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22 January 2015

Yukon and Alaska Bound, Part 30. Destruction Bay, Yukon to Tok, Alaska


Destruction Bay, Yukon to Tok Alaska


Overlooking Kluane River, Yukon.
Overlooking Kluane River, Yukon.
One of our campsites at Cottonwood RV Park right on the lake
One of our campsites at Cottonwood RV Park

Yukon Territory at it's best.
Yukon Territory at it's best.
On the 22 of July we woke up to beautiful sunshine.



Everybody was ready at 8:30 am and we left Cottonwood RV park, one of the nicest RV Parks we ever camped in. Yukon Territory at it's best.



The mountains were sparkling and so was the lake.



We stopped at Burwash Landing at the Kluane Museum of Natural History.


The museum showed most of the native animals of the Yukon.



Even though, I do not like stuffed animals, this exhibit is an exception and a must see.



Coffee Break
Coffee Break with Swiss Goodies

Just wonderful.
Just wonderful.
The animals look beautiful, explained with a short description, and showing a 3-D imprint of their footprints.

The video is also very good. Their gift store offers interesting local handicrafts.

We had coffee at the Kluane River Overlook Rest Area. Chum Salmon come up here to spawn in the river in August and September. A good view point, quite high above the river.

The drive along here is amazingly beautiful, but absolutely tough on the but and back.



The Alaska Highway along here, from Destruction Bay to Beaver Creek at the Alaska border, is full of frost heaves, gravel patches and potholes.



We stop at Pickhandle Lake and eat our lunch. We witnessed how unconsidered some travelers are on the smallish turnaround parking. That is really the first unconsidered tourist we met. I guess some people don't think that other campers want to stop as well.

Construction along the way.
Construction along the way.

US - Canada project to see what is the best way to build roads on permafrost
A good practice to keep in mind when stopping at rest areas is to pull ahead so everyone can park. Just a little bit of thinking before you park, goes a long way.



In Beaver Creek we stop at the Visitor Information Centre. A very kind agent gives us lots of information about the challenges of maintaining the Alaska Highway along here.



Both, the Canadian and US governments are doing extensive permafrost research and testing to find answers to the sinking Alaska Highway.



What is permafrost? Why is it damaging the Yukon highways? What is done to mitigate?
This link has excellent information about all the questions above.


Gravel road in many places. Turn A/C on when dusty condition. It pressurizes the cab and keeps the dust out.
Gravel road in many places. Turn A/C on when dusty condition. It pressurizes the cab and keeps the dust out.
Christian and Annemarie
Christian and Annemarie

Spectacular country side.
Spectacular country side.
Not under all the highways there is continuous permafrost. Some places there is just ice which melts in summer and freezes in winter.

Even continuous permafrost is in danger. Climate change is probably a factor, but manly construction and the disturbance and removal of the overburden, the soil cover over the permafrost. This layer of soil acts like a big blanket over the ice, and kept the permafrost and ice more stably frozen.

The Canadian and US Governments are searching for solutions. Costs of maintaining this only over-land connection between Whitehorse and Tok Alaska is increasing at an alarming rate.

About 25% of highways in the Yukon are built on permafrost.

We continued our trip. At the US border ( Port Alcan), Anders and I had no problems with our Canadian passports, and the border agent welcomed us to Alaska.

The Swiss team took about 45 minutes to be processed. They do not have the newest kinds of passports, therefore, they all had to go inside for more information and to be finger- printed. Eventually they all emerged smiling.

There is a time zone change, Alaska is one hour ahead of time.

Somehow the roads, at least at the beginning, were also in better shape. My back and behind was grateful. From Beaver Creek to Tok it is about 180 km.

Glass of wine with dinner.
Glass of wine with dinner.

BBQ is getting warm.
BBQ is getting warm.
We camped in Tok at the "Tok RV Village". A good and friendly park with all the services, even a car wash. The town is 1635 ft. or about 500 m above sea level.

More pictures here.


>>>NEXT>>> post in this series.

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs post from our Yukon and Alaska Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you.

  1,    2,    3,    4,    5,    6,    7,    8,    9,  10

11,  12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19,  20

21,  22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  28,  29,  30

31,  32,  33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,  40

41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,

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