Daily Archives: July 18, 2014

Lowe’s Mortuary, Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Picture of Lowe's Mortuary, Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Lowe’s Mortuary, Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Dawson City was a boomtown during the Klondike gold rush. In fact, that area is responsible for eighty percent of the gold mined in Alaska today.

Though I could not photograph it, so that it could be read, a newspaper article displayed in the window of Lowe’s Mortuary painted a grim picture of conditions in Dawson City during gold rush days.

The attached photo gallery shows several interesting artifacts from that window display including a hearse pulled by sled dogs, a horse-drawn hearse on skis, and an old set of embalming tools.

Knock, knock

Picture of bear buddy

Bear Buddy

Woke up from a quick nap at a rest stop outside Watson Lake to find this cuddley fellow knocking on my door. He wanted to know what was for breakfast ­čÖé ┬áSee Dad’s post about sunshine and bluebirds for why we were “napping” at rest stop.

It cannot all be sunshine and bluebirds

Picture at campground in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory

Watson Lake, Yukon Territory

To spend as much time as possible in the places most interesting to us, we included some long days and distances in our itinerary. Banff, Alberta to Dawson Creek, British Columbia and on to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory was one such stretch. Having planned to camp in Watson Lake, we arrived totally exhausted and needed to be rolling EARLY for the run to Dawson City, Yukon Territory.

Besides being too tired to face setting up camp that evening and having the time required to break camp the next morning added to an already long day, we decided to sleep in the truck. This plan was certainly not ideal, but seemed to be the lesser of the evils. In fact, “sleeping” in the truck turned out to be the least of our problems.

To make a long miserable story short, we were consumed, devoured, eaten alive by hordes of voracious mosquitoes! There was no choice, we departed Watson Lake at 3:30 AM. Once we got the truck cleared of mosquitoes and cooled off, life was good except we had had zero sleep after a hard day and another hard day had begun way too early.

Beauty stumbled upon

Picture of Muncho Lake, British Columbia

Muncho Lake, British Columbia

Natural beauty and, hopefully, some good wildlife sightings are the point of this trip for both Addie and me. We did not go particularly to see Muncho Lake in British Columbia, but it was a rewarding find. The shallow water was very clear, the deeper water had a vivid green color as a result of the presence of copper.

A surprise wildlife sighting

Picture of a Grizzly by the Alaska Highway

Grizzly by the Alaska Highway

Continuing north on the Alaska highway, we sighted so many black bears and bison we stopped counting. After passing a bear on the left shoulder of the highway, we looked at each other and simultaneously said something to the effect of, “whoa, that was no black bear!” Though the day was already growing long, we whipped around and pulled over on the opposite shoulder to view at close range a brown bear (aka grizzly bear) eating clover. It was totally unconcerned about us and continued eating while we watched for as long as we wished.

Alaska Highway Mile 0

Picture of Alaska Highway, Mile 0 sign

Alaska Highway, Mile 0

Departing Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway, this is the beginning of the so-called central route to Alaska and the most popular. The other routes, western and eastern, being less-traveled, offer fewer facilities and services along the way. On my prior Alaska trip, I chose western route up the Cassiar Highway, which took me through more remote wilderness areas. An experienced motorcyclist, who had recently experienced both the Alaska Highway and the Cassiar Highway, suggested the Alaska Highway for this trip. It traverses enough wilderness and help in an emergency is much more readily available.