Sunday, July 8, 2012
Friday, July 6: Partly sunny today! Great sourdough pancakes for breakfast, but late start trying to dry out the tent before we pack up. Heading southeast on the Alcan to a B&B near Kluane National Park YT, with the some of the highest mountains in Canada. We’ll leave the US at the Canadian border today. We cross the Tok River and then the huge Tanana River (means mountain water), largest tributary of the Yukon, through the sparsely forested permafrost. We see lots of pothole lakes in the permafrost there, taking a great picture at Reflection Lake. We take a little detour into the Tetlin Wildlife Preserve at Deadman’s Lake and walk an interpretive boardwalk down to the water; at the explanation for the gray jay, we see a pair, then an eagle flies over; there aren’t many mosquitoes, but lots of dragonflies—I guess they’re doing their job! We stop at another Tetlin NWP Visitor Center for lunch; the reserve is a 934,000-acre area that is an internationally known IBA (Important Bird Area) as it’s a main migration route. The road is extremely rough after we cross the border; the permafrost continues and it’s melting and freezing affects the road like the red clay back home. Once we cross the Donjek River (means peavine) and start passing through the high peaks of the Kluane Mountains, the road improves and then we spot Kluane Lake (great whitefish)-–gorgeous. We are arriving as the sun peeks from behind the clouds and we get some great photos—the mountain slopes washed with light and shadows, the lake illuminated like a radiance from within , and the magenta and golden flowers all aglow! The lake starts at Burwash Landing, one of the oldest settlements in the Yukon, and continues for nearly thirty miles, when we finally round the south end and pull into our B&B. We unpack, warm up the last of our wonderful salmon for supper, then take a walk on the rocky beach. Time for bed!