Tuesday, June 11th
Dawson City - Whitehorse

previous day | roadmap today | next day

Following the Yukon River back to the world.

We drive out of town southwards and go for a look on the Dome Viewpoint, 7 kilometers uphill. The view on the Yukon valley and the Ogilvie Mountains is breathtakingly.  The shadows of the clouds slide slowly over the range of hills.  The slow-moving Yukon sends out an unforgettable peace.

Tailing piles in the Yukon valley11h15
The tailing piles, or what remains after a dredge has passed, fill up the landscape along the road, piles of rubble, a few hundred meters long. A strange view.

The Klondike Loop, the most northern part of the Klondike Highway, is the 526 kilometer haul between Dawson City and Whitehorse.  The road has been mapped out by the miners and trappers in the beginning of this century.  Itís straight across the bush, but there is no wildlife to be seen at this moment.
In the absence of real animals, we try to imagine them in the shapes of the clouds.  We have more success this way !

We pass Gravel Lake.  The weather is nice again.  Maybe a bit chilly outside, but itís comfortable in the car.
We have come to the conclusion that, how American our car may be, he is unique in this environment.  Over here they drive campers and pick-ups.  In the this last category we find particularly Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota and GMC.

Dry Creek, about 106 miles from Dawson.
We just saw a black bear !  This time not an imagined one in the clouds but a real one on the road.  In the distance, there was a black shadow moving over the road. Hilde thought is was an approaching car, but suddenly is had disappeared. It wasnít a car but a black bear, about one and a half meter long.
Arriving at the place where it disappeared in the bush, I slow down.  And again ! There he is !  Unfortunately, all went to quick to take a picture Ö

Stewart Crossing.  From here, a road with an outstanding name, the Silver Trail leads to Mayo.
We are getting hungry and we walk into a local snack bar. The cheeseburger is not to bad but they still need to learn how to make good French fries : we get a kind of thick, unpeeled  oil sticks.  Completely unfit for consumption in Belgium, but over here edible with a lot of ketchup and mayonnaise.

Since we saw that  bear we donít feel like getting out of the car to far.  Taking a picture of the Vedge growing beside the road is just inside the acceptable range. 

Pelly Crossing, simple names are still the best they must have thought, we cross Pelly River.  Left at the horizon we see the white peaks of the Mackenzie Mountains.  The landscape is changing rapidly. 

We drive between Pelly Crossing and Minto.  According to the Milepost, this area was destroyed by fire in 1995.  Carbonized trees during several kilometers, in places grass is coming through the ashes.

Five Finger Rapids16h30
Once Minto passed, the Yukon River is back at our side.  At the Five Finger Rapids we have a short stop.  It was once the eye of the needle for the miners traveling by boot to Dawson, an almost impossible obstacle that raised the adrenaline of most fortune hunters.

Carmacks, once an important supply facility for the steamers sailing down the Yukon between Whitehorse and Dawson.  The town got its name from a George Carmack, who made his name here in the Klondike 100 years ago.  His adventures caused the Klondike Gold Rush, more than 100 000 fortune-seekers trying their luck in the Bonanza Creek near Dawson.

The historic Montague House doesnít have much to offer these days : a tumble-down log building dating from the beginning of the century.  It was a way-station on the rough road to Dawson City
Compared with historic buildings in Europe, this one is quite recent.  However, according to American and Canadian standards there is nothing much to find that might be older !

Twin Lakes. The next  80 kilometers we have to look for moose, at least thatís what a traffic sign claims !

Twin Lakes18h15
No moose to be found.
Actually, itís not because there is a traffic sign, that there WILL be one seen.  Nevertheless, we keep on hoping ...

Lake Laberge, a 64 km long lake formed by a local widening of the Yukon River.
We also approach Whitehorse.  The traffic is becoming heavier and along the road we see some ranches with horses, fences to keep the cattle off the road and even street lighting and even a bicycle track.  We hadnít seen that for a long time.

Finally, Whitehorse.  We have 352 miles on the counter and thatís badly enough for today.

next day