June 2019 – The Last Stretch Before Alaska

We left Watson Lake and headed to Whitehorse, a 238 mile trek, estimated travel time 5 hours. Steve had a desire to visit the town of Chicken AK, which required us to leave the Alaska Highway and follow the Klondike Highway north west

it was a beautiful day, perfect driving weather, when suddenly we hit construction again

Our view started to diminish, and our trusty book advised this would continue for 25 miles.

We could barely see and it was slow going. The jeep was baring the brunt and has chips in the windshield to prove it.

Finally reached Whitehorse at the Yukon Motel and Restaurant, there’s Rochelle again. Had lunch and took off again

The first two campsites were full, so we decided to try our luck at a pullover spot on Long Lake Rd. We were skeptical at first as, well we couldn’t find it and the directions was taking us through very narrow steep gravel/dirt roads, and suddenly there it was.

What a view!!!!

There were no “no camping” signs posted, so we put out the slides and relaxed.

Whitehorse from above the largest city in the Yukon

We left our perch on top of Long Lake, drove through the town of Whitehorse  and back on the Klondike Highway. Our drive took us through mountain ranges, lakes and rivers

The highway through this area suddenly changes, the British Columbia roadsides were immaculately mowed, we even saw workers with weed-whackers.

Whereas driving through Yukon the highway felt like driving down an English country lane with wildflowers on the verges.

(wonder if a crew drove by spreading all these seeds)

We stopped for supplies at the Carmacks Saloon in Carmacks which was an old trading post from the 1890’s established by one George Carmacks.

They now sell English sausage rolls and Indian samosas, I bet they didn’t in George’s day.

Finally after another 1 1/2 hours we arrived in Pelly Crossing, and an old abandoned State Park. The picnic tables were still there, and the sites were overrun but it was free.

Plus they had wood stacked high which we’re finding in many parks in Canada

The next and final leg in Canada, we headed to Dawson City. We stopped in the town to “dump” at a local campground and emerged the other end of town to find the highway suddenly stops and you must traverse the river via ferry.

The ferry runs 24/7 and is free, but you’d think they’d have built a bridge by now.

Somehow we became disconnected, but both of us in the front row, it was a race to disembark

It’s just an 8 minute ride, but we heard it can be a 3 hour wait to get on, we were lucky and timed it right.

Our spot at Yukon River Campground was 100 yards away from where we disembarked, so it made it easy to go back and forth into town. The campground turned out to be free as there were no fee envelopes to put the money into.

Dawson City still has a old time feel and look to it. Dirt roads and wooden sidewalks.

It was at the heart of the Klondike Gold rush discovered in 1896, when initially about a thousand prospectors and miners arrived and quickly staked their claims. The following year word had spread and a stampeded of 100,000  headed that way.. $29M in gold was pulled from the ground.

Dawson City became known as the “Paris of the North” where millionaires roamed the streets seeking ways to spend their new found wealth.

This is a museum dedicated to Jack London, who lived here briefly during the gold rush and was inspired  to write some of his early and most famous novels.

Dance and gambling halls, bars , brothels and supply stores all made fortunes “mining the miners” . Many of the original buildings are still standing, others have been moved and restored

There is a vibrant arts and music scene here

We wer’e very close to Alaska at this point, what we didn’t know was the most treacherous part of this journey was just around the corner.




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