Saturday, July 16, 2011

Traveling the Alaska Highway-Dawson Creek to Haines Junction

July 14 Tetsa River to Liard River Hot Springs
"Best Cinnamon Buns in the Galaxy" from the outfitter

After a delicious breakfast of fresh from the oven cinnamon buns, we left Tetsa River and enjoyed a beautiful, but short driving day – only 122 miles. Over Summit Pass in the Northern Rockies, at 4250 feet, it is the highest point on the Alaska Highway. Today we saw lots of wildlife, Stone sheep, another type of sheep (which I can’t identify just yet!) and caribou. We pulled into the Liard River Campground about 12:45 PM and had a very relaxing afternoon. It has been quite warm all week, in the 80s this afternoon, which we really didn’t expect. Lowell and I walked to the hot springs in the Provincial Park across the highway. The park worker said that a moose had been seen several times today off the boardwalk.  A very neat area, although the copper sulfate smell was really strong.  There weren't many people there when we arrived, the spring was VERY hot, we only spent about 10 minutes in the lower pool.  The water is vey hot where it comes out of the ground, and cools as it gets toward the place where the water goes out to the Liard River.  We stayed in the lower areas and even there it was hotter than a typical hot tub.  We put our feed in the water at the higher pool area, but could not go any further into that area. We saw two people in that pool. Then a busload of southern senior citizens arrived, mostly to look at the springs. We figured the moose wouldn't be showing up anytime soon! Back at the camper we had a great grilled steak dinner, then walked backed to the springs with Jean and Bob. This time we saw the moose! 75 or 80 yards off the boardwalk a huge bull moose was feeding in the swamp.  I took a couple hundred shots before we headed to the pools to join Jean and Bob in the water. The water was considerably cooler and more crowded tonight.  Maybe the number of people in the pool cooled the water? We were all able to walk much higher in the pool area tonite.  When we walked back the moose was still there, but laying down in the marsh, just a few shots now.  
We continue to be amazed at how long it stays light at night. At 11:30 the skies were still somewhat light, even tho there was thunder, lightening and rain.  Light Rain all night. 
July 15, 2011 Liard River to Haines Junction, Yukon Territory
Today was a driving day, time to put some miles behind us and get to Alaska!  It was cloudy this morning, with light sprinkles off and on all day.
Signpost Forest in Watson Lake was amazing, signs from everywhere, we found River Falls right away, but never did find and Oakdale, St Paul or Mpls. We did see Tower, Ely, Pine River, Harlingen, TX and lots of other familiar names.
Gas in Watson Lake. $1.339/ltr; $164.20; q122.63 liters/32.44 gal.
The scenery was spectacular as we drove to Whitehorse and on to Haines Junction.
As I type this, it is 12:02 AM, July 16, Yukon Time (2:20 CDT) and it is still light out!! REALLY!!  Well, it’s not completely light, you’d be turning your headlights on, but it isn’t dark – I can still see the mountains and glaciers from our camper window – amazing!  This part of the world has an average of 20 hours of daylight in July! 
 We've traveled 2,590 miles so far.
Tomorrow (today as I post this) we will tackle what we hear is the toughest 125 miles of the trip!  Lots of frost heaves, probably 30 MPH all the way to the border , all of the travelers we’ve talked to have said to just drive slow and watch out!!  We should be in Alaska by tomorrow evening!! 


finnbay said...

Thanks for posting! Highlights bring back lots of memories!

CorrineTims said...

Fantastic! I almost feel like I'm along with you. You guys are doing a great job of sharing. Stay safe in your travels.

Anna said...

How come Bob is naked in most pictures? Is that how he is in his natural habitat? Moose pics were beautiful! Anna and Jake

sylvia said...

Looks like you are having a blast. I can't imagine the pool not being hot with a couple of hot babes like you in it. We know it couldn't have been Bob who cooled it off. Keep up the good work. What else would an elementary teacher say....Sylvia and Ben