Sunday, July 3, 2011

Meziadin Lake to Dease Lake to Teslin, Yukon Territory

Sunday, July 3

We cut our stay at Meziadin Lake short mainly because of the weather. Friday, since it rained all day, we were forced to stay inside or in our chairs under the awning--which is fine if all you want to do is read or cross stitch. But everything in the trailer was damp, especially the insides of the windows. The weather forecast was for more rain on Saturday and Sunday, so we figured it would be better to drive north in the rain instead of sit.

So, Saturday morning we were up at 6:30, and after a breakfast of coffee and cereal, were on the road at 7:45.

Around 8:30 we started going through some patchy cloud areas where we could catch glimpses of the beautiful Skeena Mountains to the east. The Milepost book says that the lodge at Bell II (the second time the highway crosses the Bell River) is popular in the winter with heli-skiers.

At one point we saw an oncoming RV stopped in the road; he flashed his lights at us-- a sign of some kind of wildlife.

This young wolf was walking around in the road, and when we approached him after I took the picture, he merely walked over to the side of the road and sat as if to watch the traffic go by.

The road was excellent until we crossed Ritchie Creek, and even then it was in such good shape we were able to keep the speed at about 90 kmh/55mph. We kept our eyes out for wildlife, but didn't see any more for quite a while.

This was a quick rest stop next to Mehan Lake.

When we stopped for gas in Iskut, I looked up and saw this hanging glacier on the side of Mt. See the terminal moraine at the bottom of it?

Plan A was to take on water and use a dump station, and then go spend a few days at Boya Lake Provincial Park. Sue T (http://suethomas.ca) had recommended this as one of her favorite parks. We stopped at a nice-looking RV park in Iskut and asked if we could pay to use their sani-dump and fill with water. The owner said, "oh, no, we don't do that."

But before we turned around to leave, I took a picture of Mt. Edziza from their driveway, and you can now see a twin glacier and moraine to the other one (which is now on the left side of the photo).

So we continued on to Dease Lake, and just before we got there Don decided he wanted hookups for the night. We took a site at Dease Lake RV Park, which cost us $28 for water, electric, and sewer. They advertised hot showers, but those need quarters--$1 for 10 minutes. There was a nice surprise when we checked out the laundry room--the washing machines were only $1.25 per load. When we did our clothes last (in Banff), it was $4 a load. The dryers were $1 for one cycle, compared to $4 in Banff. We did 2 loads of clothes, and since I didn't have enough quarters for the needed second dryer cycle, our heavier clothes were still slightly damp. No problem; we hung them up in the trailer. Dinner was 4-Taste Angel Hair Pasta, green salad, and breadsticks. Sooooo good.

While we were finishing up the laundry, Don announced, "Change in plans." He'd gotten out one of our campground guide books, and read that the fishing was poor at Boya Lake. He also felt we needed to do some longer driving days, so he decided we'd skip Boya Lake and press on to the Yukon.

By 7:00 pm, the campground was nearly full with travelers from the Cassiar Highway. The opening question between anyone meeting to chat was, "Which way did you come from?" We've learned that this shared experience of the Cassiar is enough to serve as conversation starters between perfect strangers.

We were tired from the day, and went to bed to read around 9.

Sunday, July 3

This morning we were up at 6, and as I was reaching for my apron to fix breakfast (I always wear an apron to cook--and even then I still get spots on my shirts!), Don said, "How about bagels and and cereal for breakfast?" I really didn't want all those carbs, but I didn't want to have to clean up after a cooked meal, so I acquiesced. But I only had a bagel.

We were on the road by 7:45, and made good time the first 90 miles. The road was in much better shape than we'd expected. Even the gravel sections were smooth. The roughest section of the road--the bounciest--was the section between Boya Lake and the junction at the Alaska Highway. It was so bouncy that my cabinets came open and tossed sewing stuff all over the place, and our knife rack came dislodged twice. But that was it.

We saw several bears today; the other two were a grizzly cub (mama had to be nearby) and a juvenile black bear running across the road.

We stopped for a bit at Jade City, about halfway up to the Alaska Highway. It's not a city, though. It's a store and parking area. The store sells mostly jade that was mined from the Cassiar Mountains and turned into various kinds of jewelry.

They had all kinds of cutting tools outside on display.

The jade pieces were all too expensive for me, so we continued on.

North of Boya Lake we passed through the remnants of a major forest fire. There was total devastation on both sides of the road for 15-20 miles, and you could see the burn zone extending for miles in all directions. It appeared pretty recent. Something I must look up.

[Note: I just looked it up, and it was the first week of June. So less than a month ago.]

We reached the Alaska Highway around 11:00, and filled up our gas tank at the Junction 37 Services station. Lunch was around noon at a roadside rest area.

These mountains were to the west. We skirted the north side of them.

We stopped at the Continental Divide Lodge and Campground to inquire about Yukon fishing licenses, since the Upper Rancheria River was flowing clearly. They didn't sell them, and since Don won't break the law and fish without one, we kept on going.

We are now camped at Dawson Peaks RV Park on the southeast shore of Teslin Lake, in the Yukon Territory. Since half of the lake is in British Columbia, Don can still fish using his BC license. He'll get a Yukon Territory license tomorrow and go fish a couple of rivers in the area. They're not blown out like the ones are further south.

We've eaten dinner and I'm going to go do dishes now; Don's out on the lake. Then I'll go over to the office area and use their WiFi. It doesn't reach out to where we're camped. One of the things I like about Blogpress is that I can write my posts, include the photographs, and save until I'm ready to post at a WiFi hotspot.

We'll be here at least 2 nights and then it's on to Whitehorse.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


heyduke50 said...

thanks for sharing your journey... it is one i hope to make someday

KarenInTheWoods said...

Really enjoying reading about your Alaska trip.. wonder why the RV park wouldn't let you pay for a dump and water fill? You would think and $$$ are good income for the business?

Karen and Steve

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║╔╗║╔╗║╔╣╔╩╗╔╝ ★ 4th of July ☆ 2011
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Travels with Emma said...

Looks like the skies cleared up for you a bit on Sunday. Gorgeous scenery, isn't it?