Archive for the ‘Yukon’ Category

Thru Yukon to Tok, Alaska June 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

We left Haines on June 28 and drove up the scenic Haines Highway past the famous Chilkat Eagle Preserve, through  Canadian Customs into British Columbia and into Yukon. We stopped at Million Dollar Falls and campground but decided to move on to Kathleen Lake Campground as recommended to us.

Kathleen Lake is a mountain Lake with pretty glacier water and beautiful mountains rising right up out of the lake on most points. We paddled down most of the lake the next morning when the clouds covered the tops of the mountains. We were going into the wind with moderately rough waves. We turned around after we had had enough tough paddling.

We broke camp and headed to Haines Junction where we bought food and filled the gas tank. It was a smaller village than we anticipated. One store for food. There were a few restaurants, gas stations and gift shops. Haines Junctions is where Alaskan Highway meets the Haines highway.

We headed up the Alaskan Highway to Tok. We finally found a road that wasn’t quite 1st class.
There were many parts that were being constructed. Everywhere you had to be on the lookout for bumps in the road and poor road surfaces.

We stopped at Cottonwood RV Park near Destruction Bay on Kulane Lake, which is the largest lake in Yukon Province. This was an outstanding campground. The owners were real friendly and caring people. The facilities were immaculate. This was a one night stand place in that there is no reason to stop there except as a place to stay while passing through. They asked you to take your garbage with you when you leave. There were rest areas along the way where you could deposit your garbage. The campground was right on the lake. The views of the mountains were majestic. Overnight, it rained while the mountains could some fresh snow. The owner told us they clear out of there the 1st week in September.

In the morning, we headed for Tok, Alaska – a drive of about 200 miles. On the way we stopped for  a 2 mile hike to Hidden Lake in a wildlife refuge and a hike down to a trapper’s cabin at the ranger station. There was a brown bear in the area so the park ranger gave us pepper spray to use in case we ran across the bear!

We got the Tok Sourdough RV Campground late in the afternoon. This is a relatively fameous full service campground. They serve an all you can eat pancake and reindeer sauage breakfast for $12. When you check in, you can do a pancake toss. If you can get one of the two pancakes in the bucket, breakfast is on them! 

We finally met the bugs in droves at Kathleen Lake. After set up, we hunted down the flies inside for a while until we got them all.

The Wifi is monitored up here to disallow uploading/downloading large files such as Photo’s. You can Skype either.

We postponed the posting of the above pictures pic’s until we got to Valdez. We went to primitive campground in Wrangell-St Elias National Park for 3 days without any Internet at all.

Our car and trailer are now brown with dirt. We are headed for an Alaskan Car Wash to get all the junk off.

Dawson City, Yukon – Top of World Highway 8/18-20/2009

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

We travelled on 8/17 from Fairbanks to TOK on our way to Dawson City, Yukon via Top of the World Highway.

In the morning of 8/18, we headed up Taylor Highway to “top of the world highway” which goes from Chicken Alaska to Dawson City. We arrived in Chicken for lunch, toured the town and headed towards Dawson City. Chicken was somewhat interesting but not worth going out of your way to visit. It is a good stopping point on the way to Dawson City. Only 4 people live in Chicken year round. It grows to 24 in summer. There are a couple of RV Parks, a Restaurant Cafe, a couple of Gift Shops, a gas station and a few historical points of interest.

After lunch, we drove he first part of the “Top of the World Highway” through Boundary and to the Canadian/US Border. The scenery was great. The road winds its up up to the top of ridges and runs these ridges across the top of the world. The views are beautiful! Much of the time you are above tree line looking over the valleys below and across to the mountains near and far. The road is called gravel but resembles hard packed dirt. The trailer was bouncing a little.

We came to a scenic viewpoint about a half mile past the border. We could see the border station on a neighboring mountain peak. We went for a short hike on the tundra and walked up a road out to the end of the canyon top. We spotted some caribou. We met another couple there. We all decided to stay the night high up on top of the world. It was wonderful. We took our chairs, wine, cheese and rice crackers out to the edge of the canyon. We enjoyed each others company while taking in the breath taking views.


In the morning, we finished the trip to Dawson City. The rest of the trip across the Top of the Work highway was much more pleasant. The road was in much better condition with half of it paved and the rest seemed to be coated with oil that made the unpaved sections very smooth.

We stayed in Dawson City for two nights. Dawson City has a large permanent population of about 1800. The Canadian National Park Service has guided a historical restoration activity here. Dawson City has wooded sidewalks on a huge downtown area. The Dawson City museum is a must see! There are a couple of movies about the Klondike Gold Rush. There exhibits was well done. In Dawson City, there is a mix of historical tourist type activity with the life of the town. It is a very pleasant place to just walk around.


Whitehorse, Skagway, Watson Lake – Yukon 08/20-25/2009

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

On Thursday August 20th, we drove from Dawson City to Whitehorse. It was a fairly long drive in rainy/cloudy weather.  We noticed that our camper battery wasn’t charging when hooked to AC. This meant losing lights, heater and toilets when battery dies since these all operate on 12 v. Fred traced the problem to camper power converter box. We took camper to RV Repair shop. They told us that the Power Converter Box needed to be replaced but it would take 10 days to get the replacement to Whitehorse. They suggested getting at battery charger which we bought at Canadian Tire. 

On August 21 after RV Repair Shop visit, we drove down to Skagway, Alaska. It usually is a very scenic drive but it was raining most of the way. It got very foggy also as we came thru passes into Skagway. We stayed two nights in Skagway. The weather was so bad we passed on riding the White Pass Railroad. We would have stayed a 3rd night if the weather was going to change.

While in Skagway, we drove to Dyea, strolled the old town site and hiked up part of the chilkoot trail. We also attended a musical play,”The Days of 98 Show”. The male lead was Jonathan Baldwin who is married to Tegan  Towle from Grantham, NH. Tegan is daughter of Cynthia Towle, Grantham Deputy Town Clerk/Tax Collector. We introduced ourselves to Jonathan before the performance.

On Sunday August 23rd, we drove to Watson Lake, Yukon to the top of Cassiar Highway, which we plan on taking to Hyder/Stewart on way down to Vancouver. We attended a showing of Northern Lights at their planetarium. In the morning, it stopped raining and some blue sky showed. We decided to stay another day to dry out and enjoy the good weather. We took a hike around the local lakes. That night it started raining again.

We didn’t get any pictures in Skagway at all. We forgot our camera for trip to Dyea. Our next stop in Hyder, Alaska will be our goodbye to Alaska.