RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Friday, July 20, 2012

RubiKon Quest 2012: The Drive Home - Whitehorse to Hyder Alaska

July 13 - July15

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  ~Albert Einstein

And so our drive home began. We were a little rushed. The plan was to drive down the Cassiar hwy with a quick stop into Hyder Alaska.

Shortly after leaving Whitehorse, we took a little detour down to Carcross and then over to Tagish.
Here we see the remanants of the one and only railroad ever constructed in the Yukon. That's right folks, there are no rail lines in this fantastic country.
Here is the Carcross desert. The worlds smallest desert.
Carcross Desert (ref. Wikipedia) is commonly referred to as a desert, but is actually a series of northern sand dunes. The area's climate is too humid to be considered a true desert. The sand was formed during the last ice age, when large glacial lakes formed and deposited silt. When the lakes dried, the dunes were left behind. Today, sand comes mainly from nearby Bennett Lake, carried by wind. The dunes contain a wide variety of plants, including unusual varieties such as Baikal sedge and Yukon lupine, among others.
A short trip down the road and we see Bove Island in Tagish Lake.
Tagish Lake is but one of the lakes in the region known as the Southern Lakes. This is an incredible area with huge lakes and umatched scenic beauty. A paddler's paradise.
Click on this image for a 180 degree panoramic view.
What would a drive in the Yukon be like without the ocassional bear sighting? This guy was seen just outside of Teslin munching on some roadside grasses.
We spent the night at Teslin Crossing. Here we see Lori and one of her beloved Moose.
Here I am wrestling a barren ground Caribou into submission.
The Teslin  bridge is a famous landmark in the Yukon.
Sadly, we saw no moose on our drive home.
Scenic wonders like this were common along this section of the Alcan hwy. Believe it or not, the distant mountains are ancient volcanoes that used to thousands of feet below the ocean floor.
Yes, another grazing bear.
Our arrival at Watson lake. We had to tour the signpost forest.
The signpost forest started in 1942 by Carl K. Lindley, a U. S. Army Engineer. Working on the Alcan hwy, he was building many signs in the area, he added a sign to a sign post which stated, "Danville, Illinois, 2835 miles". This tradition has continued over the years from travelers passing through Watson Lake. Currently there are nearly 50,000 signs.
GrizzLee trying his hand at road building with a steam shovel, just like they did in 1942.
GrizzLee applying his driving skills on a mobile truck crane. Look out world.
Parking next to the forest.

Our next stop, Boya Lake just across the border inside of British Columbia on the Cassiar Hwy. We camped here for the night. GrizzLee took his kayak out on the water that evening. It was spectacular. Beavers, Loons, ducks... it was a very dreamy paddle. The water was like glass and made for nice lake reflection pictures.
Large beaver house. I got some  great video of the beavers swimming in the lake and splashing thier tails whenever I'd paddle too close.
The lake is clear as can be. I could see the bottom for most of my paddle.
A couple from Whitehorse enjoying a weekend paddle on this remote lake.
This is the view from our lakeshore campsite.
The next day we come acorss this adoreable black bear grazing on the side of the road.
He was very friendly and wanted to introduce himself to us properly.
This guy didn't care for the bear we just saw.
He swerved to miss the bear and ended up in the ditch. The driver was sitting on the edge of his cab filling out an incident report and waiting for help to arrive. We were glad to see that he and the bear were alright.
Views like this from the Cassiar hwy are typical.
This red fox came to greet us.
He (she?) showed no fear and was obviously aclimated to humans.
In Jade City we met up with Dave. He rode his motorcycle from New York City to Alaska's Dalton Hwy. He was on his way home. Later that day, we met up with Dave and had dinner together in Hyder, Alaska. What a neat guy.
Every year it seems, we meet Kendra at Jade City. She has become a fixture of sorts. As a college student, every year she kept telling us that she won't be there next time we we come through. Well, after 4 trips and 5 years later, she has decided to move to Jade City.  It is great to meet people like this. We will see her next time.
Awe... the Cassiar.
We saw a gray wolf near here on the side of the road. It was too shy to be caught by our camera. 
More roadside bear activity.
This guy seemed a bit annoyed with us. We were disturbing him and his evening salad dinner.
The intense staring didn't bother us.
The bear Glacier, just outside fo Stewart and Hyder.
After the glacier, it was time to have dinner and we got a motel in Stewart. The weather was unbelievably warm.

Read on about how we saw two bears play fighting in a meadow, more bears and a giant glacial icelfield.

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