When we start the day driving, we never really know where we will sleep in the evening. iOverlander show so many sites along the way that we are never short on choice. We crossed the Canadian border 4 days ago and, except for today, had short day drives. From the tourist office we received a booklet which shows many interesting places with their kilometre distance marker on the road. In this way we made several stops along the Alaska highway and took walks though the forest near the road to some lake or other viewing point. At the long lake Klune, we drove all the way over the pebbles close to the waterfront for our night stop. The lake is not much used for fishing and other recreation due to the continuous strong winds. In fact this is the land corridor through which the first humans crossed from Beringia southwards some 18.000 years ago. It was a corridor in-between the glaciers from the last ice age which are still present. Now you can still walk to the ever retreating end point of the glaciers coming down from the St. Elias ice field at 4000+m. We only made a short walk along a creek hoping to see the Dall sheeps. But when we saw signs to be careful with bears we turned around. This is bear country. We did not have bear spray, which hikers must have before going hiking anywhere here.
Before reaching Whitehorse, Jamaliah found a nice camp site on the fast flowing Takhini river. The water comes directly from the glaciers higher up and is thus crystal clear. The site is a point where canoe’ers stop and disembark from the river. We saw some ladies finishing their trip here and in the morning also saw that several cyclists had set up camp among the trees overnight.
We had been to Whitehorse on the way up so, besides grocery shopping and getting diesel, there was not much which should keep us there. A Swiss couple we had met a month ago (along the Dempster hwy) and kept in contact with via Whatsapp was also in town. We arranged to have lunch together and exchanged travel stories and travel plans. Their timetable is very different from us, so it was no surprised when we stopped a bit further at Carcross that they had not yet left Whitehorse.
Also Carcross we visited before on our way to Skagway (Alaska), where the gold prospectors started their long trek to Dawson City in 1898. When we were there the first time we missed out several sight in town, including their famous smallest desert. We were arriving at that time from the other side of town. Now we did see the large sand dunes and Jamaliah decided to get some exercise by climbing all the way to the top of the dune. There is a railway line built in 1900 to bring the prospectors to Whitehorse and there are also some old buildings and a shopping plaza with houses decorated with native designs. It was well worth re-discovering this town. We camped some km’s. out of town overlooking one of the many lakes.
Today was then a long, 400 km, drive to Watson Lake. The scenery is stunning with many small and large lakes in the valleys and forest covered mountains. The road is well maintained and the camper is no longer vibrating so we could push it to 90 – 100 km/hr and reached the town in time for a shower at the local recreation centre. We had been here before so in this case it was a planned overnight stop. We are overnighting next to the Sign forest.