Today is Wednesday, August 5th. Really. We’re in Telkwa, British Columbia which is about half way between Prince Rupert and Prince George. As I write, that is really where we are. We’ve splurged for one night at a campground that offers wifi -yippee! Bad news, though, is that it doesn’t allow uploads and downloads. SO—–even though I have plenty pictures (and maps even) to share with you, those will have to wait for another day. I didn’t want the opportunity to go by though (that would be the ability to do at least a brief post) without giving you a quick update.
Let’s see….we talked about Dawson City, right? That really was a fun town! Day 9 we made it to Whitehorse, did our laundry, filled up with diesel, and did some marketing. The big event on Day 10 was a drive (truck only) to Skagway. We had driven to Skagway back in May to catch that amazing cruise down the Lynn Canal, but hadn’t really “done” the town. Today it is all about cruise ships (and jewelry stores it seems), but once upon a time it was the main starting point for the stampeders during the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. Since we had just been in Dawson City (where the gold actually was), and had been to the Klondike Gold Rush Museum in Seattle, WA (where most of the stampeders left the lower 48 from), it was very interesting to see (and get a better understanding) of just what the Gold Rush was really about. And how hard it was. I found the information about the famed Chilkoot trail – and the “golden stairway”- to be most interesting. Because not only did those men (and some women) have to climb up that pass once, but since they all had to carry a year’s worth of supplies (between 1000 -2000 lbs.), they would have to do it over and over again – between 30 & 40 times. If you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about (I didn’t until we did this trip) – here is a little information on wikipedia –Chilkoot Trail. Don’t miss the picture at the bottom of the information, along with the list of just what they had to bring. There were Mounties at the top of the pass checking them all in. (Oh, and the “golden stairway” was only a small part of the 33 mile trek to the head of the Yukon River.) Yep, we found Skagway to be very interesting! Plus, it was a gorgeous drive to get there (even in the drizzle)!
The next day – Monday the 3rd (Day 11) was a drive day. A drive-all-day day. We covered over 400 miles – our “most miles covered” day since we left for our Alaskan Adventure. We are driving home a different way that we had gone north. There really are only two ways to cut through British Columbia to get to Alaska – either the Alaska Highway (we did that northbound) or the Cassiar Highway (our southbound route). The Cassiar is more wilderness and goes through some fabulous scenery. There were less “points of interest” along the way, and maybe it was ’cause we were traveling alone, but we just kept driving. We found a nice little pull-off to call home for the night and enjoyed a good night’s rest. AND – it even got dark!
Tuesday (yesterday!) we kept on the Cassier until we came to the turn off to Stewart (BC) and Hyder (AK). These are two neighboring towns that had a boom mining era, and are now basically trying to make it on tourism, but without the cruise ships. Hmmmm. The one big calling card in Hyder is the Fish Creek Bear Observing station. It was a beautiful drive there – past glaciers and through canyons, and the bear area was very interesting. However, all the bears must have been napping because even though there were salmon galore, we saw no bears. Sigh. Still, it was a good day!
After our little detour we finished up the Cassiar Highway and picked up the Yellowhead Highway (which actually starts on the coast at Prince Rupert and goes all the way to Winnipeg! We stopped in the town of Smithers for the night (free parking at the local mall!), and were delighted to find out that our traveling buddies were just down the road a piece in Telkwa! We joined them today (Day 13) and we are all parked in a row at a lovely little campground with water and electric and cable tv and wifi (sorta!). (Quite a change from our roadside parking spots!) We spent a little time in the cute little town of Smithers, shared a yummy dinner meal and then had one last Sluff game (The girls won. Of course.) We’ll part company again tomorrow and don’t expect to catch up with them again so this has been a lovely bonus for our ride home.
So that brings us up to date! It’s been a great trip so far – breathtaking scenery, interesting history, and fun side trips
And soon, I hope, I’ll be able to share pictures to prove it!
Here are maps of the Yukon Territory and British Columbia that might help a little with just where we’ve been and where we’re headed (Prince George, BC).