|Crossing the HUGE Liard River|
“Thousands of tired, nerve shaken, over civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home. The wilderness is a necessity.” John Muir
Where there are towns there are amenities…and humanity’s footprints.
|All started by an Illinois soldier|
We have passed through seemingly infinite unspoiled boreal forests filled with game, songbirds, and unimaginable river corridors. We have become accustomed to this and now it’s becoming a bit of a shock when we arrive in the small outposts of humanity. For the most part, well kept, they seem out of place compared to nature’s unblemished continuity. This said, without them this trip would be impossible. How would one cross the vast expanse of the Laird River…seeming as big as the Mississippi but coursing through wilderness? How in the world did one cross such obstacles in days past? Between the muskeg, streams and rivers it seems that only winter would give such watery byways any sort of footing on which to navigate. The mild season offers continuous bogginess which would mire man, beast, and machinery. I have a much deeper appreciation for what the builders of the Alcan Highway faced.
|Carrying on the Tradition|
Watson Lake offered internet, telephone service, showers, a laundromat and a visit to the “Signpost Forest.” It is here that folks from all over the world bring signs, hang them on posts to mark their visit to this part of the world. We were no exception, carrying one our elder daughter’s old personalized license plates (SPEERJ), we nailed it at a prominent spot on one of the sign posts. This tradition was all started by a lonely Illinois GI working on the Alcan Highway in 1942 who posted a sign denoting the distance to his home in Danville and has carried on to this day.
While nice to clean up and check-in with family, one night was enough. We started off on Hwy 97 and connected to Hwy 1 at the Yukon Border where we crossed and re-crossed back and forth between British Columbia and the Yukon until arriving in Teslin at kilometer 1244. Any thoughts of bicycling this route were put to rest by the numerous bear (both black and brown) that we encountered on this route. Many were right alongside the road chomping away at plants…until something more appetizing might come along.
|Bison alongside the road|
On the way we crossed the continental divide at kilometer marker 1120 where “two of the largest watersheds in North America” the Yukon and Mackenzie watersheds take their separate journeys to the sea, one to the Bering Sea and the other to the Beaufort Sea. As we passed over the divide, we experienced rain, rain mixed with snow and those passing after us were delayed when snow closed the road. On we drove until we arrived at Teslin Lake Provincial Park where we spent a rain filled night in a beautiful campground. The next day it was then off to Whitehorse where we will spend several days exploring, resting, and deciding on our next move.
|They even bring their friends!|
|And they are BIG!!|
|The road continues North|
|Flowers abound in Teslin|
|Home for the night in Teslin|