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June 27 to July 3

Tok, Alaska
to
North Vancouver, British Columbia

Home
NOTE:

The details below are a true record but the names of people have been changed to protect their identity.

The numbered points are only there to force the map generating program to reflect the actual route taken and need not necessarily have anything to do with the text.

DAY 29 - Monday, June 27 - Tok, AK to Congdon Campground, Kluane Lake, YT

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Did not sleep well last night - the people in large neighboring tents sat around a campfire and talked well into the night (morning). I woke with their noisy talk around 4:00 am and did not get back to sleep again. They were there for the mushroom (morel) season. Some of them left whilst we were having breakfast (cinnamon apple oatmeal for a hot breakfast and strawberry jam on toast) to spend the day gathering mushrooms; others sat around drying their socks over the fire - all very interesting. I just wished they didn’t talk so much!
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We were all up just after 6 o’clock and had showers before breakfast. It was not as chilly this morning as last night but everything was pretty wet after last night’s downpour.
6,625.5 8:28 Leaving Gateway Salmon Bake RV Park & Tenting.
Miles today are given as distance from Dawson Creek - DC.
8:34 Crossing Tok River (DC 1309.4).
8:37 First patch of gravel for the day!
8:39 - 8:48 Stopped for roadwork, then leaving behind a State of Alaska pilot vehicle.
8:53 End of pilot and crossing the Tanana River - high, wide and muddy (DC 1303.4).
6,637.4 8:55 Entering Tetlin Junction - DC 1301.7 (Historic Milepost 1306). This is where we joined the Alaska Highway after coming south on Taylor Highway (AK-5) from Top of the World Highway (# 9). From here we are on a new section of the Alaska Highway, the section we didn’t do coming up, so after this will have fulfilled our goal of driving the “Alcan”.
8:59 Again we are seeing names made with small rocks on the sandy embankments.
9:01 Loose gravel ... best to be the lead dog if there’s construction, so don’t let anyone pass! ... the clouds which seem to be higher today are breaking up a bit and there is some blue sky.
9:05 Forest pictures.
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9:06 Loose gravel ... back behind me there is sun on the hills and beyond, the high mountain with snow - Mt. Drum.
9:08 Milepost 1291 ... lakes to the right ... magnificent view before the road descends to the lake’s edge.
9:10 Pictures from the car ... rough road again follows rough road ... and turning off for a photo op.
9:11 - 9:14 Reflection pictures + two of volcanic ash ... Midway Lake - MP pp. 205 - 206.
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9:15 Milepost 1289 of the Alcan.
9:19 Rough road.
9:21 Road damage ... Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains to the right ... see MP p. 206 - fires.
9:28 Milepost 1279.
9:30 The sun is shining ... more blue sky to the south, and it is raining lightly! ... fireweed blooming along roadside.
9:33 Northway 10 miles, Canada 52 miles ... MP p. 205 - Northway.
9:34 - 9:38 Milepost 1273.
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9:39 Loose gravel.
9:41 7% downgrade ... scrubby forest at the bottom of the descent.
9:42 Winding river at the side of the road - the Tanana River, the largest tributory of the Yukon River.
9:43 Loose gravel.
9:45 Turnout (DC 1269) - Historic Milepost 1271 ... Interpretive sign - Gold Rush Centennial.
9:46 Crossing Beaver Creek (DC 1268)... the color of the water in the creek is the result of tannins absorbed by the water as it flows through muskeg.
9:47 Pretty green grass.
9:49 Road damage.
9:50 Passing the turnoff for Northway (DC 1264) - 9 miles and airstrip 7 miles.
9:51 Canadian Border 42 miles, Haines Junction 247 miles. (DC 1263.8) The road is continuing through hilly country with wide valley and distant mountain views to the right.
9:53 Lakes to the right with wonderful reflections.
9:54 Milepost 1261.
9:56 Three cyclists, loaded, going in the opposite direction and great overview of the lakes to the right.
9:57 Another cyclist and a sign - School Bus Ahead ... lots of cyclists.
10:00 Another fabulous view to the right.
10:03 - 10:05 Turned off for a scenic viewpoint - disappointing ... see MP p. 204 Mile DC 1252.2 about sunbowls.
10:06 Canadian Border 30 miles, Haines Junction 235 miles (DC1251.3).
10:07 Pictures of scrawny forest.
10:08 Turnout for rest area with picnic tables - no signs - no water - no toilets.
10:09 Passing the turnoff for Deadman Lake Campground - Historic Milepost 1254.
10:10 More names on the sandy embankment - rock graffiti.
10:11 - 10:14 Photo op. ... meadow development.
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10:15 Crossing Gardiner Creek (DC 1246.6) ... burn area to the north.
10:16 Sandy embankments - see MP p. 204 (DC 1243) sand dune road cut.
10:18 - 10:21 Turning off (Milepost 1244) ... back on highway and driving through forested sand dunes.
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10:24 Southbound sign for Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.
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10:25 Passing corrugated caps both sides - see MP p. 204 Mile DC 1240.3 ... black spruce and permafrost.
10:33 Crest of big descent, road winding around.
10:36 Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center 2 miles ... even the electric poles are leaning over!
10:38 - 11:19 Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge - lovely Visitor Center, informative wildlife and Native culture displays ... we saw some lovely beadwork.
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11:22 Passing a Duty-Free store.
DC 1227.8 - view of Chisana (pronounced SHOE-shanna) - also interpretive signs about the Tetlin Refuge ... see also DC 1222.5.
11:23 Gas $2.319/gal. - Scottie Creek Services & RV Park ... old log cabin - see MP p. 203 Mile DC1226.
11:24 A beaver lodge in a lake at the right of the road ... storm clouds to the northeast.
11:25 Crossing Scottie Creek ... old cabins to the right.
DC 1221.8 - Sign: Canadian Customs 20 miles.
6,714.9 11:29 As we cross the border into Canada ... sign: change time from Alaska to Pacific, so it is now 12:29.
6,715.3 12:29 - 12:41 The Border - (DC 1188) - Historic Milepost 1221 ... border marked by narrow (20-foot-wide) swath cut between 1904 and 1920 along 141st meridian from the Arctic ocean to Mt. Elias (p. 203 Mile DC 1188).
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12:44 Whitehorse 489 miles ... the road is paved but rough!
12:47 - 12:49 Loose gravel and road construction.
12:50 Sign: Extreme Dusty Conditions ... rolling wooded hills with meandering streams and lakes ... distant mountains to the right.
12:57 Reduce speed - 70 kph from 90 kph ... extreme dusty conditions - gravel road.
12:58 Back on pavement.
1:00 Meadow with scattered trees and muskeg.
1:01 Back into forest both sides ... approaching Canadian Customs and Immigration.
1:05 - 1:07 Beaver Creek Canada Customs Station (DC 1170.3).
Sign: “For those who don’t like speeding tickets raise your right foot”.
1:10 Entering Beaver Creek, (DC 1168.5) - Historic Milepost 1202, a very interesting town and the most westerly community in Canada ... MP pp. 201 to 202.
1:13 Turning around to have lunch.
1:14 - 2:12 Lunch and Visitor center ... before having lunch we walked across the road to Buckshot Betty’s to see if we could get sausage rolls - NO - but we bought a piece of Saskatoon pie ($3.75) ... picnic lunch at a table adjacent Yukon Centennial Gold Rush figurines and display.
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After eating Jo and I walked to the Visitor Center along a path with interpretive panels on wildlife.
2:14 - 2:15 Our Lady of Grace Mission Church, built from an army Quonset hut.
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2:16 Angry-looking sky to the southwest ... also the start of construction.
2:17 Bridge over fast-flowing Beaver Creek ... a new bridge is under construction.
2:18 Back on paved road.
2:20 Reduce speed to 70 kph for construction ... Kluane Range of mountains ahead to the right.
2:23 Back on pavement ... passing through stunted, drunken forest both sides.
2:26 Loose gravel.
2:28 Pavement.
2:29 Gravel, then rough pavement - just a continuous string of breaks.
2:32 - 2:35 Lake to the left and stopped for roadwork ... two swans on lake.
2:36 It is raining.
2:37 Lake to the right ... actually there are a number of lakes in the vicinity.
2:39 Spindly forest to the right.
2:41 Steep descent as the road approaches the mountains.
2:43 (DC 1150.3) Haines Junction 166 miles ... crossing Dry Creek No. 2.
2:46 Crossing Dry Creek No. 1.
2:47 The sky to the right is Kodachrome blue with fluffy white clouds, but to the left it is dark gray to black ... stunted forest ... rough road - gravel and dust conditions ... lakes and forests continue.
2:53 Large lake to the right - lots of ducks ... a few odd patches of snow high up on the mountains.
2:58 A section of the road which is really going to pieces!
3:00 Flat, broad valley to the left - part of a wide river.
3:01 Crossing White River (DC 1135.6) - fast flowing to the right then spreads out across the valley on the left - it is a major tributary of the Yukon River.
3:02 White River Crossing - gas, store, cabins, camping ... sky is black to the left and the sun is shining where we are.
3:06 The rain has started for us, too.
3:07 Crossing Koidern River No. 2 ... Koidern River Lodge (DC 1130.6) - visitor facilities.
3:09 2 pictures to the right from the car.
3:11 The mountain to the right is a long continuous ridge
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... big lake on right - Reflection Lake and Kluane Range DC 1128.
3:13 Start of another large lake, Pickhandle Lake DC 1125.7 ... we are traveling east through a valley between two mountain ranges.
3:15 Pickhandle Lake ends, but the ridge behind Reflection lake still continues ... there are numerous lakes through the valley.
3:19 Slow Down - Be prepared To Stop.
3:20 Passing a lone cyclist with sleeping bag, etc. ... judging by the trees there appears to be quite a wind blowing ... the ridge continues, but now has deeper indentations and valleys coming down from it to this long valley.
3:24 - 3:26 Pulled up to change drives and give Sam a rest.
3:27 Crossing Koidern River bridge No. 1.
3:30 We are about at the end of the ridge ... higher snowy peak occasionally visible in the clouds to the right.
3:32 Historical Mile 1147 (DC 1113.8) Pine Valley Lodge on left - gas, cabins, bakery.
DC 1113.5 ... Crossing Edith Creek.
3:33 A patch of fireweed adding a splash of color to the landscape.
3:35 Lake back in behind the trees to the right ... and now lake is right by the road - big lake ... one lake after another.
3:40 Some pretty high mountains to the southeast - three mountains over 14,000 feet and Mt. Vancouver 15,700 feet.
3:42 A Holland-America Tour Bus going in the opposite direction ... lots of snow back on the higher peaks.
3:45 Another Holland-America bus.
3:47 Long bridge over a wide river, the Donjek River (DC 1100) - major tributary of White River ... Alaska Highway construction - see also MP pp. 199 and 200 Mile DC 1099.7.
3:53 Two pictures from the car.
3:54 A series of signs: Entering Dusty Area ... Reduce Speed ... Loose gravel.
4:02 Crossed Swede Johnson Creek (DC 1086.6), then a lake on the right.
4:04 Kluane Wilderness Village, Historical Mile 1118 (MP p. 199) - half way between Tok and Whitehorse - 200 miles either way.
4:07 River valley to the left.
4:12 - 4:28 Kluane River Overlook (DC 1077.3) - rest area with information panels.
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4:35 Crossing Burwash Creek ... just after leaving the Kluane River Overlook the forest was very thick with tall slim trees.
4:36 The forest is now a little less dense.
4:38 Large patches of beautiful pink grass.
4:40 Crossing Duke river.
4:41 Around a corner and we get the first glimpse of Lake Kluane.
4:42 Burn area - fire of 1999 ... a few shrubs, but no trees.
4:44 Meadow to the right.
4:45 Historic Milepost 1094 (DC 1062.7) Burwash Landing airstrip.
4:47 Burwash Landing on the shore of Kluane Lake can be seen to the left - MP p. 198 Mile DC 1061.5 ... a dark cloud is passing overhead ... Kluane Lake, beyond the trees to the left, is a very long lake.
4:52 Cross Copper Joe Creek {Halfbreed (Copper Joe) Creek} ... road is chip sealed.
4:54 It is raining lightly.
4:57 Rainbow to the right.
4:58 Big mountain in front of us but the top is in the clouds ... can see how thin the top soil is at the road edge ... also we are much closer to the lake.
4:59 Crossing Cluett Creek and entering Destruction Bay (DC 1051.5) ... good view of the lake ... the rain didn’t last.
5:02 Haines Junction 107 miles, Whitehorse 266 ... chip seal continues ... driving in sunshine ... lots of pink wild rye grass both sides of the road ... we have a wonderful mountain range continuing all along our route.
5:10 As the road descends we are driving towards the Kluane Lake.
5:11 The lake is at the side of the road.
5:12 Congdon Creek Campground in 2 km ... we have been crossing lots of dry creek beds.
Turning into Congdon Creek Yukon Government campground (DC 1038) - Historical Mile 1072.
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5:21 Chose a campsite after driving around the campground - gave Sam Can.$12.00 for the camp fee.
The sun was shining and we were able to dry out the ground sheets and tent before setting it up and enjoyed a beer as we did this. Then, whilst erecting the tent, we spread out Sam’s and my sleeping bags to dry out as they were also a little wet from last night’s rain!
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The ground was so hard that Sam had difficulty driving the tent pegs in the ground, so he got some logs from the wood pile and used these to hold the guide ropes in place!
For supper we had salad, a large can of stew and Jo made dumplings with Bisquick Mix to go with it - very good.
We also had wine, a Merlot from Banrock Station, Kingston on Murray, S.A., which we were supposed to have last night for Sam’s and Jo’s anniversary - 40 years - but had eaten at the Gateway Salmon Bake on Tok. We also ate some of the fruit cake which Jo had brought on the trip from home.
First one, then two, birds, gray jays (I think), kept flying down to the table and back into the trees and all the while I tried to get pictures of them! They didn't keep still long enough!
After supper and clearing up we went for a walk to the lake and along the interpretive trail which follows the shoreline of Kluane Lake.
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This was both interesting and enjoyable. I discovered quite a variety of wildflowers on the walk as well as near our campsite.
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6,864.4 End of the day.

The day’s total - 238.9 miles
Trip Total - 6,992.4 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 30 - Tuesday, June 28 - Congdon Campground, Kluane Lake, YT to Skagway, AK

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Up at 6 o’clock - cereal and toast for breakfast - out of coffee, sugar getting low, margarine used up!
6,864.4 8:30 Leave camp.
Sky mostly cloudy and clouds blanketing the mountain peaks and it was colder at 8 o’clock than at six when the sun was out for a while.
8:33 Junction with the Alaska Highway and driving south along Kluane Lake ... seam of orange soil or rock showing up on the mountainside ... road construction as road is rerouted slightly to the right and a little more above the lake ... rough gravel road.
The sun was shining last night when we arrived and the mountains looked so beautiful in the sunlight.
8:40 Pavement.
8:41 - 8:42 Stopped for road construction, then leaving behind a pilot vehicle ... dual pilot system, that is two pilots, one in each direction - prevents anyone speeding and passing!
8:49 We are still on the shore of Kluane Lake ... major construction - big trucks ... drilling and carving hillside away.
8:51 Bayshore Lodge (DC 1033.3) - boarded up ... light rain, and construction more or less ended ... then surveyors at work.
8:54 Briefly leaving the shore of the lake.
DC 1030.7- Soldier’s Summit (see MP p. 196 - official opening of Alaska Highway.
8:55 - 8:56 Road clinging to the mountainside and cloud reaching into the valley, then crossing flat valley, glacier valley from way back.
8:57 Crossing Slim’s River bridge (DC 1027.8), a glacial river.
8:59 Road turning around the end of Kluane Lake ... Ruby Range on east side of lake.
9:01 Across the lake and flats ... Sheep Mountain with clouds hanging half way down on it ... all along the way there are lots of dry creek beds coming down from the mountains.
9:03 We appear to be leaving the lake.
9:06 Crossing Silver Creek (DC 1020.9) ... there was actually some water flowing in it.
9:07 Silver City (DC 1020.5) - see MP p. 195.
9:08 Boutillier Summit, El. 3,293 feet, second highest point on the highway between Whitehorse and Fairbanks ... over the summit and descending.
9:10 Crossing Christmas Creek at the bottom of the descent ... high snowy mountains to the right are shrouded in cloud - it looks very cold and uninviting.
See MP p. 194 Mile DC 1013.6 - Kluane Range, a very high range with the St. Elias Mountains further west, including Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak.
9:14 Small lake on the right.
9:19 - 9:20 Pulled up to change drivers ... wide grassy right of way.
9:21 It is raining ... lakes to the left.
9:26 Crossing Jarvis River (DC 1003.5) - full, clear water ... hillsides pretty with Jacob’s ladder (probably not, but rather purple oxytrope) ... it is still raining but it looks as if it might be breaking up in the east and to the south.
9:31 Bear Creek Summit, El. 3,294 feet, highest point on the Alaska Highway between Whitehorse and Fairbanks,
9:33 Downhill sign - a long downhill and we look to be going into the mountains.
9:36 Still descending - big valley with mountains both sides, higher ones to the right. It would be a beautiful drive in sunlight.
9:39 Entering A School Bus Zone ... it is raining heavily again ... long narrow banks of cloud low down in the valley appear to be at the foot of a mountain.
9:43 Habitation - Goverment of Canada - maybe Kluanwe National Park warden headquarters.
9:45 Rail fence to the left ( ^=^=^=^=^=) ... reduced speed ... billboards ... Haines Junction 2 km.
9:46 Welcome to Haines Junction - MP pp. 190 - 194.
9:48 DC 985 - Junction of the Alaska Highway (YT-1) with the Haines Highway (YT-3).
9:50 - 10:30 Kluane National Park Visitor Center.
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10:33 - 10:45 Village Bakery - $8.71 for coffee and goodies.
10:46 Back on the Alaska Highway.
10:48 Whitehorse 159 km (100 miles) ... on the outskirts of town and passing a cutout of an RCMP car,
10:51 - 10:53 Stopped for roadwork and following a pilot car when leaving ... there is cloud to the left which is hanging below the road ... the unpaved road through the construction area is wet and muddy ... huge trucks and pieces of equipment used for road building.
11:00 End of the pilot, but the road is still through the middle of a construction area, but is not in too bad a condition.
11:05 The sun is poking through the clouds and we are stopped again for construction, briefly, whilst a truck turns around ... signs: more road construction ahead ... Canyon Creek Bridge.
11:15 Gravel - turning onto the bed of the new road.
11:17 DC 965.6 - Crossing Canyon Creek ... end of construction ... sawmill to the right over the bridge (see MP p. 189).
11:19 Motel & camping (DC 964.6) Otter Falls Cutoff - 27 miles out to the right (MP 189).
11:26 Crossing Cracker Creek (flowing left to right) ... Old Man Mountain to the left ... We are driving on newly constructed road.
11:28 Swan in pond to the right. The new road is wider, smoother and higher up ... the surface has been removed off the old road and thus it will revert to natural growth ... the culverts have been taken out also,
11:31 Whitehorse 108 km (67 miles).
11:32 Sandy embankment ... surface of the road is chip seal (sprayed with a coat of asphalt then chips are rolled into it, and maybe put another layer of stone, up to three layers) ... [La Brea Tar Pits - pure natural asphalt] - {bituminous}.
11:37 Passing the turnoff for Champagne (MP p. 188).
11:38 Sandy embankment ... road rerouted in 2002 - bypassed Champagne ... a whole area of sand dunes.
11:42 MP 1500 - that is km.
11:49 Elk sign - “they ran out of moose and caribou signs!” ... raining again and it is still pretty miserable over the mountains.
DC 927.3 - Turnoff on right for Kusawa Lake - 15 miles ... see MP p. 188.
11:57 Passing a Rest Area with lots of interpretive panels - DC 926 (see MP p. 188 - there is a lot of interesting information on this page).
11:58 Sign: IBEX VALLEY ... crossing Stoney Creek.
11:59 Ranch to the right ... railing fence ... Hay For sale.
The road is closer to the mountains on the left - these are rugged and rocky ... another rain shower.
12:01 Crossing Annie Ned Creek ... more sand dunes.
12:04 Milepost 1476.
12:06 Burn area ... most of the trees have fallen down and there are just stumps left and small new trees.
12:07 To the right a log fence stops at a small lake - the bottom of the posts are white from salt.
12:08 Crossing Takhini River (DC 914.7) ... See DC 914 - Takhini Salt Flats.
12:10 Railing fence to the left and now we are closer to the mountains on the right - not nearly as high and very little snow left on them.
12:14 Mountains of scoured rock to the left.
12:15 Irrigation pipes in a field to the left between the road and the rocky mountains ... seeing a number of ranches or farms.
12:16 Big river to the left with steep cliffs on the other side ... Takhini River ... I am wondering if all the rock on the mountains have been scoured by glaciers and/or the ice age!
12:21 Billboard - A & W, Pizza Hut, Tim Horton’s ... back in civilization. After passing all the billboards for food, there were signs for getting vehicles fixed, washed, towed, tires. Next came ones for a variety of accommodations.
12:25 Banks of mailboxes.
12:27 Welcome To Whitehorse ... a long run downhill into town.
7,007.7 12:30 Now we have done a complete circle!
12:31 A windmill high up on the hill to the right ... gas at Can. $1.049/lt.
12:35 Still going downhill ... down ... down.
12:38 Flattened out and turning left on Two Mile Hill to go to the city center ... down ... down again!
12:44 Facing the Yukon River and the SS Klondike.
12:48 - 1:56 Downtown - parking $0.75 ... Tim Horton’s for lunch Can.$17.50 + $5.29 (ground coffee for our breakfasts). After eating I went to Canada trust to get cash and we walked along the street.
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1:59 A trolley on the train tracks passed by.
 
7,018.6 2:00 - 2:08 GAS - Whitehorse, YT - $1.049/lt. - 84.669 lt. - Can.$88.82
- ($2.54 super bucks to use at Super Store)
 
2:10 - 2:40 Super Store to restock our pantry ($33.25).
2:42 - 2:46 Home Hardware for nails.
2:49 - 3:02 Canadian Tire ($3.00 cash, but I can’t remember for what!) ... and now we are ready to leave town.
3:07 Back at the roundabout by the Yukon River.
3:09 Passing Robert Service campground where we camped 3 weeks ago today ... it seems like a lot longer - we have just done so much, but not all we would like to have done ... Whitehorse MP pp. 172 to 185,
3:11 Junction with the Alaska Highway ... we were on this section of road on our way up ... the sky is still gray and there is more light rain.
7,032.2 3:23 DC 874.4 - junction with the South Klondike Highway (YT-2) see MP p. 717 about the South Klondike Highway.
We are turning off for Skagway, the scenic route via Carcross, and as Bruce says,”We are off on a new adventure.” ... driving through/around hills wooded, and snow patches on distant mountains ... Carcross 53 km (32 miles), Skagway 159 km (100 miles).
3:28 Kookatsoon Lake on the left.
3:33 View of high mountains ahead, but there is a lot of cloud and it is raining ... this is an area with a lot of boarding kennels.
3:45 Gray Ridge Range to the right (west) and Caribou Mountain to the left (east) and Montana Mountain which has lots of snow on it is straight ahead or south - see MP p. 721 Mile S 75.4.
(On this section locations are given as miles from Skagway (S))
3:52 - 3:54 Emerald Lake on the right (S 73.5) - p. 721.
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3:55 Spirit Lake to the left.
Cinnamon Cache bakery sports an interesting sign - “EAT HERE OR WE WILL BOTH STARVE”.
3:57 Sandy embankments.
3:59 Have descended into quite a broad valley.
4:00 The sun is trying hard to get out from behind the cloud and shine down on us.
4:01 Carcross Desert - the world’s smallest desert and an International Biophysical Programme site for ecological studies (MP p. 721 mile S 67.3).
4:02 Turned around to go back to the desert.
4:03 - 4:13 Carcross desert.
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4:14 Lake Bennett to the right.
4:15 Entering Carcross, pop. 419, El. 2,175 feet - Carcross pp. 720-721
4:16 Crossing Nares Lake ... No Services for 105 km (65.2 miles).
Nares Lake to the left.
4:23 - 4:25 S 59.5 (p. 720) - Cove Island on the left. From there the road descends for quite some distance, mountains to the right and lake below in the valley to the left - Windy Arm, which is an extension of Tagish lake and continues along the side of the road.
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4:31 Passing old mill to the left - Venus Mine (S 54.2) ... arm of lake continues.
4:34 - 4:39 Mine workings - Venus Mines (S 52.4).
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4:40 A number of waterfalls coming out of the rocks on the right ... Windy Arm of lake continues.
4:41 A crest or high point and we go down again.
4:42 The Yukon/British Columbia border (S 50.2).
4:44 Passed the end of Windy Arm.
4:47 We are surrounded by mountains, all with snow on them ... going down a steep hill to another lake on the left - Tutshi (too-shy) Lake.
4:48 The road is by the lake and going down some more.
4:52 Still going down ... Tutshi is another big lake.
4:55 More waterfalls coming out of or over rock faces to the right ... rocky, precipitous mountains ... this highway has a very good surface.
4:58 The end of Tutshi Lake ... a lot of avalanche areas along the route.
5:00 Sam, “Notice how thin the overburden is” - fairly heavily forested area.
5:03Partially cloud covered snowy peaks ahead ... lots of huge rocks among the trees.
5:04 Small meadow to the right.
5:06 Snow poles along the road - these are guides for the snow ploughs in winter.
5:06 Marshes between the trees - some open areas with grass and ponds.
5:07 S 27.3 - Crossing the tracks of the White Pass & Yukon Route at LOG CABIN and turning off the highway.
5:08 - 5:18 Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site - (see MP p. 719 mile S 27.3 and S 14.4) ... BLACK FLIES - I can’t believe how lucky I have been up to this point. The mosquitoes had been awful, but things would have been much worse had I encountered black flies earlier in the trip!
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BLACK FLIES - I can’t believe how lucky I have been up to this point. The mosquitoes had been awful, but things would have been much worse had I encountered black flies earlier in the trip!
5:19 - 5:21 S 26.6 - Tormented Valley, a rocky desolate “moonscape” of stunted trees and small lake to the east of the highway.
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5:22 Driving down past a lake and the weird landscape - Fraser and Bernard Lake.
5:26 Entering Fraser, El. 2,400 feet ... Canada Customs ... BC/AK border 12 km (7.5 miles).
5:28 Snow right near the road.
5:30 Still passing “moonscape” landscape.
5:31 - 5:32 Two pictures when we stopped for Summit Lake to the left (Mile S 18.4) - rocks, streams, lakes, low clouds, lakes, lichen.
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5:36 Climbing ... clouds below us.
7,117.5 5:37 S 14.9 - U.S.-Canada (AK-BC) border - time change from Pacific to Alaska time so now the time is 4:37.


     NOTE:

     Jo and Sam lived in Alaska from June 26, 1967 until January 4, 1975. One of the last things Sam worked on before leaving Alaska was EIS, the Environmental Impact Statement for the road from Skagway to the U.S.-Canada border.


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4:41 - 4:44 S 14.4 - White Pass Summit, El. 3,292 feet - 14½ miles to sea level! ... driving through cloud and can’t see a thing!
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4:44 Sign: Truck Escape Ramp.
4:45 Coming down out of the cloud.
4:46 Skagway River Gorge - Captain William Moore Bridge over Moore Creek - unique suspension bridge (see mile S 11.1 MP p. 719) ... large waterfall ... long steep descent and another Truck Escape Ramp.
4:47 Can see the railway route to the left on the other side of the gorge - narrow-gauge railway completed in 1900.
4:51 - 4:58 Stopped for US Customs (S 6.8) and after leaving we continue to descend.
4:59 Road winding around the west side of the canyon and looking across to the railway (White Pass & Yukon Route) on the east side, the canyon deep below both the road and the railway.
5:01 Lake to the right - yellow pond lilies ... then another pond on the left ... this is unbelievable scenery ... the road continues to descend but goes through a cutting away from the main canyon.
5:03 First view of a cruise ship in Skagway.
5:04 Closure gate for traffic out of town if the pass is closed.
5:05 Sprinkling rain and we are supposed to be looking for a campsite!
5:06 S 1.7 - Crossing Skagway River and entering Skagway (MP pp. 706 to 712).
5:10 Down at the waterfront - sea level ... four cruise ships are in port.
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5:12 Turned around to the dock to photograph the ships.
5:22 Leaving after taking pictures and pulling into the office of the Pullen Creek Campground - $21.00.
7,133.1 5:31 Campsite ... looking through the trees from our camp we can see the cruise ships.
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We fussed around about where to set up the tent, then had it up in no time. I made the salad and Jo cooked supper - Creamy Parmesan Tuna Helper. It was very good (and I’ll be making that at home sometime).
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After all the cleaning up was done we walked over to see the White Pass-Yukon train which had brought people back to the ships.
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We watched one of the ships leave port and starting to head down Taiya Inlet before going for a walk around Downtown Skagway.
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We walked along the boardwalk photographing many of the old buildings, a lot of which have been designated historic by the National Parks and have plaques on them about the date of being built and what was their original use.
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I noted neither the time of returning to camp nor of turning in for the night!

The day’s total - 268.7 miles
Trip Total - 7,261.1 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 31 - Wednesday, June 29 - Skagway, AK to Teslin Lake Yukon Gov. Campground, YT

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7,133.1 9:10 Leave camp
I was up at 7 o’clock, the last one up ... It rained during the night, but I slept through ... went to have a shower but there was a line up so NO shower!
Cereal and toast for breakfast.
9:15 - 9:38 Parked by the dock ... 4 more cruise ships in this morning plus a fifth small one.
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7,134.8 9:42 - 11:45 We didn’t drive far before parking downtown ... Downtown was like a zoo this morning as to compared to our stroll last night, the town being full of tourists from the new ships in port - a totally different atmosphere for this historic town, though, perhaps, not so totally different from the days when it was overrun by gold seekers!
It was unbelievable just observing the tourist activity. Besides feverish shopping people were taking carriage rides and we even saw a rickshaw with (interesting but not politically correct) “Orientals riding, not pedaling”.
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We walked around town, went to the National Park Museum where we sat in on a film presentation
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We also did a bit of shopping ourselves (not jewelry and other high-tagged item - magnet $1.56, train and key chain M/C$13.42), and walked to and toured the Historic Moore Homestead - first white residents.
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After returning to the car, we drove over to Alaska Street, north as far as the school, back down Main Street, then north on State Street to 11th Street, thus seeing something of the town where the locals live ... 37°F.
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12:00 Pass the Skagway building which looked like the original depot!
12:01 Crossing the Skagway river.
12:02 Passing Gold Dredge Tours ... could see a dredge.
12:03 Turning off for Dyea, the road climbs along the side of a mountain.
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12:06 Pavement ends ... Skyline Trail, a narrow winding road with blind curves. It is a road virtually clinging to the cliff overlooking Lynn Canal.
12:10 End of the canal.
12:11 Rounding the corner and climbing the mountain again ... the road is literally carved out of the side of the mountain.
12:13 Lots of houses.
12:14 Another arm of water (fjord).
12:18 An eagle sitting by the outgoing tide.
12:20 Pavement ... Chilkat Guides ... vehicles.
12:21 Chilkoot Lodge (8.5 miles) - beautiful log building.
12:22 Crossing the Taiya river.
12:24 Gravel patches.
12:25 State Maintenance ends ... the trees in the forest are pretty big.
12:28 Turning for Dyea Historic Site ... dense forest - big trees - tall Sitka spruce (pound for pound one of the strongest woods).
12:32 - 12:41 Dyea Historical markers ... going to the mud flats ... forest floor carpeted in moss.
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12:43 Bridge over a creek.
12:55 - 1:10 Slide Cemetery - Avalanche April 3, 1898.
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1:14 Back at the Taiya River.
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1:15 - 1:32 Chilkoot Trail (9 miles) - start of the rough uphill climb for the gold seekers who chose this route to the Klondike ... Sam and Jo went along the trail a little further than I did. How I wish I could have been here a few years back and been able to cover the entire trail!
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     NOTE:

     When I was in Euless, TX Labor Day weekend (2005) I discovered that our friend, Marg, hiked the Chilkoot Trail years ago, and whilst there I read a book about the trail which she had bought at that time.


1:35 - 2:04 Lunch in the campground, a beautiful area with a palatial “outhouse” ... quite a big campground with 22 sites, all a good size ... bear-proof food storage lockers and something very surprising - recycling aluminum can disposal bin.
2:09 Back on road ... lots of pictures driving out until Sam said, “Close your window.”.
2:19 Picture of cutout figures - The Klondike Skyline Trail to AB Mountain.
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2:24 Back on pavement.
2:25 - 2:31 Scenic Viewpoint (3.8 miles) - overlooking Skagway ... another palatial outhouse!
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2:32 Back at the main highway, the South Klondike Highway, with a right turn into Skagway and a left turn to Carcross ... and we are on our way.
2:41 Passing U.S. Customs.
2:44 Passing the road closure gate.
2:49 Crossing the William Moore Bridge over Moore Creek and gushing waterfall.


     NOTE:

     This bridge over Moore Creek is a cable-stayed bridge - not a suspension bridge all over with cables to the deck, whereas with a cable stayed bridge the cable goes directly from the tower to the deck. Alaska was the first to use cable-stayed, girder-spanned bridges in the U.S. and Sitka was the first place in the U.S. to have such a bridge, the 1,225-foot-long O’Connell Bridge, connecting Japonski Island with Sitka. In 1972 this bridge replaced the small ferry that used to ply between the two islands.

     The O’Connell Bridge, which curves as it goes across, is an attractive bridge, and sustained very little damage in the ‘70 - ‘71 earthquake. The Sitka airport pretty much takes up the whole of Japonski Island and all a passenger can see as a plane lands is water.


2:53 Leaving from a viewpoint about the highway.
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2:58 White Pass, El. 3,292 feet.
3:00 The border and back in Canada ... Goodbye Alaska. A dream has been fulfilled in more ways than I could ever have hoped. I feel that by driving the Alaska Highway and camping in the wilderness, I have come closer to truly experiencing Alaska than I would have in any other way. Alaska will always hold a very special place in my memories of travel.
Now, as I type my notes, I long to return and wonder if it will ever be possible!
It is now 1 hour later - Pacific Time.
4:09 - 4:10 Fraser, El. 2,400 feet (S 22.7) - Canada Customs ... Carcross 43 miles.
4:16 Leaving Tormented Valley and crossing the railway line.
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4:19 A white water stream to the right of the road - quite a big stream rushing along.
4:26 Driving alongside Tutshi Lake.
It has turned into a much nicer day today than yesterday - still some cloud but also blue sky and sunshine.
4:30 This is a beautiful drive along the lake.
4:33 Carcross 23 miles.
4:35 Dark clouds over the mountains to the right and it looks as if it might be raining.
4:37 Away from the lake now, but it goes on for miles ... approaching a different lake, Windy Arm, also goes on for miles ... we are experiencing rain spots! ... rugged, rocky mountain - picture.
4:39 Starting to drive along Windy Arm.
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4:41 Entering Yukon Territory.
4:45 It is raining ... so much for the day being an improvement!
4:57 Bald eagle in flight.
4:58 Entering Carcross, El. 2,175 feet, and crossing Nares Bridge over the narrows between Lake Bennett on the west and Nares Lake on the east ... Nares Lake is really an extension of Tagish Lake which is further east. Tagish Lake flows into Tagish River then into Marsh Lake and thence into the Yukon River (see MP p. 168 Mile DC 867.3 for more details about the Yukon River).
4:59 - 5:02 Pictures of lakes.
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5:03 Turning off the highway to go into Carcross.
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5:04 - 5:26 Carcross ... Visitor center ... Matthew Watson General Store, one of the longest established businesses in the Yukon ... lots of pictures.
5:26 - 5:30 Driving around in Carcross and as far as Bennett Lake.
5:31 Back on the main highway, Whitehorse 74 km (46.0 miles), Dawson City 612 km (380.3 miles).
5:32 Mile S 66.5 - Turning onto Tagish Road (YT-8), east to Tagish, Atlin Road and Jake’s Corner on the Alaska Highway ... Tagish Road log is on p.725 in the MP ... sandy embankments (the back side of the Carcross Desert).
This is a piece of new road for us ... mountains, forests, ponds or lakes ... tree trunks at lake are white from alkali leeching up through the water.
5:36 J 30.2 (from junction at Jake’s Corner) - Chooutla Lake to the right.
5:40 Crag Lake to the right.
5:41 We have sunshine and rain.
5:43 Road is on a plateau with the mountains far away!
5:45 Canyon (tunnel) of tall trees.
5:48 Descending into a big valley - Tagish - MP p. 725 ... going down, down, down.
5:51 Passing turnoff for Tagish Lake.
5:53 Entering Tagish.
5:55 Mile J 13.1 - Crossing Tagish River, very wide, and to the left of the bridge is Marsh lake, headwaters of the Yukon River ... since crossing the river the road has been climbing gradually.
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6:00 A crest with an extensive view above the winding valley ahead. The road, chip sealed, is in excellent condition, but what shoulder there is, not marked, has quite a drop off ... very wide right of way and dense forest both sides.
From the crest the road has been descending.
6:05 Farm or ranch to the left with very nice red-roofed buildings.
6:10 Mile J 0 - Jake’s Corner ... Mile DC 836.8 (Historic Milepost 866) ... turning onto the Alaska Highway.
6:12 The road is wet! Above the tree line to the right a long line of lofty rocky headlands can be seen along the mountain range.
6:15 Milepost 1334 (km).
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6:17 Raining again.
6:19 Lake to the right and rain now just a sprinkle.
6:20 Interesting lakes and islands down below the road to the right.
6:22 Milepost 1324 (km) ... frequent lakes and marshes to the right.
6:23 Big lake to the left.
6:27 Squanga Lake to the left and marsh to the right.
6:28 Mountain ahead of us looks like a dome.
6:36 Milepost 1302 (km) ... excellent road but only traveling at 55 mph.
6:37 Milepost 1300 (km) ... a very dark cloud over the mountain to the right, blue sky and sun behind.
6:38 Raining to the left and to the right, sun shining ahead.
6:40 DC 808.9 (p. 165) - Johnson’s Crossing and bridge over Teslin River - yellow cliffs on one side of the river ... maximum speed 100 kph, so have speeded up (probably should have been that all along) - what a dizzying speed - faster than we’ve gone in a long time!
6:43 We are being rained on.
6:43 Big lake to the right - Teslin Lake.
6:46 Milepost 1286 (km).
6:47 Crossing Brooks’ Brook and lake to the right continues for miles.
6:48 Milepost 1284 (km) ... Teslin Lake is a bit like Kluane Lake - goes on and on and on, but Kluane is the biggest lake in Yukon Territory - maybe this one has length but is not as wide!
6:51 We seem to have driven out of the rain for a while, but there are still lots of clouds around.
6:53 Sign for School Bus: Lights flashing - Do Not Pass ... and Teslin Lake still to right.
6:54 Crossing Deadman’s Creek.
6:58 Milepost 1266 (km).
6:59 Beautiful view ahead of Teslin lake before the road curves to the left.
7:03 Mile DC 785.2 - turning into Teslin Lake Yukon Government Campground.
7:08 Back on the highway.
7:10 Mile DC 784.3 - turning into Mukluk Annie’s, but we decide to return to the campground ... to get the free camping at Mukluk Annie’s we would have had to eat there - Salmon Bake.
7:14 Back at Teslin Lake Yukon Government Campground.
7,311.3 7:18 Backing into a campsite - Can.$12.00 cash (Self) ... we worked together erecting the tent.
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Then, whilst Jo prepared supper, Sam drove me back to Mukluk Annie’s to use the public telephone there so I could talk to Anna and Stu to make arrangements for our visit to Vancouver, and also to LP.
7,313.4 Back at camp for the end of the day.
Tonight for supper we had salad followed by chicken and dumplings with peas - our camp food has been very good, thanks to Jo.
Today has been another wonderful day, really interesting, particularly going out to Dyea and stopping in Carcross. In fact these past two days have been packed with historic events and seeing a variety of natural wonders.
We drove until later tonight so as to get a few miles under our belts.
It is now 9:50 PM and I am sitting at the picnic table with my computer downloading pictures for both Jo and myself. I cannot write them to disk since I am not plugged into power.
Sam found a couple of diamond willow sticks from which he is stripping the bark There are a lot of quaking (quivering) aspens here and can see Teslin Lake in between the trees.

The day’s total - 180.3 miles
Trip Total - 7,441.4 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 32 - Thursday, June 30 - Teslin Lake Yukon Gov. Campground, YT to Bell II, BC

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Awake around 6 o’clock this morning and by 6:20 was getting everything ready for breakfast - cereal and toast with strawberry jam. It is so much easier to pack up when everything is dry. Besides now that we are on our way home we have finally got the knack of how to go about doing it all!
7,313.4 8:22 On our way.
8:23 On the highway - still on road we covered on our way up. We are still following the shore of Teslin lake.
8:32 Two pictures on the run of Teslin lake.
8:35 DC 776 - Nisutlin Bay Bridge - a long bridge, in fact the longest water span on the Alaska Highway - 1,917 feet (see MP p. 162).
8:36 Passing the pullouts from which we took pictures on our way up ... we have now left the lake (that is Teslin Lake) ... Teslin - MP pp. 162 - 164 ... Tlingit Indian, George Johnston, an interesting character - a trapper and a photographer.
8:58 Watson Lake 225 km (139.8 miles).
9:00 Super Natural BC Welcomes You (DC 751.5 - 1202.6 km).
9:04 We are seeing some pretty scruffy trees here, too ... lake to the left, stunted trees to the right. For the most part the trees are taller with some patches of muskeg-type areas.
9:10 Milepost 1186 km.
9:15 Highway people cleaning out all the logs which have piled up against the bridge over Smart River ... after this we are driving through a burn area.
9:18 We can see a big camp area down through the trees and there is a sign by the road for mushrooms (morels) for sale.
9:21 Can still see an extensive burn area.
9:23 Milepost 1164 km ... fence to the right of the road ... sign: Horses At Large NO SHOOTING.
9:24 Watson Lake 182 km (113.1 miles) ... burn area to the left and another camp ... Fence continues on the right ... also burn area both sides.
9:26 Swan Lake to the right (DC 719.6) - Historical Mile 743 ... all the dandelions we saw on the way up are now white-headed.
This morning the clouds started to clear and it looked to be a promising day. Instead the sky has clouded over and any sign of blue sky has disappeared.
9:30 Pretty little lake to the right with beautiful reflections.
9:35 Raining - AGAIN!
9:38 Reduced speed - 70 kph to 50 kph ... Sign: Leaving British Columbia and entering Yukon (DC 710.3) and crossing the Swift River (DC 709.8).
9:40 Crossing Seagull Creek ... sand dunes ... about a dozen motor cycles going in the opposite direction, all pulling trailers ... more rain.
9:44 Pine forest both sides with a carpet of moss and lichens.
9:48 Crossing Swift River culvert ... out of rain and the sun is shining through the clouds, some blue sky appearing.
9:50 DC 699.4 - Interpretive sign on the left of the road about the Continental Divide - MP p. 160.
9:51 Crossing Upper Rancheria River ... road is winding through forested mountains which have some snow on the higher rocky elevations.
9:53 Crossing Porcupine Creek ... the ground cover under the pines is more the bleached green of lichen than rich moss green.
9:55 Ponds on the right with beautiful reflections ... even the small creeks or streams are flowing swiftly ... the road is going through a valley between the mountains.
9:59 Picture on the run (DC 690) looking forward along a valley and hopefully the pretty stream - the Rancheria River.
10:02 Rancheria Hotel/Motel (DC 687.2).
10:18 A lot of blue sky and we are seeing much more of the sun.
10:22 Cassiar Mountains to the right, also the Rancheria river.
10:24 Crossing Lower Rancheria river (DC 664.3).
10:26 Watson lake 82 km (51.0 miles).
10:27 Someone pulled up on the shoulder and a lady doing rock graffiti ... husband was on the shoulder whilst she was having trouble keeping her balance on the embankment.
The wide right of way is really nice and allows you to see a long way ahead, the curves and the ups and downs.
10:31 Milepost 1,052 km (653.7 miles).
10:34 Back into spruce trees,
10:37 Stopped for a red light - single lane on the bridge over Big Creek - roadwork.
10:40 High point - layers of hills ahead ... another bridge, Little Rancheria Creek bridge, being refurbished - single lane.
10:42 Crossing Little Rancheria.
10:46 Muskeg to the right, then pine forest.
10:54 Milepost 1018 km.
10:57 Lots of rock graffiti ... rock messages spelled out along the highway were started in the summer of 1990 by a Fort Nelson swim team.
11:00 Big lake to the left.
11:01 CAUTION - entering a school bus zone.
11:02 3 km to the junction with Highway 37, the Cassiar Highway.
11:03 Turning into gas station - Junction 37 Services Mile 649, Km 1002 Alaska Hwy.
 
7,470.7 11:04 - 11:23 GAS - Junction 37, YT - $1.089/lt - 98.43 lt. - Can. $107.19
 
This was also a pit stop for all of us.
11:24 On Highway 37, the Cassiar Highway ... the distances are given from the junction with the Yellowhead Highway - J - but also from the Alaska Highway - AH - thus we can tell how far we have gone since turning onto the Cassiar Highway, but also how much further we have to go!
Once again we are on a new route ... so far the road is good, but trees come right to the shoulder.
7,472.9 11:27 Crossing the BC-YT border which is also the 60th parallel ... AH 2, J 448.1 - a long way to go and there doesn’t look to be much civilization along this route! Also the speed limit is 90 kph ... most of the road is surfaced but there is no center line.
See MP p. 255 for details about the road. We will be in BC for next several days. Passing through dense forest, mixed pine and spruce, taller trees ... we are following a truck pulling a trailer!
7,478.2 11:44 Leaving after bear pictures (AH 7.3).
11:46 Lake to the left ... roller-coaster straight stretch ... no traffic in front (lost it all when we stopped to watch the bear) ... at 45 mph it will take us a long time to get to Vancouver! The Alaska Highway was a lot better than this.
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11:52 Lake to the left.
11:53 Muskeg to the left ... there are a number of motor homes taking this route ... it is marshy in low-lying areas.
11:55 Loons on Blue Lakes - really lovely ... the lakes are not big but are pretty and scattered along the road.
11:57 Darker clouds looming overhead.
11:58 Milepost 695 km ... this is going to be a long day, mostly of trees in the wilderness.
12:13 Passing Milepost 675 ... lupines in flower along the road as well as yarrow and occasional purple flowers (?)
12:17 Milepost 670 km ... big lake to the left ... 580 km to Stewart.
12:19 Crossing French Creek, a good sized stream.
12:23 Sandy embankments ... more sandy embankments ... and we are catching up to the truck with the trailer.
12:26 Speed limit sign: 80 kph (50 mph) ... we have caught up to the truck and are back to 40 mph.
12:29 Finally able to pass the truck! Sam has announced that he’s not stopping unless there is some compelling reason to do so. He does not want to get behind that trailer again, and who could blame him! Clouds are coming back in.
12:30 Crossing Baking Powder Creek ... the forest is made up of tall, very thin trees.
12:34 Mountains to the right, - peaks with snow on them are in the clouds ... black sky to our left.
12:36 Milepost 645 km ... it is starting to sprinkle.
12:37 Beautiful red flowers on the left - Indian paintbrush ... the forest is dense with little undergrowth - a canyon of trees.
12:41 Passing the turnoff for Boya Lake Provincial Park (AH 52.7, J 397.4).
12:45 We are in among the cloud-covered mountains, the Cassiar Mountains - (see MP p. 270 Mile J 404.1 - mountain geology) ... and the road is pretty rough. There is a considerable amount of traffic going north.
12:47 Mud Lake to the left - loons, beaver lodge ... clouds ahead are well down into the valley.
12:50 A larger lake, Good Hope Lake to the left - pretty color.
12:51 J 389.7, AH 60.4 - Entering Good Hope lake - log buildings ... Dease River Band Council.
12:53 Milepost 625 km ... Dease Lake 137 km.
12:55 Avalanche slope to the right and big valley to the left.
12:56 Mountain sheep - stopped for pictures.
12:59 Milepost 620 km.
12:59 Milepost 618 km - Centreville.
1:01 AH 65.4, J 384.7 - Historical Marker - Cassiar Gold ... see MP p. 270 Mile J 384.7 about the largest gold nugget found in BC - 72 ounces .
1:03 The road is above the valley floor with some of the mountain carved away for the road ... there looks to be a canyon to the left.
1:04 Crossing No. 2 North Fork Creek - big waterfall ... Danger Area - 90 m drop to the river ... also an old asbestos mine - see p. 268 - J 376.1.
1:06 Crossing No. 3 North Fork Creek.
1:08 Milepost 610 km.
1:09 Cloud pretty thick over the mountain peaks.
1:12 Passing a cyclist with a trailer.
1:13 Dease Lake 116, Stewart 512.
1:14 J 374.7, AH 75.4 - Entering Jade City, pop. 12, and pulling off.
1:15 - 1:45 Jade City ... two businesses - Cassiar Mountain Jade Store on the west side of the highway (where we stopped first)
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and opposite on the east side Jade City Jade Store & Gift Shop.
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About 75% of the world’s jade supply comes from the Cassiar Mountain Range. What an interesting place!
I knew that my bear which Michael gave me was of BC jade and I can’t help wondering if this is where it came from.
It was amazing to see such big pieces of jade, literally huge boulders of it and interesting walking around in both stores. I particularly enjoyed the small display showing a piece of jade followed by several other pieces at various stage of a bear being carved. At the second jade store the display was of the carving of a bird and was called “Cycle of Life”.
1:46 Crossing a stream, Trout Line Creek (I think), coming or going through a canyon on the right.
1:50 Road on a causeway across a narrow valley and built above the surrounding land.
1:51 Lots of lichen on the ground under the forest ... lake to the left.
1:52 Crossing Limestone Creek ... it is raining!
Lake to the left continues and the road is a causeway across that and a series of Lakes ... J 368.8 - “Road runs on causeway between Twin Lakes.”.
1:54 Now only have the lake, which is a long one, on the right.
1:56 Pulling off, Simmons Lake, and going along what could be the old road, a single lane with leaves of bushes touching the car both sides.
1:58 Back on the highway without turning around.
1:59 Another lake on the right ... lots of cloud down in the valley.
2:04 J 362.3 AH 87.8 - Turning into Cottonwood River Rest Area No.2 (old highway) ... long way in ... pretty view of mountains and Cottonwood River.
2:06 - 2:26 Lunch by the river, a very pretty spot, but we called ourselves the swat team and were glad to be back in the car. The mosquitoes were determined that we should have a quick lunch and get on our way!
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2:28 Back at and on the highway.
2:29 Crossing the bridge over Cottonwood River.
2:30 Milepost 580 km ... every now and then the sun peeps out from behind the clouds and blue sky appears and disappears.
2:34 Milepost 575 km.
2:36 Passing Moose Meadows Resort, RV Park, camping.
2:37 Dease Lake 84, Stewart 480.
2:38 Evidence of burn area to the right, but there is a lot of new growth now ... trees, cloud, mountains, rain - a very gray day.
2:43 Lake to the left and it is raining seriously.
2:46 Milepost 560 km ... heavy rain.
2:47 Crossing Dease River.
2:50 The turnoff for Dease River Crossing RV & Campground ... the day really has deteriorated.
2:51 Lake to the right ... this is a wilderness road for sure! ... numerous lakes down the slope to the right - actually it is the Dease River below us.
3:03 Still following the Dease River.
3:05 Milepost 535 km.
3:07 Big lake to the right - Dease Lake.
3:09 We just ran out of pavement.
3:13 View of the lake, Dease Lake (a long narrow lake) through a gap in the trees and down a big ravine ... the lake is a long way down.
3:14 The sky is looking a bit brighter and the rain has almost stopped.
3:19 The road is starting to descend to the lake.
3:21 Driving alongside the lake.
3:22 Rest Area and picnic tables ... it is a big lake.
3:26 The sun is shining - probably briefly!
3:28 Over a crest and we can actually see quite a long way.
3:30 The road has climbed high above the lake again.
3:34 Descending again.
3:36 The sun is shining on us but a black cloud is hiding the mountains to the right.
3:38 A red carpet to the left - Indian paintbrush ... pulled into a pullout to the right to change drivers ... road paved again.
3:40 Off again ... lot of paintbrush both sides.
3:49 Entering Dease Lake, Unincorp., pop. 318 ... MP p. 265 Mile J 303.9 AH 146.2 ... it is raining again ... gas here is $1.109/lt.
Juneau, Alaska, is only about 100 miles west of here.
3:52 J 303.1 AH 147 - El. 2,690 feet - Divide between Pacific and Arctic Ocean watersheds.
3:53 Milepost 485 km.
3:57 Passing a fast flowing river with a lot of white caps on the right.
3:58 Crossing Tanzilla River, and we have sunshine again.
4:01 Milepost 475 km.
4:03 A series of ponds to the right.
4:05 Milepost 470 km.
4:06 Gnat Pass Summit, El. 4,072 feet.
4:08 Lower Gnat Lake to the left.
4:11 Another lake to the left with a small island ... heavy rain again!
4:12 Milepost 460 km ... stopped raining and can see four layers of mountains ahead.
4:16 Now it is pouring.
4:17 Out of the rain ... we are just in and out of showers all day long.
4:19 Milepost 450 km ... we are making better progress on good road (trip miles - 174).
4:21 What did I say? ... end of pavement!
4:23 Going downhill and a sign for trucks - MUST CHECK BRAKES.
4:25 TRUCKS GEAR DOWN FOR 5 KM.
4:30 J 272.1 AH 178 - Crossing the Stikine River (pictures), then uphill, 8% grade for 4.6 miles.
4:31 Hairpin bend.
4:32 Milepost 435 km ... fireweed ... a caravan of 20 motor homes.
4:37 Milepost 430 km ... daisies.
4:39 Back on sealed road.
4:43 Back on road after pulling off briefly - rest area, J 263.1 AH 187 - see MP p. 264 view southbound Mt. Edziza - dormant volcano.
4:43 172 km (107½ miles) to Bell II.
4:46 Eight horses at the right side of the road and a sign for lodges next 6 km.
4:48 More snowy mountains in front of us ... ranches, resorts, wilderness tours.
4:51 Descending to a valley at the foot of the mountains.
4:53 Milepost 410 km.
4:54 Next 10 km - lodging, food, etc. and a long descent.
4:55 J251.8 AK 198.3 - entering Iskut, pop. 283, unincorp.
4:58 The mountains are really beautiful, different greens and volcanic reds plus tongues of snow and clouds.
5:01 The road is still descending.
5:03 Big lake on right, Eddontenajon Lake, which we could see from the crest in Iskut.
5:04 Almost, but not quite, at lake level - a gorgeous lake.
5:08 Muskeg to the right.
5:09 Tatogga Lake Resort ... away from the big beautiful lake ... very tall trees.
5:13 Meziadin Junction 232 km (144.2 miles), Stewart 294 km (182.7 miles).
5:19 Crossing Todagin Creek.
5:22 Lake or river to the left.
5:23 Kinaskan Lake to the right and ahead ... the long lakes run north-south with the mountain ranges.
5:28 Alongside the lake.
5:29 Turning off for and driving through Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park & Campground.
5:31 - 5:36 Pit stop ... fireweed, cow parsnip, some pretty yellow flowers (not dandelions) ... pictures of the lake ... some campers were talking about mushrooms.
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5:40 Back on the highway, Sam driving again.
Meziadin 214 km (133.0 miles), Stewart 276 km (171.5 miles)
5:47 Surrounded by snowy mountains ... lots of pretty Christmas trees - nice shape!
5:48 Milepost 355 km.
5:49 Crossing Willow Creek - bridge wood-decked and end of pavement - 45 mph.
5:52 Crossing Rescue Creek - another wood-decked bridge ... above the tree line the mountains look black except where there is snow ... the sun is endeavoring to shine through the clouds.
5:56 Crossing Eastman Creek - named for George Eastman (of Eastman Kodak fame) who hunted big game in this area before the highway was built.
I think I have seen one glacier and I am looking for others.
6:00 Wide easement or right of way for the road - green grass and some wild flowers.
6:02 Sign: Brake Check For Trucks.
6:03 95 km (59.0 miles) to Bell II.
6:05 - 6:07 Pulled off for pictures of mountains.
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6:08 Milepost 335 km ... waterfalls coming down mountainsides.
6:08 9% downgrade ... rugged rocky mountains - snowy.
6:10 Precipitous cliffs on the left and overlooking a river to the right.
6:11 Crossing Burrage River ... waterfall coming over the cliffs on the left.
6:13 Pavement again ... water lilies on lake to the right.
6:15 Some blue sky in patches and sun shining on some mountains ... peaks to the right look amazing at the moment - lots of snow and some blue sky behind them.
6:16 Unbelievable - it is raining again!
6:18 Crossing Durham Creek - we couldn’t see the creek because it was down in a canyon ... the mountains just keep going and going and going.
6:20 Maziadin 166 (103.1 miles), Stewart 228 (141.7 miles) ... passing through the Iskut burn area (1958 fire destroyed 78,000 acres).
6:23 - 7:17 Sam stopped to look at the tires and found that one was flat, the rear passenger wheel, and he had to change it. This meant taking a lot of stuff out of the car, including the heavy box which contained the “kitchen” to get at the spare wheel.
I always dread the thought of having to do this myself, particularly when I’m moving stuff from one place to another and am loaded to the gills! So much stuff to be taken out of the car to get at the spare wheel!
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7:21 Milepost 315 km.
7:22 Crossing Thomas creek - also in a canyon.
7:25 Spanish moss on some of the trees.
7:27 Bridge over a canyon, but there was no posted name - probably Devil Creek bridge ... amazing mountain scenery - rugged sawtooth mountains and lots of snow ... gravel road.
7:36 Passing the turnoff for Bob Quinn Lake B & B ... also highway maintenance yard.
7:38 Little Bob Quinn Lake.
7:39 Meziadin 147 km (91.3 miles) ... fireweed ... closure gates.
7:46 Back on pavement ... Echo Lake - see MP p. 262 Mile J 179.6 AH 270.5, also Mile J 179.4 AH 270.7 for point of interest - Yukon Telegraph line - 1,900 mile Dominion Telegraph ... linking Dawson City with Vancouver .....
7:48 Road parallels the Ningunsaw River on right ... Gamma Creek to the left and crossing a waterfall coming down through the trees.
7:49 It is raining (were we ever lucky that it didn’t rain whilst changing the wheel!) ... the road has entered a narrow valley ... crossing Bend Creek which still has a long tongue of snow ... on and off pavement.
7:50 End of gravel ... and ...
7:51 more gravel ... the river is flowing in the opposite direction to the way we are driving ... narrow valley ... continuing on and off pavement ... rushing river.
7:53 Sun shining on green of mountains - picture ... this part of the highway has become quite spectacular and I would love for there to be time to stop along the way for pictures.
7:55 Very tall trees with some pretty good sized trunks.
7:57 Alger Creek ... cow parsnip ... Beaver Pond Creek ... astilbe ... J 171.1 AH 279 - Ningunsaw Pass, El. 1,530 feet - Nass-Stikine water divide.
7:59 The valley has widened.
8:00 A tongue of snow right down into the valley.
8:03 Milepost 270 km.
8:05 Fan Creek ... roadwork continues.
8:07 Revision Creek ... all these creeks are rushing streams.
8:08 Big tall trees - Spanish moss ... sun shining on the mountain ahead of road.
8:10 Major avalanches all along to the left ... large pond with yellow water lilies.
8:11 Masses of daisies around a rest area ... “memorial plaque dedicated to highway avalanche technicians killed in a slide here”.
8:12 Two tongues of snow down to the bottom of the valley on the right ... alternating pavement and gravel continues.
8:15 Meziadin 103 (64.0 miles), Stewart 164 (101.9 miles) ... fireweed - tall.
8:16 Dead trees where sloughs or marshes have formed ... amazing mountains - rocky snowy, dark green of fir/spruce and more of a spring green in the deciduous trees and spectacular when the sun shines on them.
8:21 Bell II 2 km (1.2 miles).
8:22 Raining again.
8:23 Crossing Bell-Irving River, a wide river flowing very fast ... helicopter landing.
8:24 J 155 AH 295.1 - Pulling into Bell II Lodge
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It was a beautiful looking lodge with a log entrances and hanging baskets with petunias on each side of the main entrance. The building has a stone foundation, then the first level is plastered and the second level wood.
Nothing could be done about the tire tonight and Sam was told to wait until 9 o’clock in the morning when someone may look at the tire - Canada Day - July 1!
I stayed in the car whilst Sam and Jo were in the lodge making inquiries about the tire and possible accommodations ... I noticed a car from Utah getting gas and leaving - a guy, three girls, a dog, and mountain bikes tied on the roof.
NO VACANCIES! So we will be tenting regardless of the weather.
8:43 Leaving from the front of the lodge to go to the campsite.
7,768.2 8:45 Backed in. This was the latest that we ever set up camp but at least all our gear was dry, so made things much easier.
We had spaghetti and sauce for supper, then went to bed, the darkest night we’ve had since Fort Nelson - no reading in bed - just went to sleep.

The day’s total - 454.8 miles
Trip Total - 7,896.2 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 33 - Friday, July 1 - Bell II, BC to Smithers, BC

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I had to get up during the night to go to the bathroom, a long walk past all the trailers and motor homes (3:25 am), but went back to sleep without much problem. I didn’t hear a thing until this morning when I heard a voice from outside, “Are you decent?” I had to stop and think and after a brief moment could respond, “Yes.”.
Both Jo and Sam were up and the coffee was ready. I had a wonderful shower, nice roomy shower stall and no coin slots. I washed my hair and had plenty of room to dry off, as well as dry between my toes!
By the time I got back from my shower Jo had all the sleeping bags stuffed and Sam’s and her mattresses rolled. Breakfast was the usual, cereal and toast with homemade strawberry jam.
7,768.2 8:30 Sam drove over to the lodge to see if the tire could be fixed. They plugged the hole, but the tire had a huge bulge in it and was pretty useless. We would have to continue our trip without a spare until we got to Smithers where we would find a Canadian Tire store - about 225 miles. Sam said the maintenance man who worked on the tire was very nice and didn’t charge anything - a Canada Day gift!
In the meantime, whilst Sam was gone, I wandered around taking pictures of the lodges and other buildings. (Fireweed at campsite was about 5 feet tall).
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7,768.8 9:40 Leaving from Bell II - Mile J 155, AH 295.1.
9:43 Passing a Rest Area by a lake on the left - Hodder Lake Provincial Rest Area ... Sign: Glacier Highway to Alaska, probably referring to the spur road to Stewart and to Hyder in Alaska - BC-37A at J 97.5 on Cassiar Highway!
9:56 Milepost 230 km ... it is beautiful - true wilderness country.
10:00 Milepost 225 km ... it is another cloudy day. However, we did not have any rain during the night so it was dry-tent packing this morning. We really lucked out late yesterday afternoon, too, as far as rain was concerned because there was no rain during the time the wheel was being changed!
10:04 Crossing Deltaic Creek which is flowing down to a river at our right ... every now and then when there is a break in the clouds you can see mountain slopes with snow on them.
10:07 Milepost 215 km ... lots of daisies blooming along the roadside ... we have been kind of chasing spring - the corn will be knee high by the time we get back - has to be knee high by July 4th or else it’s going to be a bad year!
10:09 View of the river through the trees.
10:10 Crossing Taft Creek.
10:11 Milepost 210 km.
10:14 Crossing Ritchie Creek ... Milepost 205 km.
10:18 Milepost 200 km ... the big river to the right is the Bell-Irving - getting bigger as it collects the water from all the creeks we have been crossing.
10:23 Sign: This area has been logged - absence of big trees.
10:24 Crossing spruce creek.
10:25 Milepost 190 km.
10:27 Bell I Crossing of Bell-Irving River - arched truss bridge ... big eddy to the right as a creek in the form of a waterfall drops into the river.
10:29 Milepost 185 km ... there is snow on the mountains back there behind us and here rain on the window.
10:30 Have been climbing since the bridge ... river is in a deep gully, then there is a wide valley and cloud covering the mountains on the other side ... lots of buttercups as well as daisies ... a lot of (blue) spruce and fir (deeper green).
10:34 Entering Nass Wildlife Area ... another logged area ... from a crest in the road can see for miles.
10:36 Views through the trees of tongues of snow on the other side of the valley ... dead trees in a slough ... water lilies.
10:37 Another slough with a small creek running through it ... water lilies.
10:38 Slough winding through the forest and opening up into a lake ... ducks.
10:40 Brake check (Mile J 105.4 AH 344.7) ... two historic markers but away from road ... descending 7% grade ... for the most part the road has been in good condition so far this morning ... some distant vistas as we descend the long downgrade.
10:44 Crossing Hanna Creek North, then climbing again.
10:45 Down again and a long distant view - several layers of hills and mountains.
10:47 Milepost 160 km ... dead trees standing in water to the right.
10:48 6% downgrade ... Stewart, 59 km (36.7 miles), is straight ahead on BC-37A.
10:50 J 97.5, AH 352.6 - Meziadin Junction ... turning to the left here with Cassiar Highway (BC 37) ... daisies and fireweed.
10:51 Leaving the highway and turning into Meziadin Lake Provincial park (AH 353.4).
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10:52 - 10:59 Pit stop and pictures of the lake and daisies ... the campground was nowhere near full - we haven’t seen that much traffic.
11:01 Back on the highway ... Milepost 155.
11:02 Crossing Hanna Creek South ( see MP p. 258 Mile J 95.5 & 96.7 - fishing).
11:05 Patch of color - daisies, fireweed and vetch.
11:08 Milepost 145 km.
11:10 Nass River Bridge - single lane - yield to oncoming traffic ... gorge is almost 400 feet wide and the main span of the bridge is 187 feet; bridge decking is 130 feet above the riverbed.
Can see the Coastal Range to the right - lots of snow on the mountains.
11:12 Daisies thick both sides of the road ... the area has been logged.
11:13 Elsworth logging camp and Meziadin Lake General store.
11:14 Can see the river to the right.
11:22 Milepost 125 km ... there’s some blue sky up there!
11:26 Milepost 120 km.
11:28 Driving in sunshine and it is raining, but just a few spots briefly.
11:32 Big sawmill to the right and a sign to watch for logging trucks.
11:35 Area to the left was logged in 1971.
11:36 Milepost 105 km ... area logged 1989.
11:39 More snowy mountains to be seen ... light green patches would be logged areas.
11:41 Sprinkling rain ... daisies lining the road.
11:42 Several rock cuttings for the road ... pretty lake to the right with marsh at the end.
11:43 Logged 1989 to the left.
11:44 Mass of fireweed making a splash of color ... logged 1990 - Kalum Forest District.
11:46 Possible boundary of forest - no more signs.
11:49 A black bear ran across the road in front of us.
11:52 Lakes to the right behind trees.
11:54 Huge cutting and the road going downhill to a creek - not named along this part of the road which, since Meziadin Junction, has both a center line and shoulder lines.
7,879.3 11:58 We have done 111 and still have to do 360 km (223.7 miles) to Canadian Tire!
12:02 Milepost 65 km.
12:06 Sun disappeared and the clouds creeping down into the valley.
12:07 Sprinkling again ... raining ... daisies prolific along both sides, also cow parsnip.
12:11 We are alongside a stream again.
12:12 Sign: Salmon and Trout Habitat (J 31.5, AH 418.6).
12:13 Area thick with cow parsnip and outnumbering the daisies.
12:15 Swampy area left and right - flooded area, probably because of beavers.
12:16 Milepost 45 km.
12:28 Seven Sisters Mountain Range to the southwest ... there are some pretty big trees which have died due to flooding.
12:29 Passing the turnoff for GITANYOW - Historic Village Project - see MP p. 258 mile J 13.1, AH 437 - one of the largest concentrations of standing totem poles in northwestern British Columbia ... it is raining.
12:31 High mountain peaks reaching up to the clouds - still have much snow on them.
12:33 Milepost 20 km.
12:36 Meandering stream to the right of the winding road.
12:36 Milepost 15 km ... raining here but the sun is shining on the mountain ahead.
12:38 Heavy rain shower - it is just teaming, raining sheets and blankets ... sun shining on the road ½ mile ahead!
12:40 House to left ... big patch of blue sky ... rain has stopped and we are in sunshine.
12:41 Start of a steep descent.
12:42 Reduce speed signs.
12:44 Stopped after pulling off the highway - KITWANGA (MP pp. 257-258).
12:46 Back on BC-37.
12:47 Big sawmill down to the right ... quite a lot of houses.
12:49 Very tall slender aspens - no leaves until near the top.
12:50 Crossing train tracks, and stopped at the Kitwanga Bridge - a single lane open on the bridge over the Skeena River - bridge being re-decked.
12:52 Starting to cross the Skeena River, a big very wide river.
12:53 Junction with Yellowhead Highway 16, turn right for Terrace, left Prince George.
7,927.2 12:55 Turning left onto the Yellowhead Highway 16.
1:00 Cattle grazing to the left.
1:02 Milepost 255 km.
1:03 Sheep’s Rapids on the Skeena.
1:04 Village to the left of the road.
1:05 Milepost 260 km.
1:07 Lots of color in the mountain to the right of the road, different greens of trees and the light-colored exposed rock above the tree line.
1:08 Beehive burner - old sawmill ... layers of mountains, rain falling from clouds ahead ... sun shining on us temporarily ... a beautiful area.
By not going to Terrace we have made our first change from the planned route! Actually we did make one other change, but only a switch in timing. We went to Skagway on the way back from Alaska rather than on our way to Alaska.
1:15 Milepost 275 km.
1:18 An entire field to the left was covered with daisies.
1:19 Milepsot 280 km.
1:20 Coming into Hazelston - see MP pp. 244-245 and p. 243 for New Hazelton.
1:22 Turning off at the Visitor Center - not stopping as Canada Day celebrations were going on and there were too many people around. Lovely area and beautiful hanging baskets all through the town.
 
7,952.3 1:24 - 1:34 GAS - Hazelton, BC - $0.975/lt. - 97.452 lt. - Can.$95.02
 
1:38 Milepost 290 km.
1:40 Raining again! We are seeing more traffic along this route.
1:44 Milepost 300 ... view of Buckley River ... PG (Prince George) 260.9 km.
1:45 - 2:09 PG 260.7 - viewpoint with picnic tables - we made this our lunch stop, a sandwich and fruitcake to celebrate Canada Day.
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2:11 Raining!! But not whilst we had our lunch! ... railway bridge to the right.
2:12 Blue sky, sun and rain!
In June 1967 Sam and Jo drove from Prince George to Prince Rupert and at that time drove through all these villages. The road has been rerouted since then.
2:15 Milepost 310 km ... this route has a lot more habitation along it.
2:17 Orange paintbrush to the right ... some high mountains ahead.
2:18 Milepost 315 km.
2:20 Moricetown - see MP p. 243 Mile PG 249.2 ... driving towards the high mountains.
2:22 Passing a Historical Marker for Moricetown Canyon ... Moricetown Falls and Canyon - see PG 248.9.
2:23 Smithers 31 km (19.3 miles).
2:26 Much closer to the high mountains but still don’t know which way we will skirt around them.
2:29 Crossing Trout Creek and we appear to have the mountains to our right now, that is to the south of the road.
2:30 Houses and cleared fields.
2:31 ½ dozen woolly llamas to the left ... lots of houses ... barns ... haystacks ... a sign for Houston - World’s largest fly rod.
2:32 View of glacier to the right ... quite a farming community.
2:33 Can see two glaciers, another one behind the first one we saw.
2:34 Passing the turnoff to the Fish Hatchery ... the two glaciers (Hudson Bay Mountain) are attached at the top with a rock hill dividing them.
2:36 Another glacier to the left of the last ones ... cleared pastures in the foreground.
2:38 Milepost 344 ... Heritage discovery - Circle Route (?)
2:40 Lake to the right at the foot of the mountains - Lake Kathlyn.
2:43 Entering Smithers (we made it!) - MP pp. 240-242 ... sculptures representing gateway - packhorse on one side and a bear with a cub on the other side.
2:47 Turning off for Canadian Tire.
2:48 - 3:18 Canadian Tire - no joy! - They did not have the right tire so we would have to look elsewhere.
3:20 Back at the highway and turning west (Canadian Tire was at the east end of town).
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3:24 Stopped by Kal-Tire - closed for the holiday but open tomorrow morning at 8:00.
7,999.3 3:27 Motel ($70.20 cash) ... Sam went and got the car washed - $4.00, then Peggy and Sam went to a Laundromat - $14.25 ... grocery shopping - $18.50.
I downloaded pictures and wrote to disk.
We drove downtown for supper - Steakhouse on Main - good salad bar which included hot food - soup, meatballs, rice, nachos ($12.47 - buffet).
8,004.1 8:57 Back at the motel for the night.

The day’s total - 235.9 miles
Trip Total - 8,132.1 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 34 - Saturday, July 2 - Smithers, BC to Lac La Hache, BC

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Bruce was up and showered by 6:30, then wanted everyone awake and up!! I made the coffee and we had our cereal for breakfast. Enjoyed a shower this morning, the second one in two days - WOW!
8,004.1 Bruce left to be at Kal-Tire when they opened at 8 o’clock. Our motel was located on the west end of town so I walked to what I call entrance “gates” to the city to photograph the packhorse on the north pedestal and the bear with her cub on the south pedestal.
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When he returned with a new tire we loaded the car and got on our way. We have to make a stop in Burns Lake for toque tightening of wheel nuts.
8,004.6 9:07 Leaving the motel ... a patch of blue sky and sun shining on part of the mountain.
9:12 Crossing Buckley River.
9:14 Burns Lake 140 km (87.0 miles).
9:16 A tunnel of trees - grass and wildflowers back to a fence, then the trees.
9:19 Entering Telkwa - PG 220.3 (MP pp. 239-240) - nice town name sign.
9:20 Rapids on the river ... pretty park ... some houses facing the river ... Farmers Market (there was one also around the Visitor Center, an old CN passenger train car, in Smithers).
9:22 Leaving Telkwa ... beautiful green grass in cleared areas.
9:23 Milepost 370 km.
9:24 Red Indian paintbrush.
9:27 Lots of cattle lying in the field to the right, then a lovely red barn and other farm sheds.
9:28 A number of horses ... a high point in the road and a dip down into the valley ... there are some really lovely looking farms through this valley ... very lovely against the backdrop of mountain peaks still with snow patches on them.
9:33 Lovely view of the mountains to the right (south).
9:34 Sheep to the left - three black ones among the flock.
9:35 Houston 28 (17.4 miles), Prince George 333 (206.9 miles - 4 hours - 1:30!).
9:40 Some lovely homes ... it is very nice looking country - lush.
9:41 PG 200.5 - Hungry Hill Summit, El. 2,769 feet ... snow-capped peaks of the Babine Mountains to the north, the Hudson Bay Range behind us (to the west).
9:43 6% downgrade ... round a corner and a distant view ahead of hills and mountains, then going downhill we are back into forest, but can see the farming country in the valley ... I am very impressed with the countryside through which we are driving.
9:45 Cleared fields and cattle.
9:46 Entering the District of Houston (MP p. 238 - Houston).
9:47 A log house upon a hill to the left overlooking a field of daisies.
9:48 Sign: “Houston Welcomes You” ... crossing creek then going through underpass for railway ... this is where the Buckley and Morice Rivers join.
9:50 Old beehive burner to the left.
9:53 Turning off at the Visitor Center next to Steelhead Park, a very lovely roadside park with peonies in flower - World’s Largest Fly Fishing Rod and fish fountain with large steelhead statue. The 60-foot-long fly rod was designed by a local avid fly fisherman and built by local volunteers; the 21-inch fly is a fluorescent “Skykomish Sunrise.” My photograph from the car is not very good because it was the wrong way for the light!
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9:57 On the highway again.
9:58 Houston Bridge - Buckley River ... first crossed the railway then the river.
9:59 Prince George 302 km (187.7 miles).
10:04 Masses of paintbrush both sides, much more orange than red ... farms and beautiful homes continue.
10:05 A big cutting made for the road.
10:06 Railway running parallel with the road on the right.
10:13 Paintbrush ... sheep ... cattle - Herefords.
10:14 Pretty field - yellow flowers, red grass and an old log house.
10:15 Entering Topley [The Yellowhead Highway is the Trans Canada 16].
Signs along the road are for the Circle Route, British Columbia, Great Northern Heritage Discovery - a rather attractive sign.
10:17 Burns Lake 48 km (29.8 miles).
10:18 The mountain to the right has a high vertical rock face, facing west - MP p. 238 Mile PG 164.7 : “China Nose Mountain, with steep west-facing cliff, is visible to the south.” ... cows are grazing in the foreground ... lots of cattle all through the area and lots of pasture.
10:20 Chain Up Area ahead! ... chain up area, then the climb starts with a passing lane.
10:21 Milepost 455 km.
10:22 Chains may be removed.
10:23 Cattle sale yards on right ... it is raining ... paintbrush and daisies continue, also some small yellow flowers which I can’t identify as we speed by..
10:27 Lake through the trees to the left ... we seem to be in more gently rolling country and away from the higher snowy mountains.
10:29 7% downgrade.
10:30 Milepost 470 km.
10:33 Milepost 475 km ... airfield to the right - used by fire planes.
10:35 A very nice rest stop ... a big lumber mill back behind the trees.
10:38 A myriad of buttercups.
10:39 Milepost 485 km ... lakes to the right.
10:41 House to the right with a lovely big vegetable garden.
10:42 Decker Lake to the right - big lake ... it continues.
10:45 Entering Burns Lake - PG 139.9 - MP p. 237 - Gateway to Tweedsmuir Park.
10 :47 - 10:56 Kal-Tire to have the wheel nuts checked with a torque wrench.
10:56 - 11:03 Getting coffee from a Chinese restaurant!
11:06 Leaving Burns Lake ... Fraser Lake 67 km, Prince George 222 km (139 miles) ... area much more populated.
11:09 River below the road on the right.
11:11 Milepost 505 km.
11:16 A lot of pretty lakes through here, also pretty homes ... a lot of trees have that reddish look as if they have been infected by the spruce beetle!
11:19 A lot of logs in a huge lumber yard - Babine Forest Products - PG 125.
11:20 Milepost 520 km.
11:22 Key-Ho Wood Products to the right.
11:26 Huge power line, just one of many we have seen today so far.
11:28 The sun is shining, momentarily at least!
11:29 An eagle ... lovely ranching country.
11:36 Welcome To Vanderhoof District.
11:38 Crossing the Endako River (PG 105.5).
11:40 Entering Endako ... the dead trees, reddish, seem to be pines rather than spruce.
11:45 Milepost 560 km.
11:46 Big lake to the left - Francois Lake.
11:47 Crossing Stellako River.
11:48 Welcome to Fraser Lake.
11:52 Big lake to the left (north) - Fraser Lake ... Beaumont Provincial Park.
11:57 Passing Dry William Lake Rest area - large lake on the right/
11:58 Milepost 580 km.
11:59 Another huge power line ... more paintbrush ... daisies continue.
12:00 A lot of dead trees - infected - spruce and pine.
12:01 Crossing the Nechako River.
12:02 Entering Fort Fraser, named for Simon Fraser who established a trading post here in 1806 - see MP p. 237 Mile PG 81.8.
12:03 Prince George 134 km (83.3 miles) ... fireweed blooming.
12:04 It is raining.
12:07 It is now raining heavily ... extensive cleared area ... farming ... lush fields ... cattle grazing ... the topography through here really lends itself to farming.
12:13 Piles and piles of logs to the right - a big operation with an active beehive burner - Slocan Sawmill (PG 72.3).
12:14 Still raining and passing a miserable cyclist, loaded with saddle bags!
12:19 Countryside opened up a lot both sides of the road.
12:20 A grain field on the right.
12:21 A number of horses.
12:22 Passing the turnoff for Historic Fort St. James on 59-mile-long Stuart Lake - fur trading post (MP p. 235 PG 58.7) ... horses.
Vanderhoof 7 km (4.3 miles), Prince George 104 km (64.6 miles)
12:23 A creek meandering to the right of the road ... reduced speed.
12:24 To the left - piles and piles and piles of logs - Nechako Lumber Company - a huge operation.
12:25 “Welcome to Vanderhoof” Geographical Centre of British Columbia ... lovely garden and rocks with BC flag. It is also a center for migrating waterfowl - MP p. 236 Mile PG 58.7 ... the city was named for Chicago publisher, Herbert Vanderhoof, who founded the village in 1914 when he was associated with the Grand trunk development Company.
12:28 Turning around to go to Tim Horton’s.
12:30 - 1:05 Tim Horton’s for lunch ($5.47).
1:08 Back on the highway.
1:17 Sheep ... Milepost 640 km.
1:21 Another big lumber yard and another beehive burner.
1:22 Another big power line ... lush fields and cattle continue.
1:26 Large lake turning into a marsh to the left.
1:29 PG 38.7 - Lovely Cluculz Rest Area to the right ... there were also interpretive signs ... Cluculz Lake below - not visible from the highway.
Prince George now 62 km (38.5 miles).
Since lunch we have seen extensive grassy areas, new or young forests, and are seeing a tremendous number of dead trees - bark beetle of some kind given the color - rusty red.
1:34 Sign: Trucks Gear Down 6% Grade ... lake below us to the right.
1:37 Bednesti Lake Resort - lake where you can go fishing.
1:39 Tamarac Lake to the right.
1:40 Big power line parallel with the road at the moment and lots of red flowers (?) to the right.
1:42 Big clumps of fireweed to the left ... we seem to be away from farms and ranches now - mostly forest and scattered lakes.
1:48 Heaps of logs where the forest has been logged recently.
1:49 Fireweed seems to be the predominant wildflower here.
1:53 8% downgrade - a big hill!
1:54 Crossing Chilko River, then up.
1:56 Raining again!
1:57 Milepost 705 km.
1:58 Many more homes as we approach Prince George (about 15 km to go).
2:00 Sign: Welcome to BC’s Northern Capital Prince George (see MP pp. 100-103) ... there are lots of people who live down all the side roads nearly all the way to Vanderhoof, that is judging by the number of mailboxes!
2:02 Power line (big) crossing the road.
2:04 Sign: Traffic laws enforced by cameras.
2:07 Wal*Mart, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Tim Horton’s ... gas $0.969/lt.
2:09 View of water, possibly the Fraser River, and a big bridge crossing it ... traffic and traffic lights - our wilderness adventure is coming to an end!
2:14 - 2:27 Visitor Information Center ... paintbrush on street banners.
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2:33 - 2:36 Pine Centre looking for a Green Machine - Canada trust - W/D $300.00 cash.
8,238.2 2:37 We are back on the highway but have changed highways from Trans Canada 16 to BC-97.
(Miles shown as CC - Cache Creek)
2:40 Starting to cross Fraser River via Simon Fraser Bridge - South end at CC 272.4.
2:48 Passing under big power line.
2:54 A bison ranch to the right - lots of babies ... then sheep and lambs.
2:55 Sign for Tennessee Walking Horses ... lupines ... paintbrush ... ranches ... forests ... fireweed ... rain - that incessant rain which keeps plaguing us.
3:00 Fraser next to us on the right.
3:08 Two big power lines to the right.
3:09 White cows look nice along green grass.
3:10 Cache Creek 396 km. (246.1 miles).
3:13 A long downhill run ... there are farms tucked back behind the trees.
3:16 6% downgrade ... entering Hixon (CC 236.6) ... Hixon is spread out along the highway - see MP p. 98 ... sign: Lake and Trails - Circle Route _ Heritage Discovery and Lakes and Trails.
3:21 The rain is very persistent! Really!
3:22 Welcome to the Caribou District.
3:24 Pastoral scenes to the right ... stand of fireweed.
3:28 Some blue sky to the right which means it will rain again soon!!!
3:29 Lovely pastoral scene to the left ... Cache Creek 368 km (228.7 miles).
3:30 Dunkley Lumber - a huge place to the left, also beehive burner ... blue sky ahead and the sun trying to shine ... dense forest.
3:33 - 3:35 Pulling off to the side to change drivers.
3:36 Milepost 356 ... (CC 221.8) - Cinema 2nd Hand - Cinema, BC - see MP p. 98 ... daisies by the thousands.
3:39 Quesnel 31, Williams Lake 153 ... more trees ahead affected by the infestation of pine bark beetle.
3:41 Marsh to the right - swamp.
3:43 Lake to the right with water lilies around the edge.
3:46 6% downgrade Railroad bridge.
3:51 Passing the turnoff to 10 Mile Lake Provincial Park ... Milepost 332 km.
3:52 Going under three sets of power lines.
3:54 Signs for motels, B & B’s.
3:55 Entering Quesnel, pop. 11,114, El. 1,789 feet ... huge gold pan used for the sign - see MP pp. 96-98.
3:56 - 3:57 Stacks and stacks of lumber and big stacks of logs ... big mills and lots of motels.
3:59 Downtown Quesnel ... nice park with picnic tables ... petunias in flower all along the main street - very, very pretty.
4:00 Fraser River ... wooden foot bridge ... water wheel.
4:02 Lovely rose garden ... beautiful town ... lots of gardens.
4:03 Crossing railway, then crossing the Quesnel River.
4:04 Williams lake 121 km. (75.2 miles) ... Quesnel is a big city and we are still driving through it.
4:09 Out of town.
[Chena River Cruise was to celebrate 40th anniversary, but they took a chaperone along - much laughter!]
4:12 Black Arabians - horse farm.
4:14 Into farming pastoral country - forests cleared and the fields are grassy.
4:15 A plant to the right making wood pallets.
4:16 CC 186.4 - Kersley, unincorp. ... nice park.
4:20 Hay ... horses ... paling fences.
4:24 Train load of wood chips to the left.
4:25 Sun shining temporarily.
4:26 Passing a very nice rest area.
4:30 Close to the Fraser River again.
4:32 7% downgrade.
4:33 Field of cut hay to the right - not yet baled.
4:34 Old highway to the right ... good view of the river.
4:36 Fort Alexandria * - Historic site - CC 167.3.
4:37 Devil’s Palisades * - formation of basalt columns.
4:38 Lots of cows grazing in lush field.
4:39 Ferry across the Fraser River (not operating in 2004).
4:41 Caribou Castle * - glass sculpture museum and rock shop.


     *
     I would have liked to stop at these places, particularly the Devil’s Palisades.


4:42 The mighty river is below the road to the right and the valley seems to be closing in a bit, so is not as wide.
4:44 More cut hay to the right.
4:45 Back close to the river again and driving in sunshine.
4:46 Noticed a plaque about paddle-wheelers at a pullout as we drove by ... though the sun is shining there have been showers through the area.
4:47 Hillsides forested again.
4:49 Lake to the right, McLeese Lake ... the river is on the other side of the forested hill.
4:50 McLeese Lake a very pretty lake ... the hills are getting bigger ... road wet again.
See MP p. 95 Mile CC 146.6 - Shuswap Village - traditional Shuswap lifestyle, also Soda Creek and the Caribou Gold Rush.
5:00 Power lines again, going up the hill.
5:01 Lovely barn and cattle yards ... passing under 3 sets of power lines.
5:03 Lush green field right out to the drop off into the gully.
5:05 Passing the turnoff for Horsefly and Likely - interesting names! ... big log place to the left ... road winding through the hills.
5:07 Lots of horses, some with at least five birds sitting on their backs. Throughout the day I have noticed only a bird or two on horses’ backs.
5:08 Beautiful log house on the left ... habitation has increased considerably.
5:12 Turnoff for Williams Lake Municipal Airport ... coming into Williams Lake.
5:14 Horses and foals ... some beautiful homes ... separate little valley with lots of housing.
5:16 Passing a Brake Check area ... Welcome to Williams Lake ... See MP pp. 94-95 Mile CC 126.
 
8,386.8 5:21 - 5:43 GAS - Williams Lake, BC - $0.978/lt. - 90.794 lt. - Can.$88.80
 
Whilst stopped we also bought milk and, from a roadside stall, some fresh fruit - raspberries and cherries (delicious).
The city of Williams Lake, pop. 12,000 is laid out along the valley ... very extensive area in the valley and up the hills whilst Williams Lake (the lake) is to the right of the road.
5:49 Some nice houses down by the lake and some beautiful ones on the left of the road and these overlook the lake.
5:50 Beautiful logs on the right for building log houses.
5:54 CC 116 - Entering 150 Mile House - see MP p. 90.
5:56 Nice rolling green hills and pretty little lakes.
5:58 Beautiful valley.
6:00 Horses ... farm with a number of log and wooden buildings ... I think the land was all forested at one time ... really do miss the mileposts!
6:05 Cattle grazing.
6:06 Woods or forest right up to the road - no fields.
6:07 Crest of a hill and the road is fairly straight - can see it for a long way.
6:08 Back to green fields ... lots of log houses or buildings throughout the area.
6:09 CC 102.2 - Historical Marker “To The Goldfields”.
6:10 Pretty stream to the right with water lilies ... series of lakes to right ... water lilies ... 100 Mile Wetlands (CC 99.7) - MP p. 90.
6:14 CC 95 - S Jose River west of the highway - A. Y. Jackson, Canadian artist and one of The Group Of Seven, painted in this valley.
6:16 Welcome to Lac La Hache, known as “longest town in the Cariboo”.
6:17 CC 94.1 - Turning into Lac La Hache Provincial Park campground to find a campsite.
8,418.6 6:22 Backing into Site # 80 - $14.00.

   2005_08_02a.jpg         For supper we had Beef Stagonoff Hamburger Helper with French beans for supper. We also enjoyed the last of the fruit cake along with some fresh cherries.

     After clearing up following supper, we walked to the lake, the other part of the Provincial Park which is on the opposite side of the highway from the campground.

     We found that a tunnel has been constructed recently under the highway for pedestrian traffic between the campground and the lake.

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     We watched an eagle and an osprey chasing each other, saw and heard loons on the lake and took in the sunset.

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It was a very enjoyable walk and a lovely way to end the day. At the moment I’m recalling all the other places where we took a walk by a lake, or near water, following supper - Banff, West Fork of the Dennison, Byers Lake (before supper), Portage Glacier, Anchor Point, Kenai Lake, Valdez, Kluane Lake, Skagway, and now here. I don’t think I missed any!

The day’s total - 414.5 miles
Trip Total - 8,546.6 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 35 - Sunday, July 3 - Lac La Hache, BC to North Vancouver, BC

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I woke up this morning at 7:15 after an excellent night’s sleep ... we were camped in a beautiful campground. We had fresh raspberries what a treat - with pancakes for breakfast.
8,418.6 9:19 Leaving from Lac La Hache Provincial park campground.
9:21 On the highway - dusty because of roadwork which included the recent construction of an underpass from the campground to the other section of Lac La Hache Provincial Park by the lake which is a long lake.
9:27 CC 91.7 - Cariboo Guest House - log home ... Kokanee Bay - lots of houses, lodges and campgrounds ... lots of yellow flowers - goatsbeard.
9:28 A field of yellow.
9:30 Lake - I think it is still Lac La Hache ... Easy Go Ranch - lots of horses ... beautiful log houses and cabins.
9:32 CC 85.5 - Entering Lac La Hache - the community stretches along 11 miles of Highway 97 ... this valley is absolutely gorgeous - the lush green grass, the abundance of wildflowers.
9:36 A lot more trees and the homes more spread out ... horses.
9:38 About 8 eagles, mature and immature, in a field to the left feeding on something!
9:40 108 Mile Ranch Heritage Site - see MP p. 89 Mile cc 78.2 - interesting historic original log buildings ... rest area beside 108 Mile Lake ... interpretive markers.
9:42 Runway to the right ... small plane and airfield.
9:43 108 Mile Ranch Resort.
9:44 A lake to the right and a big logging place.
Today the sun is shining and what a difference that makes both to the scenery and to one’s outlook!
9:49 Entering 100 Mile House, site of 2 lumber mills and an OSB plant ... history - see MP p. 89 Mile CC 70 ... bustling community with Save-On-Foods, KFC. Ramada, Super 8, etc.
9:50 Visitor Center to the right ... 39-foot-long skis.
9:51 Cache Creek 113 km (70.2 miles) - should be there by 11 o’clock.
9:52 70 Mile House 40 km.
9:53 Forested both sides ... homes tucked back in the trees ... some swampy areas ... log fences (snake fences) ... pine bark beetle infestation.
9:56 Mountain tops can be seen above the hills ahead ... another log house building.
9:57 93 Mile House, (unincorporated).
9:58 Marsh lakes both side - beaver lodge - loons.
9:59 Another marsh to the right.
10:00 Marsh in low-lying areas between hills which are covered with trees.
10:01 Swampy lake to the left ... the area is well populated throughout.
10:02 Swamp to the right - full of dead trees.
10:03 Mount Begbie, El. 4,187 feet - see MP p. 88 Mile CC 57.
10:04 Marsh ... beaver lodge ... Canada geese ... 83 Mile House - Mile CC55.8.
10:06 Lake in between the trees.
10:07 Cache Creek 87 km (54.1 miles) ... back to a carpet of daisies, along with wild mustard, goatsbeard and yellow clover.
10:10 Forested areas ... marshes with lakes.
10:11 Leaving Cariboo Regional District.
10:12 Bigger lake to the right with forested islands.
10:14 Lots of large rocks in between trees ... snake log fence which dips into lake on both sides - more water than when the fences were built.
10:15 70 Mile House (unincorporated) - CC 45 ... a lot of old buildings around, a lot of them falling down ... we now have less than 40 miles to where we leave Highway 97 and turn onto Highway 99.
10:21 Goatsbeard, asters, paintbrush, daisies.
10:22 Top of hill - long downhill- straight road ahead.
10:23 59 Mile Roadhouse.
10:26 Logged selectively 1969.
10:28 A reddish colored grass adds to the colorful countryside ... going downhill ... quite a valley over to the left and we are entering the mountains.
10:33 Welcome to Clinton (CC 25) ... originally site of 47 Mile House - see MP p. 88 ... beautiful hanging baskets.
10:35 Leaving town - Cache Creek 39 km (24.2 miles).
10:38 A place on the left has a big waterwheel - Waterwheel Café ... gaillardia and wild geranium ... lakes ... forests ... wildflowers ... ranches ... log fences ... daisies ... horses and more lakes.
10:40 Willow Springs RV Camp.
10:41 Horses ... lake to the left.
10:42 Lots of lupines to the left ... a field being irrigated to the right ... alfalfa ... gaillardia and wild mustard ... horses.
10:42 Pretty field, yellow with wild mustard backed by a rocky cliff.
10:44 We are now winding through the mountains, Cache Creek 26 km (16.2 miles).
10:45 A ¼ field - pivot irrigation ... log farm sheds ... we are going downhill fast into a narrower valley ... starting to see sagebrush, indication of dryness and desert!
10:46 Still going down ... valley widens as it meets another valley coming in from the left and the road and a stream are winding through the valley.
10:48 Horses ... hillsides very dry looking ... horses and cattle in the valley.
10:51 - 10:55 Stopped by colored cliffs - I took a couple of pictures from the car before we stopped ... lovely view of the colored cliffs ... BC Historical Plaque - see MP p. 88 Mile CC 9.5 - B.X. stage coaches.
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10:57 Sagebrush is thick ... this is the most arid area we have been in for a long time.
10:58 CC 7 - Leaving BC-97 and turning onto Highway 99 - Sea to Sky Highway (or in reverse ‘from the mountains to the ocean.’.
(Miles shown as V - Vancouver).
10:59 Lillooet 73 km (45.4 miles), Pemberton 110 km (68.4 miles), Whistler 207 km (128.6 miles).
Historic Hat Creek Ranch - see MP p. 82 Mile V159.5.
10:59 Roadwork - cutting away cliffs of canyon ... since the turnoff there has been hardly any traffic ... there’s not as much habitation either.
11:09 Cattle ... irrigated alfalfa ... road above the valley floor and going around the hills (mountains).
11:15 Entering Marble Canyon ... lots of goatsbeard, yellow and white clovers, blue vetch ... high cliffs to the right above Butterfly Springs (?) to the left.
11:17 Big mining area - cliffs on the right have been cut down.
11:18 Rocky cliffs both sides and up side canyons.
11:19 Several houses in the area ... Marble Canyon demonstration ... Marble Canyon Provincial Park ... campground ... lake to the left of the road ... trout. Before this lake there was a vivid emerald green lake.
11:21 Start of Pavilion Lake.
11:22 Vancouver 300 km (186.4 miles).
11:23 A cottage on an island in Pavilion Lake ... the road is winding around the shoreline.
11:26 Valley opened up a bit and immediately there is sagebrush in the valley and up the hillside.
11:27 There is farming at the bottom of the valley after the lake ends at end of canyon.
11:28 Quite a ranch - horses ... lots of yellow mustard - brilliant yellow, then the gray green sagebrush.
11:30 Passing Pavilion, an oasis in the desert - V 183.
V 178.5 - Ginseng fields under tarpaulins of black plastic mesh - most of the world supply of North American ginseng is grown here in the dry area of the southern Cariboo.
11:31 Crossing BC Railroad tracks - hopscotching with the railway!
11:32 Railway high up on the hill on the other side of the mountain.
11:33 Huge canyon below and I think the Fraser River is down in that canyon.
11:35 First view of the river in the canyon ... pictures from the car.
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11:36 Green fields to the edge of the cliffs above the river.
11:37 Stacks of beehives ... lots of purples in flowers at edge of road ... crossing railway.
11:40 Rugged mountain peaks and snowy mountains behind those - What a canyon!
11:44 Leaving after pictures ... 10% downgrade ... more pictures from the car driving along ... more pictures.
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11:46 Beehives.
11:47 - 11:54 Stopped for more pictures ... quail like looking bird ... Lillooet 15 km (9.3 miles).
11:55 Under railroad and hairpin turn as we go uphill.
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Circle Route - Cariboo - Ranch Lands and Rivers
11:57 Houses and farming on the flat bench between the mountains to the left and canyon to the right ... big rolls of hay.
11:58 9% downgrade ... looking back to the canyon - WOW - fantastic, amazing, unbelievable, breath-taking ... rugged beauty.
12:02 - 12:07 Views over the rapids at the confluence of another river.
12:08 Big waterfall to the right ... junction of Cayoosh Creek with the Fraser.
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12:12 - 12:14 Overlooking railway and suspension bridge.
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12:16 Tarpaulins over ginseng fields ahead ... Fountain Ridge Ginseng Farms.
12:18 Beehives ... horses ... V 162 - turn right into Lillooet ... Coast Cariboo.
12:19 Between V 162 & V 159.5 - Welcome to Lillooet and bridge, Bridge of the 23 Camels, over the Fraser River.
12:23 Leaving from the cairn and panel about the camels.
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12:27 Having passed the turnoff into the town (Lillooet) the cliffs along the road are sheer rock walls.
12:28 V 157.3 - Turning off for a picnic ground - pit stop and lunch.
12:29 - 12:59 Naxwit Picnic Area, a lovely spot ... information signs.
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1:00 Back on Highway 99.
1:01 A one-lane bridge ... 160 miles to Vancouver (that is downtown as the Sea to Sky Highway mileages in Milepost end at the north end of the Lions Gate bridge before crossing Burrard Inlet into the city).
1:02 Seton Lake ... hairpin bend ... doesn’t take long to climb up!
1:03 Trucks check brakes for hill ahead.
1:04 On the other side of the mountain from Seton Lake ... pretty waterfall across ravine ... another change in flora ... more heavily wooded areas, also shrubs.
1:06 Hairpin turn.
1:07 Now high above the waterfall we were looking at ... shrubs covered in flowers.
1:08 Sheer rock walls on the opposite side of the valley with trees above them.
1:09 13% downgrade.
1:11 One-lane bridge over racing white water stream ... bottom of the 13% grade, then climbing again ... unbelievable scenery ... canyon ... high rocky cliffs ... winding through the mountains.
1:14 House down at the bottom to the right.
1:15 Road into the house - For Sale sign!
1:16 11% downgrade - the most rugged country we’ve been in!
1:17 Pemberton 80 km (50 miles), Whistler 114, Squamish 168 and Vancouver 235 [150 miles @ 40 mph - 4 hours ... Estimation for destination 5:20 PM!]
1:20 Momentarily driving along the valley parallel with the stream and gentle grades.
Signs: Winding Highway ... Use Caution When passing.
1:24 A lot of rapids in the stream.
1:25 Crossing Boulder Creek - a one-lane bridge.
1:26 Seeing snow up on the higher mountains ... creek we are following is Cayoosh Creek ... 90° turns into the bridges ... a lot of campgrounds along the way.
1:31 A lot of tall lupines.
1:32 Sign: Harvested 1999 Planted 2000 ... fireweed.
1:33 The creek looks a bit calmer, then a one-lane bridge and we have crossed Cayoosh creek again ... snow-covered mountains ahead ... the day is clouding up.
1:35 Lots of lupines along the road, taller than you usually see in the wild.
1:39 A row of waterfalls at the left of the road.
Sign: NO OLYMPICS ON STOLEN LAND.
1:41 Vancouver 207 km (128.6 miles).
1:42 Waterfall on the left - V 130 - Kane Creek waterfalls.
1:45 Canada geese on the other side in a wide part of the creek.
1:47 Leaving Duffey Lake which drains into Cayoosh Creek.
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1:49 A gorgeous patch of lupines to the right and continues for 4 minutes to the left and beyond.
1:55 Crossing Cayoosh Creek # 3.
1:56 - 1:59 Lupine picture stop ... could also see Joffre Peak (top in cloud) and glacier.
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2:02 Glaciers to the left of the road ... orange mountain lilies ... red paintbrush ... a carpet of wildflowers.
2:03 A hillside of the lilies.
2:05 Pink lupines ... reforested area.
2:06 Hairpin bend, then back the other way over a bridge.
2:07 Big patch of red paintbrush.
2:09 Sign: Trucks Gear Down ... V 115.5 - Passing Joffre Lakes Provincial Park ... lots of cars parked.
2:10 Passing Brake Check ... Pemberton 30 km (18.6 miles) ... since seeing the glacier we have been right in among the snowy mountains.
2:13 11% downgrade.
2:14 A lot of cedars in the forest - beautiful looking trees.
2:15 Waterfall to the left ... a charter tour bus going in the opposite direction.
2:18 15% downgrade.
2:19 Elbow bend - runaway lane 1000 meters.
2:20 Passing runaway lane.
2:21 A 20 kph corner (12½ mph).
2:22 Hairpin bend ... lake to the left of the road.
2:23 Crossing Joffre Creek ... entering the District of Pemberton ... going around the shore of the lake.
2:24 V 100.5 - Mount Currie, First Nation village ... elderberries laden with red berries ... fireweed ... after descending the hill the road winds through flat lands.
2:27 Indian village ... grownups and children fishing along the creek.
2:30 Cattle grazing to the left, stream to the right.
2:32 Round stone building which looked a bit like an Indian hogan! ... sawmill and log homes ... STOP sign - Left turn to Whistler and Vancouver ... beautiful flowers and hanging baskets.
2:34 Pemberton 6 km (3.7 miles), Vancouver 161 - now only a hundred miles to Vancouver ... some pretty nice homes up in this area.
2:37 V 98 - Crossing Lillooet River which flows east into Lillooet Lake.
2:38 Entering Pemberton - WOW - doesn’t look like the sleepy little town I was in with LP 12 years ago.
2:41 V 94.5 - Passing Nairn Falls Provincial Park.
2:43 Road high above canyon ... 10% downgrade.
2:44 Hairpin bend.
2:46 Michael’s bridge! Not really. I would have liked to have stopped here as I recognize the place from the pictures Michael sent me following the flood which washed the bridge out.
2:49 Whistler 20 km (12.4 miles), Vancouver 142 km (88.2 miles)
2:56 Entering Whistler.
2:58 Passing Green Lake (V79.5)... foxgloves ... all this has changed since I was here in 1993, but I guess 12 years is quite a long time!
3:00 Passing the signs of which I took pictures in 1993.
3:05 Turning into the village to go to the Visitor Center, thinking this would be as good a place as any for me to phone Anna. Wrong! What a mad house! Even trying to find a place to turn around was not easy!
3:10 Back on the highway.
3:15 Turning off again, this time where there was a gas station and probably a phone.
3:32 Back on the highway. It is raining!.
3:39 Squamish 42 km (26.1 miles), Vancouver 111 km (69.0 miles).
3:42 - 4:07 V 64.5 - Brandywine Falls Provincial Park ... we walked through the forest and over the railway line to the falls. On the way I fell over, but picked myself up quickly and didn’t seem to be any the worse for wear ... until later!
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4:08 Back on the highway.
4:17 By Cheakamus River at the south end of Daisy lake.
4:19 Peaks of the Tantalus Range to the west, still with lots of snow, in the clouds.
4:20 Sign - 6% downgrade.
4:21 Another sign - 6% downgrade.
4:24 Sign for Squamish.
4:28 9% downgrade.
4:31 V 42 - Entering Brackendale - see MP p. 81 - eagle count.
4:32 Caught up to a long line of traffic.
4:33 Almost stopped.
4:37 Stopped at the traffic light by the Husky gas station in Squamish. We have had a good run through up to this point.
4:41 Through the traffic light and picking up speed.
4:42 Still another traffic light.
4:46 Another traffic light ... and another ... then crossing Stawamus Creek.
4:47 Stawamus Chief - the world’s second largest granit outcrop. “The Chief” (El. 2,139 feet) is known internationally for its challenging rock climbing.
4:48 Passing Shannon Falls Provincial Park.
4:55 Passing Britannia Gold Mine and Museum of Mining, also the Cassiar Jade Store.
Billboard advertising Coors beer: “Colder than Jenn When you called her Susan”.
4:58 8% downgrade.
5:06 Christie Island.
5:10 Lion’s bay Village.
5:13 Work Zone next 7 km (4.3 miles) ... Slow down to 50 kph ... Boy! What a lot of construction! All this work is being precipitated because of the Winter Olympics in 2010.
5:22 8 % downgrade ... earlier in the day I had predicted that we would be in Vancouver by 5:20 - not too far out, and if it hadn’t been for trying to make a phone call in Whistler we would have made it!
5:23 Passing Horseshoe Bay below the road.
5:24 Joining the freeway.
5:36 Over Lonsdale and turning onto St. George Ave.
8,710.7 5:43 Arrive outside Anna’s ... there was noone home but Anna had left a message specifically for me to call her on her cell phone - I had to go back to the car to get a pad to write down the number. Then we had to find a pay phone, so drove to Save-On-Foods. When I got hold of Anna she was out with friends and said she would be there in 30 seconds! She arrived within a couple of minutes.
Anna squeezed into the back seat with me and we went back to her place and ordered a pizza for supper ... Warren was at val’s with the children, Rose having stayed there overnight. After supper we drove over to the house where Jo an Sam would be staying, a B & B on E 1st Street, a couple of blocks along from Anna’s. She had a key for the house so Jo and Sam were able to take their bags in ane see where they would be sleeping. Then we went back to Anna’s, parked the car in the underground garage (better than it being left on the street) and Jo and Sam stayed for a little while before walking back to the B & B for the night. Walt still had not arrived back from Cloverdale.
When he arrived Rose was asleep ... got her changed and into bed without waking. Anna and I then went shopping at save-On-Foods.
After our initial arrival at Anna’s I have no record of any miles covered in Vancouver, so am just adding on a couple of miles to today’s distance for a final figure for the day!
8,712.7 End of the day - car parked in garage.

The day’s total - 294.1 miles
Trip Total - 8,840.7 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

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