It’s been a busy old week since I left Whitehorse. On Friday, I headed south towards Alaska again, stopping off at the town of Carcross on the way. Carcross is another one of these “preserved” old towns: and is also one of the termini of the Yukon & White Pass Railway. I decided against taking the train down to Skagway (the other terminus), but I did take a couple of photos of the train for all you train fans out there (you know who you are!
While I was in Carcross I also had a quick look at the Carcross “Desert”. Not actually a “real” desert, but where the wind picks up the sand from the lake across the road and drops it in dunes on the other side.
Now the drive from Carcross down to Skagway is one of the most spectular that I have seen so far. The road travels up through White Pass (which also makes the border between Canada & the US), and then descends from the summit (3,292ft) down to sea-level (and the cruise-ship dock) over a distance of 14 miles. In some ways it reminded me of the journey down into the town
of Geiranger in Norway (but with fewer hairpin bends, and slightly more cruise ships when you get to the bottom).
Overnight in Skagway (nice enough, but definitely oriented towards the cruise ship clientèle
), and then back into Canada (I’m getting used to the whole border crossing thing now. So much easier with my 90-day green card
). Back via Carcross and then on through Taglish, down towards Atlin (I decided against going all the way to Atlin as I felt sorry for the RV having to go down yet another pot-hole ridden dirt track), so headed instead towards Teslin, and eventually back to Watson Lake for my last night in the Yukon.
Monday morning, I left Watson Lake relatively early on my drive back into British Columbia. About 20 miles after I crossed the Yukon/BC border I saw three Wild Bison.
Quick Bison Joke (Please Note: This joke works best with a West Midlands accent, so if you work at Sheldon Square, then try asking Mark Winwood to read it to you!
Q: What’s the difference between a Buffalo & a Bison?
A: You can’t wash your hands in a Buffalo.
OK. I’m sorry.
I headed further down the Alaska Highway and eventually stopped at Liard River Hot Springs. Lovely place. The lower pool is between 40 degrees C & 50 degrees C (depending on which end you sit). A great way to unwind after a hard day of sightseeing and driving. Shame about the mosquitoes though. I’m yet again covered in bites, as the bug-spray has a tendency to wash off in the spring water.
Tuesday morning I headed further south, stopping off at Muncho Lake (stunning
) before calling at Stone Mountain/Summit Lake. I decided to spend the night at the provincial park here, so despite the slightly inclement weather, I put on my walking gear and headed off up the mountain. Good job I prepared myself, because at 14:30 on 29th June, the Canadian weather decided to throw a hail storm at me. Yes, that’s right - hail! Halfway up a mountain heath, with no shelter whatsoever, I had thunder, lightening & hail. (I started to wonder if I was starring in a somewhat unorthodox production of Macbeth. Thankfully no sign of the three witches though.
) So, 2 hours later, soaked to the skin and freezing cold I
made it back to the van to dry off.
The following day I headed east again to the town of Fort Nelson. Hmmm, what can I say about Fort Nelson? Let’s just say that within 2 hrs of checking into the RV park there, I was heading east again, with a full refund in my pocket, thinking that I could have spent 2 hrs somewhere more exciting. Like watching some paint dry. Ok, to be fair, I suppose the town wasn’t that bad, it was the RV park itself that was the problem. Overflowing sewers, faulty internet connection, one functioning toilet between 160 campsites: get the picture...?
Anyway, I stopped off at Buckinghorse River Campground, hoping to see a moose. Disappointed again, I headed further south to the town of Fort St John. Lovely place (ok, it probably isn’t “lovely” per se, but it’s in a whole different league to Fort Nelson
). A couple of lazy-ish days sunbathing, wandering around town, taking it easy (yesterday was Canada Day so almost everything was shut
). And then yesterday evening, I decided to go for a walk down to the local lake (without my camera!), and what do I find standing
on the path about 20 metres in front of me, but a big old moose. Typical, that my camera was a 20 min walk away. Anyway, I looked at her. She looked at me (while chewing some grass). I looked at her a bit more. She carried on looking at me and chewing. (This went on for a while, so I’ll cut to the chase
). Eventually, we both got bored with the staring competition and carried on our separate ways.
So, I’m now back at the southern end of Northern BC (or is that the northern end of southern BC?). I have changed my plan slightly, and I’m now going to spend the next couple of days in and around Hudson Hope, Chetwynd and Dawson Creek, before heading across into Alberta, and down to Edmonton and Red Deer before heading back into the Rockies.
So a belated “Happy Canada Day” to Lily Ann, and a slightly premature “Happy Independence Day” to Lisa.
Ps. Apologies to any members of my immediate family who were offended by the Brummie accent quip!
Pps. And apologies to Mark Winwood if you‘ve been asked to say “Bison” 20 times!
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