Last night we had a bit of rain. Both Dan and I woke up thinking that we would have to pack away a wet tent that would have to sit there for a couple of weeks before we would use it again. Oh well, I guess we can set it up to dry at our B and B in Whitehorse if need be. The night wasn’t as quiet as the night before as there was a large truck coming along the highway that got. Its gear stuck and not only grinder them but had to apply the air brakes as well. Small price to pay for our piece of heaven last night!
We decided to simply brake camp without bothering with breakfast. There was a lodge a couple of kms up the road called the Northern Rockie Lodge and we thought we would get a coffee and breakfast sandwich to go. Once we had our coffee in hand and food in our belly we were off on our next adventure. Today would have us drive north about 650-700 km to Whitehorse.
We passed by familiar sights from our touring yesterday, still in awe of the views looking north up this valley. We kept looking for the lone bison and low and behold we saw him! Then we saw his herd…it was all very exciting and a number of vehicles stopped to take a look and take pictures (us included!)
Our park attendant from Muncho Lake told us about this herd, and also one south of the park; the latter having tuberculosis within the herd and therefore had to be separated from the northern one. Some of the bulls were wallowing in the dirt, while others were quite brave and sauntered right next to the highway without a care!
Soon we were at Watson Lake,, the last major settlement along this highway in BC…including the 3 times the highway crossed back and forth between BC and the Yukon. This time we were ready for a picture, but I guess they ran out of Welcome to the Yukon signs! Oh well.
Our next exciting viewing was at the continental divide. There were 2 pit toilets at the rest stop and Dan tried to tell me that one ran to the Pacific and the other to the Atlantic. I said no, they were pits, they both ran to the centre of the earth!
We continued west and then north to Whitehorse. With lunch in the car, we were ready to get out and stretch out legs by the time we got to our B and B. It was about 14 kms past Whitehorse, tucked back in a lovely valley with mountain views surrounded by beautiful gardens. A quiet oasis for us. We checked in and learned that we could do our laundry here instead of having to go into town to a laundromat. Oh happy day!
Once we got ourselves checked in, organized and showered we readied ourselves to go back into town for dinner. We decided to try. A popular spot called the Klondike Rib and Salmon House. Dan had an elk stew and I had salmon skewers. Both were exceptional!
Bellies full, we headed back to the B and B to rest up for a day of exploring Whitehorse tomorrow. We have some provisioning to do as well as orienting with the visitors centre. We are also going to try and touch base with the outfitter that owes Nahanni River Adventures and Canada River Expeditions. Maybe we can get some good tips on the Dempster Highway, or as our friend Les calls it, the drivable river!
No doubt we’ll have lots to discover tomorrow. Time to get rested up for a day of exploring and research! For now, I will sign off. Stay safe and see you tomorrow!
Day 19 Whitehorse
Our B and B (Hidden Valley) is about 14 kms north of Whitehorse in a beautiful countryside setting. The night was so lovely and quiet.
We went downstairs for an 8 am breakfast and met a lovely couple from Airdrie. After a huge breakfast (bread pudding with bacon, cheese, Saskatoon berries and a fruit side) we were ready to tackle our day.
We did some shopping as Dan needed a warm long sleeved sweater or fleece, and then we were off to the visitors centre to see when info we could get for our time in the Yukon. The attendants there were exceptionally helpful and we were loaded with information for our trip! We then headed off to a local book store to get a guide book on hiking in the Yukon. With that found, we headed back to the car and took a short walk along the waterfront where we discovered a totem called the Healing Totem that is dedicated to all those affected by the residential school system.
From there we tried to get a fishing license, but were a little early so we decided to head over to our RV rental place and take a look at the size of vehicle (especially the frig) to ensure our provisioning would fit! After that we followed the advice at the Tourism office and visited a little café out by the Yukon Wilderness Park. The Bean North was a cute little spot nestled in the woods and Dan and I had a quick panini there before heading over for our hike.
After lunch we drove the couple of kms to the Yukon Wilderness Park and decided to do the 5 km hike versus taking a bus. Together with a great walk, this allowed us to quietly approach the enclosures and see the animals in there (almost) natural habitat.
The animals here represent the dominant mammals found in the Yukon with the exception of bears. All told we saw Muskox, Woodland Bison, elk, thin horned sheep, mountain goats, lynx, red fox, caribou and moose. Although we have seen a number of these in the wild, it was great to see them and understand more about their habitat and efforts to strengthen herds etc.
The weather during our walk varied considerably from cool and rainy to warm (high teens – low20’s)and sunny. We are beginning to learn that the weather here will change constantly…if. You don’t like it, just wait an hour!
It was time to head back to the B and B as we wanted to get a laundry done before we picked up the RV for the 2 weeks. Our B and B allow us to use their laundry facilities for free while we’re here – so lovely and convenient! While here, I’m writing my blog, but now sure if I can get the bandwidth it will take to get it published!
After laundry, it was time to pull together a plan on what to pack and take with us from the car into the RV. Much of our kitchen gear will stay behind, but we’ll want the kayak, our sleeping gear, especially our pillows, and food stuff. There wont be many places to re provision along the Dempster highway so we need to plan for a couple of weeks! Lots of dry goods and canned stuff ( not my favourite) but we’ll survive! I’ll try to get as much fresh food as I can to survive at least a week before we dig into too much of the dry goods!
We learned at the visitor centre that we will be hitting Dawson City during their weekend arts festival, so we are really looking forward to spending a few days there to discover the town, soak up the history, pan for gold and yes, enjoy a fun summer festival!
No doubt, our weeks in the Yukon will be a fun filled adventure! Until then, stay safe!