We stayed at Chilkoot Lake just outside Haines for two nights, giving Larry time to try fishing in the Chilkoot River. This river is a salmon run and Canada’s fish and game department maintains a weir there to try to encourage the Chinook salmon over the other varieties. Larry got 2 fish, and a fairly close look at a bear, just across the river from him. That’s plenty close enough in my book. (No photos in this post – they will come later, after I get them off the camera.)
July 11, 2017: We traveled to Lake Kathleen, where we learned about a species of fresh water salmon. These fish are believed to have evolved from the more typical sea living salmon which became trapped in the lake when a glacier blocked the path to the sea. Unfortunately, these fish are failing now, and no one knows why yet.
July 12, 2017: Wednesday’s camp was the Takini River Campground, just 8 km north of the Kusuwa Lake campground. Getting there required driving over 15 km of very hilly, very washboarded dirt and gravel road. It was a really nice campground, with plenty of room and well kept pit toilets, but no showers. Ah well…
July 13, 2017: Thursday we traveled to the Takini Hots Springs just outside of Whitehorse. We had traveled just over 6000 miles by this point, and it was high time to change the oil in the truck! We also took advantage of the wifi st the Whitehorse public library to catch up on email and the like. We finished up the day with dinner at the Hot Springs Cafe, which specializes in crepes. The savory crepes we had were very good, but they were overshadowed by the appetizer of Pommes Dauphine – little puffs of fluffy seasoned mashed potatoes, tempura fried and served with a light honey sauce. They were great!
We went to the hot springs pool on Friday, and took advantage of their showers, and of course had a long soak in the hot water. It was wonderful.
July 15, 2017: Saturday we are driving to Boya Lake on route 37. Another really beautiful site, full of woods and water. We decided to stay over Sunday, in the hope of getting in some hiking and fishing. Regrettably, it rained all day, so we stayed in and read books instead.
The weather has been pretty consistently rainy since we hit Skagway on the way to Juneau. We did have a couple of days of sun in Juneau, and a couple of nice days since passing Haines Junction, but not more than a handful in the past 17 days.
July 17, 2017: We are on our way to Kinaskan Lake, down route 37. This area of British Columbia has almost no development whatsoever. Even Jade City, reputed to be the largest single jade producer in the world, is limited to a handful of houses, a tourist shop and a gas station.
There is no way to adequately capture and convey the experience of driving through this land. The mountains are just enormous and seem to go on forever. They are rugged, jagged, steep and tall – so tall that the tops of many of them are obscured by the clouds overhead. Their sides are either covered by woods or the deitritis of landslides – fortunately, not too many landslides; mostly the green of fir trees and some variety of aspen. The experience of being surrounded by this vast, towering landscape just can’t be described on a flat page, with either words or pictures.
There is reputed to be abundant wildlife in this wilderness as well. Certainly we have been able to observe some fish in the lakes and streams, and today we have seen a moose and a bear ambling along the side of the road. They each turned away and disappeared into the woods as soon as they realized there was a vehicle on the road, so no pictures.
There aren’t many vehicles on the road either, so the wildlife can browse on the roadside for quite a while without being disturbed. Nor is there any cell phone service. One really does not want to breakdown along this stretch of road.
July 18, 2017: We spent last night at the Bell 2 Lodge, well south of Kinaskan Lake, on the Bell River. We had reached Kinaskan Lake early in the afternoon, and just decided to keep driving – no schedule, no constraints, total freedom of choice – gotta love it!
We stopped at Bell 2 for the access to showers, and they did have lovely shower facilities, for which they did not charge an extra fee. This is a bit unusual in our experience so far. They did, however, charge an extra fee for access to wifi – $22.50 CAD per hour! Needless to say, we didn’t opt for that extra. We were still out of cell phone range, and so I continue this log offline, to post later.
I also had my first experience of a “meat pie” – essentially meat loaf shaped like a large sausage and wrapped in pastry. It is an experience I hope never to repeat. Mind you, I am not a fan of meat loaf on the first place. It always gives me indigestion. True to form, I was still tasting this “pie” 3 hours and two antacids later. The pastry was light and flaky, though.
Today we are headed for “the Hazeltons” – South Hazelton, New Hazelton and Old Town Hazelton. We are also looking for some warm, dry, sunny weather.