The journey is the reward
(Zum deutschen Blog.) We would have liked to stay another day at the Kluane Nationalpark and the cozy hotel “The Raven” (look at my blog “Trespassing nearly impossible in Kluane Nationalpark”),but our schedule of our Alaska and Yukon Highlights tour doesn´t allow that.
We are on our way back to Alaska; it is really cold here in Haines Junction when we start here in the morning. Gray clouds hover above the snowy mountains that we flew over only yesterday. It looks like the snow lays nearer to the valley today.
In Burwash landing, a small community at the stretched Kluane lake we have our first break. Is the museum of Natural History still open or is it already in hibernation. Before we can open the door, a little gopher crosses our path. He seems used to tourists, as he poses a bit for us and then disappears in his lair under the boardwalk. What a cute little fella!
The museum is open so we have a look at his padded colleagues. Many wild animals are shown in their habitat; the habits of the native people is described and the building of the Alaska Highway can be seen in an old documentation film. This little stopover is worth the time we spent here!
On we go. Our today´s route is quite long, but after our experience on our way to the Yukon we know that we should reach Tok as late as possible. Tok will be our overnight stay again today. So we take our time on the ALCAN highway, as the Alaska Highway is called as well.
The sky gets bluer every minute; on the left hand site the snowy mountains of Kluane Nationalpark go along the road. They become the Wrangell-St. Elias Nationalpark & Preserve on the Alaskan site.
At the Kluane River View Point we stop for a short time and relish the wide panorama of the Kluane River.
The road is nearly all the time void of other cars. Sometimes huge pickups with even huger caravans come toward us, some even have small cars or motor bikes on their loading space. They all drive South to avoid the extremely cold winter here in the Yukon. Some communities are nearly extinct for the cold months, as many people got jobs in the South during this period. It is very desolate here during winter.
Suddenly a car that comes toward us turns up the headlights. Does the police control the speed limit behind the little summit? I drive correctly but I thank him anyway.
No, there is no police waiting for us, instead a “blond” grizzly bear grazes at the road side. Maybe the shrub tastes better here than in the forest behind him. He doesn’t care for trucks or cars driving by. Of course, we stop and take a lot of pictures from him. Wildlife at the Yukon, no also live!
Soon all clouds are gone and it gets really warm! Again and again we pass some more or less big lakes. At the Pickhandle lake, that is situated a bit further away from the road we have another short break. For some minutes no gentle breeze disturbs the surface of the lake; so we get the perfect mirror lake image. Then it is gone. A gentle breeze curls the water and gone is the mirror image. We were lucky!
For a while we drive along skew catenaries. Is there still electricity or have they be destroyed by one of the bush fires ? We´ll never know…
Now it´s not too far from Tok. The last part of our today´s trip leads us through huge forests; the sun is setting already.
Our room in the “Golden Bear Motel” that we get today seems to be renovated not too long before. Even the heating is working. That makes our night a bit more comfortable. And in the “Fast Eddies” I will better try a burger…