Clancy gets the once over before a long drive and we get a sourdough cinnamon scroll
Northern Rockies Regional District, British Columbia
Today was Clancy service day and so we were in town at 8:00am with the car ready for service. The service was scheduled to take a little over an hour so we trotted off into town for a coffee and cake at The Chocolate Claim www.chocolateclaim.com/ they served great coffee and muffins. While we were eating and planning they bought out the sourdough cinnamon scrolls, now we just could not leave without taking one of these, and so we left with the scroll - our first for the journey yet to be tasted.
After collecting Clancy we stopped off at the northern art gallery then it was on to the MacBride Museum www.macbridemuseum.com/ which proved a very interesting history of Whitehorse and the people that have made it the city it is today. Shoeleh had a mishap with one of her glasses so we stopped in at the Vision Express Optical Ltd shop that did the repair work for free.
Then it was hi ho hi ho it is off to Watson lake we go.
Now our plan, such that it was, was to follow the Alcan from Whitehorse to Dawson Creek and to stop off at interesting byways along the way. So with a car full of food and fuel we headed east.
We stopped for lunch to make sure that we had some as we were not planning to do too many stops on the way. The pullout that we stopped included interpretive signs a spot to heat up some food and was generally quite nice. Interestingly while we were there a number of other people stopped off to have their lunch as well.
We had decided that our stop off would be for the famous sourdough cinnamon roll at the Johnson's Crossing café. Now as luck would have this was not to be our day the open year round centre was closed. We were so thankful for our earlier purchase.
Our just in case scroll, was now the only scroll in town. So with that we were back on the road onto the Teslin River Bridge and heading east again.
Along the way I stopped off for a coffee at the village of Teslin, another drip coffee that was not the greatest but was hot and wet. It was interesting backtracking after a month with the memories that were delivered from our journey on the way up to Alaska. Teslin was our first cultural immersion into the Alcan, the indigenous peoples and life in the Yukon, it bought back mixed emotions and increased the sadness of leaving.
The rest of the journey to the junction of the Cassiar Hwy (37) was a bit of a blur, there was scenery and some excellent changes in the colours on some of the Aspen trees, no moose to be seen and no other wildlife to break the monotony. We did find that the speed limit seemed optional, as many cars passed us and disappeared while we continued at the maximum allowable. I am assuming Hwy Patrol up here is not that regular.
We reached the junction and headed on toward Watson Lake. We arrived it was about 5pm and so we went into the visitors centre where the people were very helpful. They even had a list of all the must sees on the way to Fort Nelson. We decided that we would make dinner here as we needed to get fuel and organise what our plans were to be. They also had an excellent viewing area and informative movie that we got to see. All in all a great centre.
So while I prepared our dinner this evening Shoeleh went on a journey through the signpost forest. Watson Lake is infamous for storing signposts and number plates. They have an entire forest of them, Poles with number plates and signs from around the world. How some of them got there you do need to wonder. I mean it would be hard to explain why you have a metre and a half town sign in your luggage when you were leaving Germany also when you arrived in Nth America. There were a number of Australian number plates although I did not spot any Australian place markers.
With dinner finished and washed up the visitor centre staff offered to call the Northern Lights Centre people to get them to hold off their program till we arrived, we decided against it as we thought we could make it further down the highway in the available light. So we refuelled Clancy, I got another dripolated coffee and we were off.
Now I do not know what it is, but within minutes of crossing into BC we saw a black bear, then another, then some horses, a little further on there was a bison. In the entire time we were in the Yukon, we hardly saw any wildlife at all and then within minutes of being in BC the wildlife parade started.
The meeting of the Bison on the roadside was impressive, these animals are enormous and they just stand there. The horses were a little more of nuisance as they crossed the road in front of us with little bells round their necks, which may scare off bears but don't really worry cars.
We had planned to make it to Liard Hot spring in the time available. However the weather turned a little nasty and dropped some rain and darkened the sky so that we had decreased visibility on a road that seemed to want to introduce us to wildlife. So after seeing some deer and more bison and what appeared to be a wolverine on the roadside we decided to look for a place to stop.
The trusty Milepost suggested that at the Liard Whirlpool there were camping sites that could be used it had no facilities but at this point it was looking like a worthy option so we pulled in at Alaska Highway km 831.6/mile 516.7 Whirlpool Canyon rest area, camping area http://www.bellsalaska.com/myalaska/akhwypg2.html. We found a level parking spot in what appeared to be a camping bay, quickly set Clancy up for the night and got ready to settle in.
Now it was a little disconcerting as we were the only car in the area, it was dark and raining. I was soon asleep although it was a little bit of a concern as to whether we would have night time visitors.
Animals Spotted: ravens (Yukon) black bear, horses, bison, deer, and perhaps a wolverineDay Fifty-two