Thursday, June 14, 2012
Wednesday, June 13: Rainy and in the 40s as we start out early for Whitehorse, Yukon Territory—at least a 5-hour drive in good weather and on good roads. Didn’t get far before we stopped to help some of the people we met yesterday with a flat. Only a few gravel stretches and a one-laner to show for all the damage from the washouts and rockslides; we breathe a sigh of relief. Young people have written messages on the sandy sides of the ditches with light-colored rocks. Mostly flat stretches till we leave the Yukon Plateau and begin working our way through the beautiful peaks of the Cassiars. We actually see a valley named "George's Gorge"; there was a wrestler named "Gorgeous George" and my dad called him "Georgous Gorge!" We’re following the Rancheria River and stop to see one of its beautiful falls. We cross a continental divide again; to the west everything flows into the Yukon and then the Pacific Ocean, and to the east, into the Arctic Ocean. We decide to lunch at Dawson Peaks Resort; they have outstanding rhubarb pie we’re told. Would you believe they are out of food? They had 33 people for 5 days during the road closing and were just going to Whitehorse today for supplies. Darn! We stop to take pictures of the bridge over the Nisutlin River, the longest water span on the Alcan, before heading into Teslin, which has one of the largest native populations in the Yukon. We want to see the George Johnston Museum, about a gifted photographer/trapper/store owner of Tlingit heritage who captured the life of his people before the Alcan “invasion” devastated their hunting/fishing grounds and their culture. Very moving story. They even have his store inside! After leaving Teslin, we pass over the Teslin River Bridge that was built with a very high clearance so steamers from Whitehorse could bring in supplies to Teslin, the only way till the Alcan was finished. Not far before Whitehorse we cross the massive Yukon River, the fourth largest river in North America. It is estimated that some 50,000 prospectors followed the Yukon to Dawson City during the Klondike Goldrush (1898-1899)--our next stop. We play peek-a-boo with a moose as it feeds in a bog, then it seems like it takes forever to drive through Whitehorse to our B&B—and it does—it is 162 square miles in area, with a population about the size of Superior. Our B&B belongs to a lady who remarried after a divorce and moved in with her new husband; she didn’t have the heart to sell the home she raised her son in, so she turned it into a B&B. There are four others staying here—kind of like a dormitory. We share the kitchen and the bathroom. I’m happy to cook out of the rain! Sweet dreams, Dear Ones. We miss you.