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Published: July 31st 2016
30 Jul 2016: Today's departure from Whitehorse was the most troublesome we've had. First, the sewer opening in the ground was situated too far foreward for my hose to reach. I tried pulling forward but that blocked the road. I had to wait until we were ready to retract the slides and raise the leveling Jacks so I could drive over to the central dump site, empty the holding tanks, drive towards the exit, park, walk back for the Jeep, drive it over and hook it up.
Next, we were to drive North, find the gas station we were told was on the right side of the road and fill up. We hit an unadvertised traffic circle and I either got out too soon or I took the right path. We don't know because there were two ways out of town and the GPS kept flipping from one to the other.
Then, we passed several gas stations but they were either set back so far I didn't see them until it was too late to enter or I was unable to change lanes soon enough to turn in. Finally, we found a place. I pulled into the full service
lane by mistake (I thought those were extinct). While the teenaged attendant was pumping I asked him if there was an air compressor and he replied, "We had one but it's broke. We just have one for bicycles."
I should have asked him to elaborate but didn't. If a pump is good enough for bicycles, why wouldn't it do for truck tires. Maybe he thought i wanted to use an industrial type air compressor. Thinking, I told him to stop pumping as I wanted to check the tires and didn' t want to use another gas station without purchasing gas there.
We continued North. The road divided. We left the Alaska highway for Yukon highway 2 taking us north to Dawson City, first capital of the Yukon and site of the Klondike gold rush. Immediately, the road was partially closed for repairs, entailing long delays. Still no gas station. "Great. (I thought to myself) at this rate it will take us all day to run out of gas".
On our right lay Lake Laberge. This lake is both fed and drained by the Yukon River, which raises the question at what point does such a feature transition
from being a wide river to a lake. We have seen other lakes like this before.
Heading towards Carmack where we were certain to find gas, we encountered the Braeburn Lodge, known for its world famous Cinnamon Buns complete with gas pumps! Hooray. Oops, they were locked. As I was trying to determine the protocol for operating the pump, a young lady came out and unlocked it and began filling our tank. I asked her if perhaps she had an air pump as well to which she replied, "Yes, right over there". Now, with tires pressurized and gas in the tank, the rest of the trip should be worry-free.
On our right rose Conglomerate Mountain, which is actually a Ridge consisting of volcanic mud flows that solidified into sheets several kilometers long by 1 kilometer wide and 100 meters deep. These ridges run fromAtlin, BC to north of Carmacks, a distance of 350 km.
The sign welcoming travelers to Carmacks (pop 440) is very artistic. I should have gotten a photo of it. It was a rendition of a loon in water with a sunset in the background.
We stopped for lunch at the Five Fingers
Recreation site. This overlooks five conglomerate based rocks projecting from the Yukon River. It was a formidible navigation hazard. The deepest and therefore safest channel was also the narrowist, swiftest and therefore most dangerous channel. Riverboats had to winch themselves up with a large cable attached to the shore for this purpose. A sign denoting the Woodcutter Range explains it was placed there in memory of all the woodcutter who provided fuel for the riverboats from 1898 to 1955.
We passed Pell crossing, Stewart crossing, Moose Creek Lodge, and the Tintic Trench rest area. The Tintinc Trench is the largest fault in North America, stretching hundreds of miles across Alaska and the Yukon. We wish we had more time to stop and learn about these attractions.
We passed the junction with highway 11, "The Silver Trail leading to the mines in and around Mayo (pop 4t0) and further on Keno City (pop 20).
Next we cross the Dempster highway leading 456 miles northeast to McPherson and Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. From this point it is only 40 more km to Dawson City and the Bonanza Gold Motel & RV Park where we will spend the next
few days. On the way into town we came across huge piles of gravel and river rock, the tailings of gold dredging operations from a time long since past. Above ground mining is a very destructive procsss.
Our departure from Whitehorse was fraught with problems and the journey North was stressful due to worries about fuel. The mountain roads had steep grades and sharp turns. The pavement was patched in many places. Ruts, patches, potholes and frost heaves kept me alert. It took us a long time to cover just 323 miles, even discounting our two stops. We arrived at 1900, well before dark. Dawson City has 20.5 hours of daylight on the summer soltice. I was up around 0240 and the sky was not completely dark. Welcome to the land of the midnight sun.
Tot: 2.675s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 15; qc: 45; dbt: 0.038s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb