Departed Vancouver Island on the 7 a.m. ferry and stayed on Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon, then on to Highway 97 northbound. We arrived at the Fircrest Resort in Lac La Hache (Hwy 97) at about 1730h. Drove 561 km (348 miles).
The day wasn't great -- snow and sleet most of the day. Even so, the highway was in good condition. At 1630h we stopped at McLeod Lake (Hwy 97, 140 km (88 miles)) north of Prince George. Boondocked in a parking lot. 433 km (270 miles) today.
The furnace quit working last night and it was cold! At 0400h I decided to hit the road to warm things up a bit. Turns out the early morning was ideal for seeing moose: five total!
In Dawson Creek (historical milepost 0, Alaska Highway), a helpful fellow at a propane dealership figured moisture was causing the propane valve to freeze. He added methyl hydrate to the tank.
The sky was clear and the highway was in great shape.
It was about 1800h when we stopped in Fort Nelson (historical milepost 300) and found a spot with hookup behind the Blue Bell Inn. 716 km (445 miles).
Left Fort Nelson at 1030h for Liard Hot Springs (historical milepost 496).
We arrived at Liard Hot Springs at 1700h, with plenty of time for a long soak!
Enjoyed soaking in the hot springs for a couple of days.
Woke up to -15C (5F) and we're told it's likely to get colder.
Left the warmth of the springs to head for Whitehorse (historical milepost 918). It was dark when we departed at 0800h. We took our time to let the RV thaw out as it had sat for a couple of days. Even with the recent snow fall the highway was in great condition.
A quick stop at Watson Lake (historical milepost 635) to find the sign made of firewood that we posted in 1997.
The dogs each have their spot while we're on the road!
Drove 660km (410 miles) to arrive in Whitehorse at 1900h. The temperature
-27C (-17F) when we arrived.
McKenzie's RV Park, just north of Whitehorse was open year-round (note: this RV park is no longer open) and we had the campground to ourselves. We were able to plug in both the RV and the block heater!
An easy day of Christmas shopping in Whitehorse and stocking up with groceries for Christmas dinner in Beaver Creek. Also took the dogs for a walk along the Yukon River.
Drove from Whitehorse to Braeburn Lake (on the Klondike Loop) where Pete Neilson gathered us into his pickup for the drive to his one-room cabin, neighbored by 20 dog houses and one outhouse! We spent a short time getting some quick lessons on how to stop a dog sled (no need to worry about how to go ... the dogs take care of that!). Pete then ensured we had enough cold weather protection, and by the end of the day I was grateful for his moose mitts!
Pete took us along the Yukon Quest trail. My team of four dogs was fast enough for me; can't imagine managing a team of 10 or 15 dogs! The brown dog, below, kept turning around to give me the evil eye. That dog knew everything I didn't know, and we both knew it!
At the lunch stop, Pete tossed down some skins then cooked up a delicious lunch!
At the end of the day, we drove back to Whitehorse to overnight.
Left Whitehorse for Beaver Creek. The day was overcast and cold. The fresh snow on the ground made the day bright.
We stopped at Silver City (historical mile 1053) to tour the ruins. Silver City was a trading post, roadhouse and included North West Mounted Police barracks in the early 1900s.
When I was a kid we often stopped here on our trips "to town".
As we pulled back onto the Alaska Highway, the sun was poking through on the mountains surrounding Kluane Lake.
Kluane Lake is 70 km (45 miles) long. It is the largest lake situated entirely in the Yukon.
Apparently Slim's River was named for a packhorse that drowned during the 1903 Kluane gold rush.
A short distance past Slim's River bridge there is a turnout at the start of the hike up to Soldier's Summit (historical milepost 1061). This picture is taken from the original highway.
Beaver Creek (historical milepost 1202) is the most westerly community in Canada. It is also my hometown and has changed significantly since I lived here.
The temperature on our first day was -35C (-31F). Overnight it dipped below -40 and because the northern lights were out, so were we, thanks to a good friend who made sure we got out of our warm beds in the RV to enjoy the colours in the sky!
These pictures are of the Alaska Highway, which runs through the middle of town.
Departed Beaver Creek for Whitehorse. The day was overcast and very snowy, so limited scenery.
After some shopping in Whitehorse we hit the road at 1530h. In Teslin we were turned away by the lodge, which was the only place open. I phoned ahead to Morley River Lodge, just 23 miles further south and the owner encouraged us on. When we arrived, he had opened up his shower shack, cleared a spot for us to park, and had the electric ready to go. Cost: $10.
We enjoyed some burgers that night in his small restaurant.
After breakfast in the restaurant at Morley River, we hit a snowy road headed for Liard Hot Springs. The day was overcast with drizzly snow.
Back at Liard Hot Spring by 1700h. The temperatures were mild so we drycamped in the parking area.
The start of the boardwalk to the hot springs ...
Stayed at Liard, continued soaking, snoozing and hiking.
A windstorm was shaking the RV this morning and snow was falling. The weather wasn't very good for soaking so we were on the road by 1100h.
Along Muncho Lake ...
By 1730h we were in the Pink Mountain area, around mile 143. The gas station offered us parking near their very noisy generator, but the area wasn't level. We backtracked four miles to a lodge that wasn't open but was occupied. After learning we were RVing and needed a plug for our block heater, the owners offered us a great spot with electric for the block heater and RV, and at no cost. They also invited us to join them for a moose roast dinner and to celebrate New Years with them and their friends!
We headed out early in sunshine and clear skies. Overnighted at the Sintich RV Park in Prince George.
Caught the last ferry to Vancouver Island (2100h).