Nugget City to Whitehorse, YT
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Overcast, high 50s, then sunny & hot, near 80
Early to bed, early to rise; we were on road by 7:20.
Heading north from Nugget City we noticed names and messages spelled out using white rocks on the brown dirt embankments along the highway. The tradition was started by the 1990 Ft Nelson high school swim team. Amazingly, the signs are really frequent and go on for well over 25 miles.
Sandy and I don’t fish. So we are intrigued that the Milepost publication that documents the highway lists all fishing areas along the roads and what kinds of fish are caught in each place. It seems like an amazing amount of detail to bother with. But, then, we don’t fish.
Wildlife Spot: We saw our second black bear at milepost 670 at 8:07!
We were ready for a break so we stopped at Rancheria Falls Recreation Site. We met Barbara and Sarge in the parking lot and walked the path in company through the rich boreal forest to the falls. It was a short but rewarding walk. We had another continental divide crossing, back into BC for short distance and, at mile 751.2 entered the YT for good. It was the last of seven crossings that the Alaska Highway makes across the border.
Whitehorse is the YT capital and we arrived in town about 2:00; finally an early campground arrival! We chose High Country RV Park, the closest campground to town. It is a very nice place with clean, shaded sites, super clean restrooms and showers, fast Wi-Fi and a laundry facility with commercial grade equipment that is nicer and larger than any we’ve seen in a campground.
We made a quick swing through the town before stopping at the Visitor Center. Afterwards we went to see the fish ladder that routes salmon past the small hydroelectric plant across the Yukon River. This is the only ladder on the main trunk of the Yukon. The fish have already traveled about 1,200 miles up the river by the time they reach Whitehorse. There are only three spawning tributaries above the ladder and only about 2,000 or so fish pass the ladder each season. Even so, the fish are diligently counted and monitored every year.
Whitehorse has a real, international airport and, on the lake above the dam, we saw some seaplane activity; the first we’ve seen. We also walked the Hidden Lake Loop Trail around a pretty lake in the area. Afterwards we stopped at three different stores before we located and purchased our quarry, an electronic mosquito swatter. What next?
Dinner was grilled marinated chicken breasts, steamed broccoli & applesauce.
We spent most of the evening visiting with neighboring campers with destinations similar to ours. It was a good group. We were amazed when, sitting around the campfire, we saw that is was 10:15 pm. It was still perfectly light, like afternoon. This is going to take some getting use to. At 11:30, when we went to bed there was still a blue sky. Weird!