We’d heard so much about the rough condition of the Cassiar Highway that we were stunned to discover that there were longer and worse portions of road on the Alaska Highway.
What made the route from Watson Lake to Whitehorse easier was the stunning scenery…
…and watching to see if the historic roadhouses were still working businesses or if they’d been lost to time, as this one had.
Once upon a time, roadhouses were built about every 100 miles or so to provide supplies and fuel for once-upon-a-time travelers. Some still provide those services to travelers — the roadhouses themselves tattered and worn or refurbished and gleaming.
The Alaska Highway dips out of the Yukon Territory and into British Columbia several times between Watson Lake and Whitehorse, winding its way alongside the Rancheria and Swift Rivers, and the stretched-out Teslin and Marsh Lakes.
We tried to spy Dall sheep on the cliffsides but they were either feeling shy or our eyes just weren’t sharp enough to spot them.
Whitehorse, we discovered, was our kind of town: not too big to navigate, but large enough to have a few days’ worth of shopping, a great restaurant, and some terrific hiking.
We were ready for a hike after so many days in the cab of the RV… and were glad to find the Miles Canyon hike, where we followed the path along the edge of the Yukon River…
A little farther up the trail we spotted this bald eagle sitting across the river, but despite trying to wait it out, it just didn’t want to show us its face.
The city of Whitehorse was named for the crashing white water formed by rapids in the Yukon that looked like a horse’s mane. Those rapids meant troublesome river travel, and that meant an opportunity for a 28-yea-old Norman Macaulay to build a tramway along the river to provide passage. Most remnants of the tramway are gone (a forest fire came through here), but this reproduction gave us an idea of what the tram cars were like:
We made this hike a few times during our short stay, and enjoyed it every time:
And where to go after working up an appetite? The Klondike Salmon and Rib BBQ, where the spinach salad with barbecued salmon skewers made this one of our favorite dishes:
Spending a few days in one place gives us a chance to slow down, and when we do that we can see little things we’d otherwise miss. Like the murals that embellish Whitehorse buildings and give us Outsiders a bit of history with them…
…the electric plugs for vehicle engine heaters that distinguished the locals from the visitors….
…and the odd way this jet trail left a shadow against a cloud in the sky:
Yes, this is an un-retouched image. Maybe the tilt of the earth up here north of the 60th Meridian causes this?!? If you can explain it, please do!