fort St John BC we got back on the road and hauled northward. Our goal for the next few days was to get to Whitehorse as quickly as possible. For the most part the Alaska Highway is smooth sailing. There is of course the occasionally construction zone or in this case more than occasionally. I guess the season for road construction is fairly short in the north so they have to get everything done in the few short summer months. Before we left we had read somewhere to watch out for flying rocks on gravel roads. Sure enough we managed to get a rock in the windshield and a nice little star shaped crack. It only cost $35 to have it fixed in Whitehorse which wasn’t bad.

Driving through a dusty construction site into the sun with a bug splattered windshield. This is the life.

So we continued up the Alaska Highway stopping north of Fort Nelson BC at a rest stop near Summit Pass. There we met a nice gentleman from Florida named Paul and his wife who were on their way to Alaska. We found that the best way to find free camping is to look for other RVs pulled off the highway for the night. Some of the best views are at spots like these too.

The view from the rest stop we slept at along the Alaska Highway in northern BC. Sometimes the best spots are free.

From Summit Pass we drove through Muncho Lake Provincial Park which some say is the most beautiful lake in the Rockies. I would say it’s a tie between Peyto Lake in Banff and Muncho Lake. We stopped along the shore for some lunch and decided to go for a short hike to stretch our road trip legs. We hiked up a dry river bed with strange colourful mountain slopes on both sides until we made it to a stream that eventually disappeared into a crevice in the ground.

Near Muncho Lake we found this stream that eventually disappears underground.

After lunch we headed northward again and eventually crossed into the Yukon near Watson Lake. At Watson Lake we saw the Sign Post Forest which was started by a homesick US soldier working on the construction of the Alaska Highway. He posted a sign pointing to his home town in Illinois. Today there are over 68000 signs posted from all over the world. We’re going to post our sign on the way back through Watson Lake next month.

There's signs from all over the world at the Sign Post Forest, even Australia. It makes you wonder how they packed that in their suitcase.

From Watson Lake the road turns west and follows the Yukon – BC border before heading north to Whitehorse. We rolled in to Whitehorse on the evening of August 10 and found a place to park the bus for the night. We spent a total of three days exploring Whitehorse and mountain biking on Grey Mountain. On our first ride on Grey Mountain we met a local named Ian out for a ride with his dog and decided to ride the rest of the trail together. After the ride we pedaled back to Ian’s place for a beer. At Ians we met his girlfriend Andrea and decided to meet for another ride the next night.

Jer and our new friend Ian looking down at the parking lot where we parked Buster before riding up Grey Mountain.

One of the things we discovered after leaving home was that we way over packed and we needed to loose some stuff. We decided to mail some of our unnecessary stuff home so we picked up a large apple box from a local grocery store and packed it full of random things we didn’t think we would need on the trip. Another bunch of stuff went to the local Salvation Army. With the bus decluttered we spent the day touring around Whitehorse. That evening we headed over to Ian and Andrea’s for the ride. There we met Philippe, a local bike shop owner and artist. This ride was going to be a shuttle which meant no uphill pedaling. Sue wasn't riding that evening so she volunteered to drive us the top of the mountain. The ride from the top down took a couple hours to complete. That night Ian and Andrea generously offered their spare bedroom for us to crash in. It was nice sleeping in a real bed after being in the bus for so long. Thanks guys for the wonderful hospitality and the great sandwiches and tea and coffee!

Philippe's bike shop in Whitehorse.

The next morning we headed over to the Whitehorse fish ladder which was built to allow the salmon heading up river to climb passed the hydro electric dam. The salmon start their journey in the Bearing Sea on the northwestern Alaska coast before traveling over 3000 km upstream to lay their eggs. They have a visitor’s center set up there where you can see the fish through a glass window under the water. It was pretty wild to see. After the fish ladder we headed over to Philippe’s bike shop to check it out and say hello before leaving Whitehorse. His shop is something you have to check out if you’re in Whitehorse – even if you don’t ride bikes.

Whitehorse fish ladder.

After leaving Whitehorse we headed north along the Klondike Highway towards Dawson City. We made it as far as Stewart Crossing and found a pull off where four large trailers parked for the night, all from Texas. You meet so many people from all over the world when you road trip. We talked to them for a bit and they mentioned that they had traveled up the Dempster Highway towards Inuvik, NWT. We were originally going to drive north to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska but so many people had told us to take the Dempster instead. We had a decision to make.

Reader comments

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Kim Bible
August 20, 2009
Hey Jeremy, Great pics.....Looks like you guys are having a wonderful trip! Keep up with the pics! It's really neat to see where you have been! Take care.
Lynda Jansen
August 21, 2009
Hi Jer & Sue, Your blog is great. I wish we had thought of it when we went up there. Have you panned for gold yet? Any luck? In Whitehorse we took in a show called "Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue" and laughed until we cried. It is well worth it if you go back that way again. Also, Stewart B.C. where you can view the Bears and also take in one of the largest ice fields in Canada. The Bear viewing is well worth the extra driving, as you are safe on a boardwalk and look down on the river where they come to eat in the evening. Check at the info centre for the location. Take care and keep safe. Henry & Lynda
Carolyn
August 23, 2009
Hey Jer & Sue, Your pictures are amazing, your story keeps me wanting to know more! The more I read the more I miss you guys. Blessings! Carolyn
Phyn
August 25, 2009
Hey Sue & Jer! Your "foto's" are amazing...looks like you are really having fun.. miss ya sue!!!!!!!
Forbes
August 26, 2009
Hey guys, miss you lots. Looks like you have been to lots of amazing places. It is really cool that Sandra was able to join you as well, and experience the rockies for the first time. Lots of cool pictures, including some nice trail shots that are making me a little jealous. Unfortunately there hasn't been much riding happening over here. Stevie's stag was good, too bad you missed it. Went to the keg with around 10 ppl for dinner, then a bus met us there and took us to the Madison. Just over 20 on the bus, plus Dave Fusek and Dayna, Leo and Janice, Zak (Johnny Hardcore), and a few others met us down there. Wedding was good too, everyone wished that you two were there with us to enjoy. I was off for 17 days, but between Bella, the wedding, babysitting Dallas while Steve and Ali were gone and building stairs down off the deck only rode once. I didn't even make it up to the cottage =( Miss you guys and can't wait for the next update. Dave and Ange
Susan
September 10, 2009
Carolyn - Hey! Sorry we're so behind on the photos, we're having a bit too much fun to work on them. Hopefully we'll have some new stuff for you to read soon! We miss you guys too! Say Hi to Amanda and Jessica for us! Phyn- Thanks! I miss our daily chats. I Hope all is well. Say hi to everyone for me. Forbes - It was very nice that my mom could join us. I'm sad that we had to miss Steve and Ali's wedding. That's great that everything went great for them. Send them our congrats! We wish you guys could come hit up some of these trails with us. You would both have perma-smile for sure. Tell Ange I say Hi! Sue
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