2018 July 24 – Whitehorse to Watson Lake, YT

As expected it was a slow photo day.  I think I took a record low of 25 photos all day.  I did get a lot of my book read while John drove though.

The security guard that showed us around the Legislative Assembly in Whitehorse told us about a copper canoe that sits at the back of the Beringia Museum so before we left the city we stopped there to see it. We stopped to find a geocache near Johnson’s Crossing, which was one of the earliest road houses along the highway.  The area is now an RV park and campground.  This is the Teslin River.Many of the bridges up here have metal beds and motorcyclists who are not familiar with them often drop their bikes.  We sort of leapfrogged with a lady on a Honda ST1100 who has put almost 200,000 on her bike riding all over the place. She and John had a great motorcycle chat and she told him she had seen five bikes on their sides on metal-bed bridges on her trip so far.Notice all the little spots.  I clean the windshield whenever John is fueling up the truck, which he did before we went to our hotel last night.  It looks like a ton of the tiny black flies they have up here decided they wanted to get inside the cab overnight   Swift River isn’t flowing very swiftly this late in the northern summer season. The area has really dried out in the time we were traveling further afield.  Fire danger is very high up here now.  There are several fires burning so we see a smoke haze in the air.  One lady said the fires up here are 5 or more times larger than we see further south, but they don’t threaten communities so they just let them burn.  The snow puts them out eventually.  It is all part of the rejuvenation cycle of the forests up here as well.  The black spruce, which is the predominant tree, needs fire to burst it’s seeds.

         This type of scene was a large portion of our day today. Fifty kilometers from Watson Lake we saw our first critter in days and days.  This small bear was on the road verge enjoying a grass snack.We will soon have to revert to Plan B for the remainder of this road trip. We are on our way to Prince Rupert.  From there we were hoping to go to Haida Gwaii but all the ferry spots are full.  We would need to stay in Rupert for a week to get a sailing.  After we returned from Haida Gwaii we wanted to take another, overnight, ferry to Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island and visit some relatives on the way home.  But the earliest sailing we could get on that ferry is August 15.

We knew this would be a possibility because the ferries get filled quickly in the summer but we did not want to lock ourselves into having to be somewhere on a specific date too far ahead of our wanderings.   We will just go another time.

In the meantime we will meander here and there through northern BC’s Cariboo country and stop at some of the small places – do some geocaching.  We haven’t been to Barkerville for years so we plan to do that.  For now though we still have some days driving down the Cassiar-Stewart Highway to Terrace.  It is a long drive with few places in between and difficult to split into sort-of-even two days, so we are just going to do three shorter ones.  After all the long days John has been driving lately I think that is only fair.  We do the first third – to Dease Lake – tomorrow.

I am glad I have caught up on my blogs because I will be getting behind again over the next few days.  Dease Lake doesn’t have a full restaurant, only a pizza place; and our cabin at Bell II the next night has no TV, cell phone coverage, or internet.  It will be just like the good old days!

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