Wednesday June 7 - Watson Lake Yukon Territory to Skagway Alaska USA
We began the day by Inez giving Wilma her favorite "cake," fresh banana pudding that she had made after breakfast. What a treat for tonight's dessert.
As we left Watson Lake in the sunshine, we noticed an area where travelers had made rock messages alongside the highway, a craze started by Ft. Nelson Swim Team in 1990, much the same as the signs at Sign Post Forest. We were able to get a picture of one, which read, "The Franks." Another read "Jesus is the Way." Many had only their initials, as they probably got tired picking up rocks and arranging them. Sister Meryl: WHERE IS YOUR ROCK MESSAGE?
We saw more views of snowcapped mountains as we drove, even though the elevation was only 3300. It was a fairly good road, some potholes, and frequent short stretches of gravel. Tank trucks load water from the river along the road to pour over the gravel; then the grader comes, then the oil.
We crossed the Teslin River bridge, third longest water span, which was built with a very high clearance for steamships. Then leaving the Alaska Hwy, we turned south toward Skagway at Jake's Corner onto Hwy. 8. There were bicyclists pulling small trailers with their supplies. Brave ones! Then the real excitement began, when we saw two bears on Hwy 8, Tagish Hwy, and one crossed in front of us. There being no traffic, we were able to slow enough to zoom in for a good photo. The road is narrow with no good turnouts. It is interesting that all the wildlife we have seen do not get scared and turn back and run from traffic. They watch you, then continue crossing, sometimes a little faster -- much like the deer in Texas.
After the Tagish Hwy, we connect with the Klondike Hwy at Carcross for our climb to the White Pass and our descent to the USA border crossing and on into Skagway. We thought after Creede Colorado, we would never see more impressive views. After the Icefields Parkway in Alberta Canada, we thought surely we had the views of all views. Wrong!! The views of snow and ice covered mountains were the most fantastic of our journey so far. The ice and snow was not viewed on distant peaks, it was up close and personal. You could at many points reach out the window and touch the ice as we drove by. At one point we noticed the lake along the side of the road was mostly still ice with air temperature about 59 degress F. The officer at the border crossing was business like and thorough as he checked our papers and asked required questions before welcoming us to the USA. Upon arriving in Skagway at the Garden City RV Park, we met a neat couple from California in a Chalet trailer, who are on their way to Kenai to househunt.
Walldog, Willie and Jake