We had pushed through to Twin Lakes last night, getting us with a couple of hours or less to Whitehorse. Meant for a more leisure day exploring and getting provisions in Whitehorse, not to mentioned a few minutes of cellular service!
We got on the road around 10. I was up early ( including a midnight look of northern lights… nada) and decided to go for a walk around the campground before Dan was up. I met a lovely lady from Whitehorse who recommended the international falls hike close to Fraser en route to Skagway. After my chat it was time to head back to get a quick breakfast and hit the road!
We had just hit the road when I spotted Braeburn Lodge, a place i saw in a film on the Yukon. Had to stop!
We were in the “Lake District” around Whitehorse. Beautiful lakes with virtually no development on them. As we drove south we stopped at Lake Lebarge. For those Robert Service fans, you’ll remember this from his poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee”.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moll for gold;
The Arctic Trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sites,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee. RS
Just a few minutes south of the lake we were back in Whitehorse. A quick stop for gas, a few groceries and some isotonic drinks and we were ready to hit the trail. We had set out to go to Atlin first snd then back to Carcross for some hiking or at least a peak at the US border past Fraser BC, but looking at the weather, Carcross was better today that Atlin, so we reversed our itinerary.
The drive to Carcross was not long. We decided to check out Conrad Campground first ( over looks Mt Conrad) and then continue down the road to northern BC toward the US border about 45 more kms to Fraser. There were a couple of campgrounds there that we could also check out.
What a spectacular drive through the mountains and beside beautiful lakes!
We were soon in Fraser and opted not to go further as we would have to cross the Canadian border on our return. ( Fraser /border crossing is about 10 kms from the US border). So close and yet so far!
We did see the original Canadian station at Fraser for the railroad that came up from Skagway back in 1900 when it was completed. We also got a look at this side of the Pass and can imagine the struggle it was for those in the gold rush landing at Skagway and bringing 1,000 lbs of supplies over it to barges (30 to 40 trips) hiking it up the mountains to reach Taglish Lake and a way to move it to Dawson via the Yukon River! Only about 400 kms more! We we’re told that a few year ago they got 75’, yes seventy five feet of snow at that pass!!! Yikes!
We also saw remnants of the trolleys used to get silver ore down to Lake Taglish ( Sam McGee was a supervisor here for a while). So much history and yet this vast land hardly shows a shadow of it.
By the time we got to Fraser, the clouds were docking in and the weather was very cold up in the pass. We decided to head back down to Conrad Campground and get a beautiful site a little lower (and warmer) in the mountains.
Once set up, we made dinner and relaxed over a few games of cribbage. Dan’s night again! Oh well, I guess I’m just lucky in love!!
We did do a walk around the campground to check things out and discovered a playground not in use. I must say the Yukon does playgrounds right. Complete with a zip line!! We couldn’t help ourselves!!!
The sun is now setting and the clouds have rolled in overhead. No Northern Lights for us tonight! The next “stronger” phase will be September 9th. We’ll be on the Prairies by then and the big sky just might open up for us! Until tomorrow, stay safe!