Thursday, June 2, 2016

Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada - Stop 17 on our Trek North to Alaska

We left Watson Lake by 8 a.m. on Tuesday to a rare occurrence on our trip thus far:  bright sunshine and a cloudless sky!

Wildlife count for this leg of the trip:  1 bear, 2 rabbits, 2 porcupine, 1 dead wolf (victim of a hit and run), and 1 female moose in the stream.  Number of photos to document these sightings:  Zero, Nil, Nada. 

Beauty is abundant, from majestic mountaintops to blooming wildflowers.  The yellow button faces of dandelions look so cheerful among the petite blue bells—even the butterflies agree.

Teslin Lake

This butterfly likes the dandelions and bluebells as much as I do!

Crossing the Nisutlin Bay Bridge, the longest water span of the AlCan Highway, offered lovely views.

Nisultin Bay Bridge

Around each Yukon corner is a new postcard panorama—but also new challenges.  Roads have been bumpy, to say the least, especially to and from Teslin.  Gravel, mud, dust, and lane closures all add up to slowdowns and delays as chip sealing work is in progress. Hopefully the situation improves when our fellow RVillage friends get to this point in their trips!

We stopped at Johnson’s Crossing, the site of one of the original AlCan Highway lodges.  The café there is adorable inside, and the cinnamon buns are made from the same recipe used by the original lodge owners back in 1949.  The buns are not extraordinarily large (none of us were willing to share one), but are yummy enough to earn a 4-cheese rating from Rambling RV Rat.

We arrived at High Country RV Park.  Word of advice:  Don’t presume that because you have a reservation AND a confirmation number dating back 6 months that they have saved a site for you in which your rig will fit!  When we arrived, we were assigned an inadequate site.  Furthermore, we were not anywhere near Mike/Claudia as indicated in the reservation request correspondence.  The excuse was that folks decided to “extend” their stays and we had to be reassigned a spot.  We were all livid—it was like the car rental episode of “Seinfeld”.  What’s the point of taking reservations if you don’t honor them?   In speaking to “neighbors” in the campground, we surmise what happened to us is not the exception here, but rather the rule.

We started Wednesday morning with Joyce at the Visitor Center.  She was wonderful—friendly, funny, and very patient with our antics.  She gave us a rundown of our options.

Stop 1 was the SS Klondike II, a 1937 meticulously-restored wood-burning paddle boat.  Mom insisted we watch the informative film so we learned the historical significance of this vessel (She never lets us miss a flick!).

Next we stopped at the Whitehorse Yukon Fish Ladder, built in 1959 to remedy the loss of 20% of spawning fish after the Yukon Dam was built.   We will have to visit here again on our way back home, since the Chilkoot salmon do not spawn until late July.  But it was still interesting to learn the lengths these fish go to spawn in their birth streams.  I didn't know that the Yukon River is the longest salmon migration in the world—nearly 2,000 miles!  And to think that of the 5,000-7,000 eggs one fish spawns, only 1 egg will survive!

The development of a fish egg

Next we marveled at the volcanic rock, the wood walking bridge, and the crisp, teal green waters of Miles Canyon.

We also did a walking tour in downtown Whitehorse.  So cool to sneak a peek of Whitehorse history.  Among the sites we visited were several historic houses, the Yukon and Whitepass Railroad depot, the first telegraph building, and the Old Log Church.  Built in 1900, the church is one of the oldest original buildings of Whitehorse still standing.    

Railroad Depot

The Taylor House

The Old Log Church

Building Mural

Building Mural

But the bestest, most wonderful thing about our Whitehorse visit:  I FINALLY got my bison steak!  We had dinner at Klondike Rib and Salmon at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Steele Street.  They have a terrific game and fish menu.  The food was absolutely phenomenal—from the bison steak to the elk stroganoff, from the grilled vegetables to the focaccia bread, from the sourdough bread pudding to the natural vanilla ice cream topping!  Simply scrumptious!  And the service was efficient, courteous, and friendly.  This place exceeded my expectations, and earns a coveted 5-cheese rating from Rambling RV Rat!  Thanks, Joyce, at the visitor center, for giving us the scoop on this place. If the terrific food is not enough to entice you, the restaurant resides in the oldest building still in use within Whitehorse.  Can’t wait to come back here in July!

Well my full belly and tired eyes tell me it's time for me to snuggle up with Tabatha for a fitful night's sleep.

Will speak to you again soon!

1 comment:

  1. Dang, I knew we should have stopped by the Rib and Salmon place!