Day 20 – Tuesday, July 14 (Dease to Prince George)

Dease to Prince George

The temperature was 11 C (52F) when I got up and by the time a stopped for the night it was 22 C (72F).

I noticed that it had gotten dark at night and I had left the area of 24 hour daylight.

I had a sound sleep and and I got up refreshed. It had rained during the night but my tent was dry because the campsite owner had allowed me to pitch my tent under the canopy. I started to cook some oatmeal while I packed the tent and bedding in the car. After packing, I finished the oatmeal and left the campsite. I topped up the car with with gas and left for Prince George.

It rained, on an off all day, for short periods of time while I drove south. It would rain for a few minutes and then I would enter an area that was totally dry and then, a little later, it would rain again.

As I drove further south, the scenery was spectacular. The densely forested mountains and valleys were impressive.





One of the main differences is that the trees were significantly taller in the areas that hadn’t been burned down by a forest fire. Many of the trees were more than 10 m (32 ft) tall, some being much taller.




There were also a lot of wildflowers and berries of various colours alongside the road that complimented the green of the trees and the shrubs.


I kept taking pictures even though they couldn’t adequately represent the scenery. It is truly amazing that the eye is naturally capable of focusing everything that it sees and it has a wide peripheral vison. A camera is not as sophisticated but it can give the viewer an idea of the picture that it is portraying.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see any wild animals along the road except for the odd rabbit or squirrel.

When I got close to the west coast of BC, I took Highway 16 south-east towards Prince George where the traffic became busier and the towns got larger and closer together and some of the forest gave way to grain and livestock farms.

When I got to Prince George, I checked into a hotel for the night. Tomorrow, I should be able to drive the 8 hrs to Surrey, where I will be visiting with my nephew Tim, his wife Shannon and their two boys, Warren and Kevin.

Day 19 – Monday, July 13 ( Whitehorse to Dease, BC )

Whitehorse to Dease

The temperature was 13 C (55F) when I got up and it and got as high as 18 C (64F) before cooling back down to 13 C in Dease, BC.

I had planned to get up early, however, I had slept in my car because it appeared like it might rain and I was too lazy on Sunday night to pitch a tent and pump up my air mattress. I slept quite well because I was able to stretch out and I made myself comfortable. When I finally got up, it was 7:30 am and my appointment was for 9 am at the Canadian Tire store.

I started to re-organize the car when I noticed that the passenger front tire was flat. I got out my 12V compressor and started to pump up the tire to see if it would hold pressure. I continued to get things ready to leave while the tire was filling up and I soon noticed that it was holding pressure and starting to inflate. My backup plan was to put on the spare, however, that would take more time than pumping up the tire. I got it to 170 Kpa (25 psi) and then I drove to the Canadian Tire store which was 25 km (16 mi) away, while monitoring the conditions in the car and stopping once to check the tires. I got to the store a little early and explained to the service manager that I needed the tire fixed as well as the oil changed. He told me that it should be finished by 10:30 so I went to have breakfast and write up my blog. I returned at 10:15 and found out that they hadn’t started working on my car because there was only one mechanic available. The other mechanics had called in sick. He told me that it would be ready by 11:30 so I went for a coffee. I returned shortly before lunch and the car was ready.

Low and behold, there was a nail in the flat tire. Dempster highway: 2, Ralf 0. I may have to come back to challenge the Dempster again, but next time I would bring an off-road vehicle like an army jeep or a tank!

With the oil changed and the tires in good condition, I left Whitehorse for my journey to Surrey, BC, near Vancouver, just as the song ” Country Roads, take me home !” was playing on the radio. How appropriate.

I took the Alaska Highway back east and turned south on Highway 37, just west of Watson Lake. I filled up with gas at the intersection because I had been told that the next gas station was 237 km (150 mi) away. I took some pictures of the Alaska Highway, however, it was the same road I had taken to get to Whitehorse, so they were similar pictures.

Highway 37 was in relatively good condition but it was a little rougher and created more tire noise, because it has more stone in it than than most pavement. There were few pot-holes and the first 30 kilometers followed the contour of the rolling hills but after that they had built up the valleys and cut through some of the hills to make the road flatter. Pat had mentioned to me that I would not fall asleep on Highway 37 because there are no flat areas or straight sections for an length of time and she was right. Between keeping an eye on the road and looking for animals that might run on to the road, I was kept wide awake.

The one thing that struck me when I started driving south on Highway 37 was the amount of wildfire damage that had occurred in the area. I drove for about 20 km and all I could see was the burnt remains of the forest that used to be there, however, the brush was already starting to grow back.



The scenery was spectacular. The road primarily winds through the valleys in-between the mountains, so I was surrounded by mountains all of the time.





I reached the town of Dease at 9:05, and it was closed, so I drove to the RV center next door and was able to get a campsite for the night. It is a very nice campsite with showers, restrooms and laundry facilities. The owner suggested I put my tent under his large tent next to the pavilion to keep it dry, because it might rain. This was a wonderful turn of events, because I had assumed that I would be sleeping in my car in a rest area or vacant road, somewhere along the way.

I still have 18 hours of driving to get to my destination in Surrey and I will be heading for Prince George. I’ll see what tomorrow will bring.

Day 18 – Sunday, July 12 ( Tok to Whitehorse )

Tok to Whitehorse

It was another cool morning. The temperature was 12 C (54F) when I got up and it got cloudier, cooler ( 10 C ) and it was raining near the Alaskan border, however it warmed up to 18 C (64F) when I got to Whitehorse.

I got up early, because I knew that I would lose and hour as soon as I crossed the Alaskan border.

As I packed up my tent, I noticed that the pressure in my passenger front tire was a little low so I drove to 3 gas stations in the vicinity before I found one that had an air compressor. The tire was down to 172 Kpa (25 psi) and it should be 250 Kpa (36 psi), so I knew that I had a slow leak because I had pumped up the pressure in Dawson before I left and because it had been a little low then. It appears that the Dempster got me again but not as bad this time.

With the tires all at a good pressure, I went for full breakfast at Fast Eddy’s and then headed for Whitehorse at 7 am Alaskan time.

It seems rather repetitive, but the scenery was captivating. I have spent a good deal of my time driving, while keeping an eye out for animals ( especially the big ones that might challenge me to a game of chicken ) while enjoying the scenery and keeping my eyes on the road.


Even the sight of recent wildfires, were interesting.


The road condition on the AlaCan (Alaska Canada highway, aka Alaska highway) varied. It was mostly paved, some areas with smooth pavement, some areas (especially in the Yukon) with a rough pavement ( more stone than tar ) and a few areas that were under repair from the heaving of the permafrost. The worst section was a 40 km (25 mi) stretch that was under repair and it had sections that were so bad that I had to slow down to 30 kph ( 20 mph ) while dodging potholes only to find that I had miscalculated and hit a bigger one than the one I was trying to avoid. Between the potholes, the stones catapulted from the tires of other cars, the undulating pavement and the road debris, I am surprised that there wasn’t more damage to my car. I had suspected that I would have some stone chips or a cracked windshield by now and that hasn’t happened. The flat tire on the Dempster was a stoke of luck, although, a bad one. I won’t be surprised if I need new shocks, tires, idler arms, windshield, etc., by the time I get home. It might just be time for a new vehicle by then.

It is interesting that the US Border patrol office and the Canadian office are about 30 km apart. I reached the border after opening time, which is 9 am. The border is only open from 9 am to 9 pm. I’m not sure if that is Yukon time or Alaskan time. There were 3 cars ahead of me and it didn’t move for 20 minutes, so I shut off the engine and worked on a crossword puzzle.
When the line did start to move, it didn’t take long to meet the border patrol agent from St. Catharines that used to work at the Lewiston bridge. A few questions, a couple of funny comments and I was on my way.


There was a lot of spectacular scenery through the mountains and I took many pictures as often as I could using my stop and dash routine of pulling over, putting on the flashers, unbuckling, taking my camera, turning it on, checking traffic (there was never any when I did this), getting out, taking the pictures I wanted, getting back to the car, putting on my seat belt, turning off the camera, putting it away, checking for traffic (again no traffic), turning off the flashers, turning on my signal and I was on my way again. It had almost become a game. I also took advantage of some pull-offs to take the pictures but the routine was almost them same.





Unfortunately, none of my pictures do the scenery justice.

It took about 8 hours for the trip and I pulled into the campsite in Whitehorse about 5 pm ( Yukon time ) and called Pat McKenna, who had invited me for dinner and we arranged to meet at her house at 6 pm. Pat has been a great host and I have enjoyed our conversations and her awesome meals. We had a moose stew with garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and a warm onion bun, all of which she had made. We also had an excellent desert cake, covered with fruits and berries, that she had made from scratch.

After dinner and stimulating conversation, I returned to the campsite to wash my car again and do some laundry, in preparation for the next leg of my trip to Surrey, BC.

Day 17 – Saturday, July 11 ( Dawson to Tok, Alaska)

Dawson to Tok

It was a cool day again. It started out at 10 C (50F) and then warmed up to 15 (59F) by the time I reached Tok, Alaska.

When I got up, I packed up my tent and headed into town for breakfast. While I was there a 70-year old gentlemen named Ron Roesler from Kansas joined me and we exchanged stories for a hour while having breakfast. Ron started an online trading company years ago and he is now retired and was heading to Fairbanks, Alaska with his dog, Polo, to go fishing for a week. He had a very interesting background and I enjoyed listening to his stories.

After breakfast, I took the ferry across the Yukon River in order to take the “ Top of the World” highway to Alaska.


The road is similar to the Dempster highway and the scenery is also spectacular, however, the road is shorter than the Dempster and it is also very lightly travelled.

Along the way I saw this fox who looked like he could use a good meal.


A little while later, I saw this marmot on the side of the road.


The “ Top of the World” highway winds around the top of the mountains and there are some sheer drop-offs in several places. It is not for the faint of heart or people with a fear of heights, but the scenery is beautiful.




The highway takes you through the mountains to the U.S. border, which is at an elevation of approximately 1250 m (4100 ft). At this point the there is another time change. Alaska is 4 hours earlier than Niagara. When it is 8 am in Alaska, it is already noon back home.


At the border the highway had been recently paved on the U.S. side, up to the cut-off going to Eagle, which is a town at the mouth of the Yukon. From there the road was unpaved again and in a lot of places it was rougher than the previous section of unpaved road.

Shortly after I crossed into the U.S, I met a bicyclist peddling up to the US. border so I stopped to talk with him for a while. He told me that he was from Switzerland and that he was riding to Inuvik and then back down to Watson Lake.


As the road slowly wound down the mountain sides, I came to the town of Chicken where I stopped for lunch at the Cafe next to the RV Campsite before continuing my trip to Tok. The burger was quite lean and tasty. This big statue is the town symbol.


While I was at Chicken, I saw this tourist trying his hand at panning for gold.


The road south from Chicken was mostly paved with a few short sections that were under repair. Although the road was paved, there were sections that were “ undulating “ like rolling waves and driving over it felt like a disney ride constantly going up and down.

I finally reached Tok in the early evening and located a very nice campsite where I set up my tent. There was a fellow at the campsite from Lafayette, Louisiana, who was taking a 6 week vacation to ride his Harley motorcycle to Alaska and the Yukon before heading back home via the west coast. We chatted for quite some time and I enjoyed hearing about his trip, his work and his family. I’ve met a lot of very wonderful and interesting people on this trip, which alone have made this trip an excellent adventure.

Tomorrow I will head back to Whitehorse, where I will get the oil changed in my car and the tires checked before making my way down the heart of British Columbia.

Day 16 – Friday, July 10 (Dawson)

The temperature was a cool 10 C (50F) when I got up but it warmed up to 23 C (73F).

I have travelled 7700 km ( 4800 miles ) to this point and I have one more trip planned before I start heading south.

I wasn’t sure what was going to happen today. Let’s see if anyone figured it out.

I answered some emails and did some work on my computer in the morning and then I went into town for a leisurely breakfast. Shortly after I returned to the campsite, I checked with the auto shop and they informed me that they had a different brand tire for me that was the same size as mine, so I had them install it. I washed the car again, especially the inside of the wheels because they had 2.5 cm ( 1 in ) of heavily packed mud and grit on them. I then decided to go for lunch before I went for a test drive, so I went to “Sourdough Joe’s” restaurant where I had an awesome Salmon filet on sourdough bread.

I had decided to go fishing in the afternoon and leave for the next leg of my trip tomorrow. As I left town, I sped up to 80 kph and the car started to shake drastically so I went back to the auto shop. The mechanic was about to remove the tire to check it’s balance when he saw the problem. He asked if I had washed the inside of the wheels because there was still some areas of packed mud behind the spokes of the wheels and that had would change their balance. I thought I had thoroughly cleaned the wheels, even though the area behind the spokes were hard to get at, but I saw right away what he meant. I washed the wheels again and the problem was gone.

I was now finally ready to go fly fishing, so I headed back to the Dempster highway. Yes, you heard me right. I went back on the highway that had caused my flat tire.

I went to the 55 km mark, where Elliott had said that he had caught fish. I tried the spot for a while but it didn’t seem like a place where the fish would be and I didn’t have any luck even though I tried several areas. As I was looking for a place to fish, I found these tracks heading towards the water. One looks like it might be from a moose because it was quite large. I think the smaller ones are deer tracks.




I decided to drive to a spot I had passed at the 54 km mark. The water was very cold but I waded into it and looked for a got spot. It didn’t take me long to find a tree, along the water, where a lot of bugs were flying around and I felt that it would be a good spot to try. It didn’t take long for me to get my first catch.


I caught several more but I only took a picture of a few. I was told that they are grayling which is a species of salmon. But then what do I know; I try not to be prejudiced. All fish are equal and they look like more like trout to me. They were about 8 – 10 inches long and you are only allowed to keep ones that are between 8 and 26 inches. I probably could have kept a few of them, if I had wanted to clean them and eat them, but I wouldn’t be able to take them with me tomorrow.




After I took the pictures, most of the fish were able to shake themselves off of the hook. In the Yukon you have to use ” barbless ” hooks and when you use small fly fishing hooks, such as this one,


it makes it more challenging to keep the fish on the hook, but that’s the fun and the challenge of it. As I said before, I’m not a good fisherman, but you don’t have to be good at it to like it.

I didn’t have my cell phone or a watch with me, so I couldn’t tell what time it was. I fished until my feet were almost numb from the cold water and then I finally packed up and drove back to the camp. It was 8:30 when I got back to camp so, I had cooked some supper, took a shower and went to bed.

Tomorrow and Sunday should be the last leg of my northern tour.

Day 15 – Thursday, July 9 ( Eagle Plains to Dawson )

It was a very cool evening, night and morning with a temperature of 4 C (40F), which is quite cool when you are tenting. As I drove closer to Dawson, the temperature got significantly warmer ( about 19 C, 66F ).

I met the two bicyclists in the lounge of the hotel and we visited while we had a light supper. Afterwards, I was writing my blog when a father and daughter from Vancouver Island asked me a question and we ended up having a long conversation. They were originally from England, which was evident from their accents, who were travelling to Inuvik. By the time I finished my blog, and went outside it was midnight, but it was hard to tell because it was still bright and sunny. I forget to go to bed because it is always so bright outside and I can’t tell what time it is. This picture was taken at Wednesday, midnight.


I assumed the next morning that it was going to be a boring day since I would be retracing my drive back to Dawson, but that wasn’t to be the case. There is always something to brighten my day.

When I went to breakfast in the morning, Tom and Susan Green, the two bicyclists I had met the night before, invited me to join them. They are a unique couple and as I found out, he is in his 70s and she may also be in her 70’s but both of them are so fit that they look like they might be in their 50s.

I left Eagle Plains in eager anticipation of driving through the mud bog again. I had heard that there was a muddy section because the money had run out for putting the gravel on the 13 km section of the road. They had the gravel, but they didn’t have the money to put it on the road? This is was the worst section that I encountered on my way back to Dawson.

I kept a lookout for any animals that might wander near the road as I drove the 75 km to the start of the muddy area.


Fortunately it had been graded and although there were still some slippery sections, it was nothing like the previous day.


I thought I was home free, but I was going to have a sudden change of luck. I decided to turn into a rest stop to take a picture of the scenery. When I had taken my picture, I had no sooner left the rest stop when something ran across the road in front of me. It was grey, quite furry and it looked very similar to the lynx I had seen at the McBride Museum in Whitehorse, but I couldn’t identify it. I stopped and got out of the car to see if I could get a picture, when I heard a loud hissing noise coming from my car. I looked down at the driver’s side rear tire in time to see it go completely flat. I was on a downhill section of the road and I was only 400 meters from the rest stop so I limped the car back to the rest stop, where I looked at the tire and immediately saw the hitch-hiker and found out the reason for the flat.



I had been warned that you should have at least one spare tire ( preferably two ) when you travel the Dempster Highway. Fortunately I had at least one spare tire.

A fellow named Elliott, who was originally from Oakville and had moved to Fernie, BC was camping at the rest stop with his girlfriend and came over to see if I needed any help. He brought me a drop sheet so that I didn’t have to kneel on the mud. I took everything out of my trunk to get the jack and the spare tire out. It didn’t take me long to put on the spare, pump it up to 60 psi with my 12V air compressor and then pack everything back up.

While I had been unpacking my car, Elliott noticed that I had 2 fly rods with me and he told me that he had caught his limit of grayling in a very short time at the 54 km mark on the Dempster Highway. He suggested that I stop there. I thanked him and slowly continued on my way. I still had 325 km to drive in order to reach Dawson and I was trying to keep my speed below 70 km/hr on the bumping gravel road, because I didn’t want to have another flat. I had only seen 2 cars every hour and if I broke down again, I would have to wait a long time to get a message to Dawson or Eagle Plains for help, since there is no cell service on the highway.

The roads on the Dempster have no guard rails on them and there are very steep drop-offs along the edges.


Fortunately I had no further problems and I arrived in Dawson about 5 1/2 hours later, in time to see the mechanic in town. I left the tire with him and he told me to come back in an hour. When I came back, he told me that the tire was irreparable.

Since, my car was caked in a half-inch layer of mud,


I took the time to wash it twice and it is much cleaner but it will still need to be washed again.


I had read the complete manual for the car when I got it and I knew about the installation of the spare, however, when I checked it to see how long I could drive on the spare because I had forgotten that part, I was pleasantly surprised. It stated that the spare could be used to “ finish a long trip “. It states that I can drive 65 miles/hr for 3000 miles ( 5000 km ). Therefore I have some options. I could go fishing for a few days and wait for the tire to arrive or I could order the tire from a shop in Whitehorse and continue my trip until I get back there to have it installed. I could also have him install two identical tires on the back, that are similar to the ones I have but not the exact same size. So many choices, so much time!

What are the odds that I would pick up that large spike on the Dempster highway?
There are so many things to be grateful for:
I was able to keep someone else from picking up the nail.
I met Elliott and he told me about a great place to fish.
I was able to get back to Dawson without any issues.
I was able to re-pack my car, which is something I had wanted to do anyways.
I have lots of choices with regards to my tires.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

The answer to the trivia question from Day 13 is:

The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly called the British North America Act, 1867), whereas territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the federal government. That means that the provinces subsidize the territories since they don’t have the resources or tax base needed for the infrastructure.

Day 14 – Wednesday, July 8 ( Dawson to NWT border)

Dawson to NWT border

It was a cool overcast, cloudy and rainy day. The temperature started at 14 C (57F) but it went down to 4 C (40F) in the mountains where it was raining.

I had a wonderful Ham & Egg breakfast sandwich at the Bake Shop in Dawson, before leaving to take the Dempster Highway ( #5 ) to the border with the Northwest Territory. This is an unpaved road with gravel, rocks, mud and ” other ” things.


As you can see on the sign, there are no medical facilities. It warns you to drive with care. There are no gas stations, until the Eagle Plains Hotel & Restaurant which is 370 km (230 mi) from the start of the highway so I made sure that I had enough gas.

The roads started out fairly good, with a few pot holes but there were some sections that were in bad shape. The scenery was similar to the other highways, however, as you get higher in elevation the trees are thinner and smaller and eventually there are very few trees. At the start of the Dempster, the elevation was approximately 700 m ( 2300 ft ) but the road elevation varied a lot and got as high as 1330 m ( 4400 ft ).


After a couple of hours it started to rain and the roads got worse, but I didn’t expect to be driving through a mud bog. An area of about 10 km that was under construction for resurfacing, didn’t have any solid gravel or stone and it had become very muddy and slippery so I had to slow down, while keeping just enough speed to keep going forward. Previous cars made ruts in the road and you could see evidence of ” fish-tailing” by looking at the ruts. At one point my car start to “fish-tail” as it swerved back and forth on the road, trying to find a path, but fortunately I was able to get it back under control and I slowly continued on.


I was seriously considering turning back because I thought the rest of the road (100 km) would be like this, but I was close to the point where I might not have enough gas to get back to Dawson. Fortunately the roads got better after a few kilometres, so I continued to the Eagle Plains Hotel. The rain stopped after an hour and the mountain scenery was beautiful.



I stopped at Eagles Plains, filled up with gas, had some lunch and continued on my way. The roads were much better at this point although they have steep sides and no railings for protection, so I was very careful when passing oncoming traffic. I drove 34 km north (22 mi) from Eagle Plains Hotel where I arrived at the Arctic Circle.


I left the Arctic Circle and continued north for another 60 km, until I reached the border for the Northwest Territory.


I decided not to continue driving to Fort McPherson, but opted to turn around and head back to Eagles Plain for the night. Tomorrow I plan to drive back to Dawson, if I can get through the muddy section again. My car is so muddy that it is hard to tell what colour it really is and the bike in the back is not recognizable. It will take a lot of cleaning to remove the caked mud, however, there’s no use cleaning the car if I only have to drive through the mud again.


I met a couple my age from Portland Oregon, who are riding their bicycles from Inuvik to Haines City. They are avid riders and they have ridden all the way down from Alaska to Washington State. I get tired just thinking of doing that.

Day 13 – Tuesday, July 7 (Whitehorse to Dawson City)

When I got up it was a cool 16 C (61F) but it warmed up to 23 C (73F) by 10 am.

Whitehorse to Dawson

I filled the car with gas and checked my tire pressure before leaving Whitehorse to go north to Dawson City. The Alaska Highway is highway #1 and it goes through Whitehorse and shortly afterwards veers West to Alaska where it connects to the Klondike Highway, which is highway #2. The Klondike Highway goes almost straight north to Dawson City. The drive is 530 km ( 330 mi). The road is paved, however, it is under repair at several locations and there are long stretches of unpaved gravel road that are very dusty ( unless it rains ) and bumpy. Some areas on the road have low spots that you can’t see because they are gradual and long and they caused the car to ‘ bottom out ‘ as I drove over them which made it feel like a roller coaster ride.

There are a lot of motorhomes and motorcyclists riding up to the Yukon, some continuing on to Alaska, but what has really impressed me is the number of bicyclists that are riding the Alaska and Klondike highway with all of their camping and biking gear attached in bags on the sides of each wheel and above the rear wheel ( and some even have a backpack as well). To ride up and down the highway around the mountains is very impressive.

Pat had given me bandana bread and cookies to take along. They came in very handy when I had to wait at a construction site for the pilot car to take the northbound traffic through the zone.

There were several areas along the drive that had signs indicating when they had experienced a forest fire…1998, 1995, 1953, etc. The trees were growing back but there were large patches of Fireweed growing in the open areas as you can see on this picture where there had been a forest fire in 1998.


The Fireweed, as well as other wildflowers flourish in the areas between the highway and the treelike.


The views of the area are spectacular.


The pictures below are of the Yukon River at different locations.



When I arrived at Dawson City, I found a campsite at the entrance to the city. I got a site, pitched my tent and then went into Dawson City to check it out and have a meal. I had a delicious Salmon dinner with a salad and black beans. As I was eating, it started to rain and continued to rain for about an hour. When I finished my meal, I drove around town a bit and then headed back to the campsite. Fortunately only a little rain had gotten into the tent and I was able to dry it up so that it wouldn’t be a problem.

Dawson is a unique town that has tried to keep its gold rush heritage as the centre of the Klondike Gold rush. During its peak there were 40,000 people in Dawson. The current population of Dawson City is 1300 and the entire population of the Yukon Territory is 33,000 most of which live in Whitehorse which currently has a population of 23,000.

Trivia quesiton – What is the difference between a province and a territory?

The farther north I get the longer the days are. There isn’t a time during the evening that it actually gets dark. It gets a little darker but not totally dark.

Day 12 – Monday, July 6 ( Whitehorse )

It was sunny day and the temperature was quite warm even though it only reached about 25 C (77F). It must be that the sun is closer to us in the north. The days are very long and it never gets completely dark.

I spent the day in Whitehorse. One of the first things I did was to pick up a fishing license at the local Canadian Tire store. It is the biggest store in the franchise that I have ever seen.

I also went to the McBride Museum of Yukon History. I thoroughly enjoyed this museum. There was a special presentation by one of the locals, who eloquently recited poems by Robert W. Service. Generally I’m not one to listen to poetry, but they related to the history of the Yukon and they were very well articulated by the presenter.

There are numerous old artifacts and machines that I found interesting such as the early equipment used by the gold diggers, as well as old dental, barber, printing equipment, etc. There are also mountings of local animal life (lynx, cougar, grizzly, polar bear, wolverine, etc) and household items used in the early days.

I was not allowed to take photographs inside but there were a few things outside that I was able to photograph.

There was an old hydro electric generator that I found fascinating although it looked like they were making some renovations in the area.

Yukon First HydroElectric

The old steam engine locomotive also intrigued me.

Yukon Steam Engine

After seeing the museum, I went to the information centre to get maps and detailed information about things to do while I’m here.

I then met Pat at the ” Bake Shop ” for a coffee/tea. We visited for a few hours and then I headed back to camp.

Tuesday morning I will be embarking on an new adventure. In the Yukon there are a lot of places that are ” off the grid ” but I will try to update my blog, as soon as I can. Stay tuned.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Day 11- Sunday, July 5 ( Watson Lake to Whitehorse )

It was a warm and cloudy day. The day started at 18 C (64F) and warmed up to 23 C (73F).

I left Watson Lake at 8:00 and headed down the Alaska Highway towards Whitehorse. After a couple of hours an older red BMW car passed me. 20 minutes later I saw it parked on the side of the road and as I drove by I noticed that the hood was up with the young driver looking at the engine. I turned around and asked if he needed help, which he gladly accepted. He informed me that he had just bought the car in Vancouver and he was driving it back to Whitehorse and the radiator had overheated. As he was explaining this to me an older fellow (he was about my age) on a Honda Goldwing from North Dakota stopped to assist. He noticed that the belt for the water pump was very loose. I pulled out my tools from under all of my camping equipment to assist and since the owner of the BMW wasn’t mechanically inclined, we tightened the belt for him. After the owner “ topped up “ the antifreeze, he started the engine again but the antifreeze started to spray out and we could hear an unusual noise. I could see that the pulley was rubbing on something because there were fine metal filings coming from the pulley, but it was hard to see what was causing it to rub. The leak looked like it was coming from the water pump seal so we informed him that he was going to have to get it replaced. A local man with a truck stopped by at this point and offered to give the owner a ride back to Whitehorse, which he accepted.

Since there was nothing more I could do, I continued another 60 km to the next town and had lunch at a very nice restaurant, fittingly called the “ Yukon Restaurant “.

After lunch I topped up my gas and continued my journey to Whitehorse. I arrived at 2:30 pm and checked out a couple of campsites before checking into the Caribou Wolf RV Campsite. This is a very nice campsite. It is clean and it has very nice showers, a laundramat, a car wash, a restaurant and WIFI.

I was warned that there would be lots of mosquitos and other blood-thirsty bugs, but I haven’t noticed many bugs except on my windshield and the front of my car. I haven’t needed to use any bug spray since I left northern Ontario.

After setting up my tent, washing the car ( and almost getting all of the dirt and bugs off ) and taking a shower, I headed into Whitehorse to have dinner with Pat McKenna and her son David. Pat is the sister of one of my co-workers at Oxy Vinyls, Sean McKenna. Pat’s nephew (Sean’s son) Mike, also works with me at Oxy Vinyls. Pat and David live in a beautiful house in a very nice sub-division in Whitehorse.


Pat is a retired school teacher and a marathon paddler. David is a competitive bicyclist. Pat is also a nutrition expert and after a wonderfully nutritional meal, Pat and I went for a hike around the area.

This is a view of the lake that was formed when they built the dam for the Yukon Power station.


The Yukon Power station in Whitehorse is the main supplier of electrical power in the Yukon. There was another smaller station that was built to handle the mining industry, however, mining has decreased significantly over the years and the demand has decreased proportionally.



During our hike, we saw this fox near our path and when he saw us he came closer to check us out and was perhaps looking for us to give him some food.


Pat pointed out the wild sage and explained to me that the purple wildflowers that I had seen along the road are called ” Fireweed “, because they flourish for about 3 years after a forest fire.


After the hike, we drove to Miles Canyon. The scenery was awesome. I believe that most of the landscape in the Yukon is tree-covered and I imagine that there are many areas that are unexplored because there are few roads in this territory.






We returned back to Whitehorse and then I headed back to my campsite. On the way I picked up a hitch-hiker and he told me a bit about himself and his family as I drove him back to his reservation. After dropping him off, I returned to the campsite and started to make preparations for my time in the Yukon.

After talking to Pat and a friend of her’s named Richard, I might be changing my original plans for the Yukon so I could be here a little longer than originally planned. You’ll have to stay tuned to see what I actually do.