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27 April 2015

Yukon and Alaska Bound, Part 46. Liard Hot Springs to Fort Nelson, BC


Liard Hot Springs to Fort Nelson, British Columbia


Buffalo on the side of the road
Buffalo on the side of the road
Big Horn Sheep on the side of the road.
Big Horn Sheep on the side of the road.
It was the 15th of August 2014 when we broke camp around 8:30 am in beautiful sunshine.


We were heading south, direction Fort Nelson.


This stretch of the Alaska Highway is very pretty.


One could camp and hike for a week or so and still not see it all. Just wonderful country.


We observed Big Horn Sheep, buffalo and bears. They are all shy, but so beautiful to see.

Pit stop just before Muncho Lake, British Columbia
Pit stop just before Muncho Lake, British Columbia

Muncho Lake, British Columbia
Muncho Lake, British Columbia
Muncho Lake, British Columbia
Northern Rockies Lodge
Northern Rockies Lodge on Muncho Lake

Liz by the shore of Muncho Lake
Liz by the shore of Muncho Lake

Sheep on the side of the road.
Sheep on the side of the road.

Getting closer to Fort Nelson and there is lots of smoke from forest fires
Getting closer to Fort Nelson, there was lots of smoke from the forest fires

Fields outside Fort Nelson, BC
Fields outside Fort Nelson, BC
Muncho Lake is just an incredible place to visit. Right on the lake is the Northern Rockies Lodge, it is a very nice place and has a great RV park directly on the lake.



Watch out though, the Diesel/gas is expensive, I think we paid 1.99 per liter. This was the most we paid anywhere, even more than in Inuvik.



The lodge offers a discount on the fuel if you stay in the RV park or rent a cabin.



Having said that, it is a beautiful spot and very nice lodge on a gorgeous lake.



Muncho Lake Provincial Park is also wonderful, like most Provincial parks in British Columbia.

The drive along this part of the Alaska Highway is so beautiful. Unfortunately, the closer we came to Fort Nelson, the more smoke from forest fires was in the air.



Eventually we arrived in Fort Nelson. This town looks sad, and it looks like it is in remission. Things must have gone well before, when the oil was strong. But things looks tough now.



We found a good campground at Triple G Hideaway. From there we walked into town in +32C, wow that was hot.



We walked past many empty stores and commercial spaces.


We stocked up on a few things and headed back to camp. A cool Apple Cider was in order to wash down some of the dust.



We have a bunch more pictures in the clouds. Check them out.








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24 April 2015

Yukon and Alaska Bound, Part 45. Watson Lake, Yukon to Liard Hotsprings, British Columbia.


Heading for Liard Hotsprings, British Columbia.


Liz in the sign post forrest
Liz in the signpost forest
Signpost forest goes on for ever.
Signpost forest goes on for ever.
It was the 13th of August 2014 and we had enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast with yogurt and some wonderful wild raspberries that Liz picked last night right here in the campground at Nugget City.




Once on the road it was not long before we arrived in Watson Lake. Here is where you can look at all the signs in this huge signpost forest.



We spent 30 minutes or so walking around looking at all the signs. There are signs from all over the world.

Liard River
Liard River
Anders at the rapids in Liard River
Anders at the rapids in Liard River
The drive on the Alaska Highway along the Liard River is very pretty and interesting. Once we got closer to Liard Hotspring we encountered some buffalo on the road and some bears in the ditches.



We were dry camping in Liard Hotsprings, We made sure our freshwater tank full and the grey and black holding tanks were empty.





Liard Hotsprings

Buffalo on the road close to Liard Hotsprings.
Buffalo on the road close to Liard Hotsprings.
The campsite is very nice and the sites are large and level.



It was mid-afternoon when we had the camp set up, and it was time for a dip in the hot springs.



We walked on the boardwalk towards the hot springs. There was a moose grazing in the marsh looking at us.



At the top of the mountain.
On top of the world

Beautiful British Columbia.
Wonderful views from up here.

Liz down by the Liard River

Mama Bear and two cubs.
No shortage of wild life here.

Bear Cub
Bear cub


Wonderful country side. Beautiful British Columbia.
Wonderful country side. Beautiful British Columbia.

Our campsite at Liard Hotsprings, British Columbia.
Our campsite at Liard Hot springs, British Columbia.
The hot springs are very hot and soothing on the body. We talked to a family from Alberta. Interesting family, he consults in the oil fields in Albania.


We met another couple, she is a teacher and he is from Mexico. They have been on the road for a long time and traveled all over North America.


That evening we BBQ some burgers over the open fire.


We stayed here two nights. The second day we wanted to go exploring a bit in the back country. I talk to the staff at the park gate and they told me that there was a trail up the mountain about 3 km back.


Said and done we headed off into the bush with the truck. Once we were up on top of the hill, we enjoyed the views over the surrounding area and the beautiful hills and mountains.


On the way back, we encountered a mamma bear with two cubs and also some buffaloes.

For more pictures from the drive to Liard Hot springs, have a look at our album. Also here are all the pictures from the hot springs.


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Yukon and Alaska Bound, Part 44. Whitehorse to Watson Lake, Yukon.


Whitehorse to Nugget City to Watson Lake


Leaving Whitehorse, Yukon. Heading South East on the Alaska Highway
Marsh Lake, Yukon, Canada.
After seeing our Swiss family off on the 10th of August, we stayed one more day in Whitehorse.


We did some more shopping and visited some galleries.



On the 12th of August we broke camp in a leisurely fashion and cruised south east on the Alaska Highway.






Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre

The Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre
The Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre

Totem poles at The Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre
Totem poles at The Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre
We first arrived in Teslin and stopped at the "Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre". There is a small fee to enter this center, but it is well worth it.



They had one of the best gift shops we had encountered, unfortunately we already had our souvenirs.

We watched a video produced by a local man. It is the story of survival, when one year, spring and summer never came.

It is a very interesting story about an ash plume from a volcanic eruption in the south pacific that blocked out the sun here in the north. It you have time to spend half an hour, see the video, it is well worth it.



They also offered free Bannock and smoked/dried salmon.... so yummy and good!






Down at the lake they were still smoking/drying salmon the old fashion way. The man in charge told me I could pick a piece of salmon and take it along. So nice of him.

Camped at Baby Nugget City RV Park.
Camping at Baby Nugget City

On the road again, we decided to camp at Baby Nugget RV Park in Nugget City just west of Watson Lake.

More pictures here.


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Yukon and Alaska Bound, Part 43. The Swiss Team's last days in Whitehorse, Yukon


Exploring Whitehorse, Yukon.


8th, 9th and 10th August 2014 in Whitehorse

The last few days in Whitehorse with Lisbeth, Annemarie, Hansuli and Christian. On the 10th of August they will all fly back to Switzerland.


Lisbeth and Hansuli in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Lisbeth and Hansuli in Whitehorse

For the last few days we all were together here in Whitehorse, we were enjoying this comfortable city by doing touristy things.

One afternoon we visited the Whitehorse Fishway. It has one of the longest wooden fish ladders in the world. When we visited, unfortunately there were very few salmon coming through. The salmon come from over 3,000 kilometers away to come and spawn in the Yukon River and its tributaries.



Miles Canyon, Whitehorse
Miles Canyon, Whitehorse

One day we hiked along the Yukon River by Miles Canyon. The Miles Canyon was a huge problem to navigate through during the goldrush. Sometimes, over 1000 boats were jammed above the canyon, waiting to go through. Many lost their lives and outfits. 


Christian, Lisbeth and Hansuli hiking along the Yukon
Christian, Lisbeth and Hansuli hiking along the Yukon
To avoid further accidents, Sam Steele of the Northwest Mounted Police at that time decided that inexperienced boaters were not allowed anymore to take their own boats through the rapids. They had to hire an experienced captain for a fee. The supplies were unloaded and transported around the canyon by a quickly constructed horse-drawn tramway.

Miles Canyon
Miles Canyon







Today the rapids through Miles Canyon are tamed by the construction of the dam and the creation of Schwatka Lake.


















Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre


Our visit to the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre was again very interesting. Anders and I visited here before, but each time we found out more interesting facts about the Ice Age.

Beringia Museum
Beringia Museum


Somehow for me, having seen mammoth tusks being uncovered by the miners of today, make the mammoth and other ice age animal exhibits more real.


Beringia Museum
Beringia Museum
One evening we went dining at the Klondike Rib and Salmon BBQ restaurant on 2nd and Steele Street. Go there early, the line-ups are long, but the wait is well worth it. They specialise in Northern Foods. It is a very funky place. The portions are humongous and the food is good.


Anders, Hansuli and Christian at the Klondike Rib and Salmon BBQ
Anders, Hansuli and Christian at the Klondike Rib and Salmon BBQ

Large portions.
Man-size portions!

All too soon it was time for the Swiss Team to return the two rented campers and trucks to CanaDream by the airport. They were all very happy with the units they had rented. The trucks were almost new and very comfortable. The camper tops were also fine, but they remarked that they were small. If they would not have travelled with us, and had to cook every day in there, it would have been very tight.


Exploring Whitehorse in our truck
Exploring Whitehorse in our truck

Looking back to their Three - Week camping trip through the Yukon and Alaska, they all had a good time. For the distance we travelled together, four weeks would probably have been better. We could have stayed more often 2-3 nights in the same campground. They also would have loved to see more wild animals, but they realised that the Yukon and Alaska has huge areas where its wildlife can hide.

On the 10th of August we met at the "Baked" coffee shop for a late lunch and coffee. Then it was time to go to the airport. We all said good-bye. We all had a great time exploring the north together. 


Whitehorse Airport - Saying good-bye to Hansuli, Christian, Annemarie and Lisbeth
Whitehorse Airport - Saying good-bye to Hansuli, Christian, Annemarie and Lisbeth

It was also nice to spend more time with my brother Hansuli, my sister-in-law Lisbeth, my cousin Christian and his wife Annemarie. When I left Switzerland almost 50 years ago, we were young, now more mature, it was nice to get to know them better. Big hugs.

At 7pm, back at our campground , we heard the rumblings overhead of the Condor plane leaving for Europe.

Anders and I had a quiet supper together at the Hi-Country RV park. For more pictures see our web album.


Our campsite at Hi Country RV Park.




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23 April 2015

Yukon and Alaska Bound, Part 42. Mayo to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.


Drive from Mayo to Whitehorse.


Dramatic sky early morning leaving 5 mile lake, Yukon.
Dramatic sky early morning leaving 5 mile lake, Mayo, Yukon.
It is the 7th of August 2014 and we break camp at 5 Mile Lake in pouring rain. It sure can rain in the Yukon when it wants to.



There was a lot of construction just outside Mayo, so we had to wait quite a bit, but the trade-off will be better roads.



Eventually we arrived at Stewart Crossing and made a quick pit-stop. Further down the road at Pelly Crossing we stopped and got another Yukon Stamp by visiting the great Johnathan Native House. Here some wonderful large painting are on exhibit.

Anders, Liz, Christian, Annemarie, Lizbeth and Hansuli at Five Finger Rapids, Yukon Canada.
Anders, Liz, Christian, Annemarie, Lisbeth and Hansuli at Five Finger Rapids, Yukon Canada.
At 5 Finger Rapids we stopped and had our packed lunch and enjoyed the views.

Once we were back on the road again, it was not long  before we arrived in Carmacks. It was still raining a bit. We fueled up, had an afternoon nap, bought an ice cream, then we were set for a few more hours on the road.

Wonderful landscape
Wonderful landscape

Wonderful landscape
Wonderful landscape

Arriving in Whitehorse
Arriving in Whitehorse
The road south is fairly good from here on to Whitehorse. We made one more pits-top at Braeburn Lodge, they have some gigantic cinnamon buns...... so good.



Once in Whitehorse we set up camp at Hi Country RV Park. It is a great park with full hook-ups. Some sites are a bit tight, but all are in good shape.



Left overs and pasta for supper. Tomorrow we will re-group and the Swiss will prepare for their trip home.



For more pictures from this part of the trip check out our album.
































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Yukon and Alaska Bound, Part 41. Visiting Keno City and Keno Hill Again


Keno City


On the way up to Keno City
On the road to Keno
August 6th we all piled into our truck and headed on the 70 km gravel road toward Keno City, Yukon Territory. The road is good and well grated. There are a few narrow spots, but no problems. In dry weather one could take the RV all the way to Keno. There is a no service campground in town.


Walking around in Keno City
Walking around Keno City

Like the time before when we visited, we enjoyed just walking around the old mining town. The museum is very interesting.


Keno Mining Museum

Anders and Hansuli having a nap in the truck.
Visiting the Museum can be stressful
We drove on all the way to Keno Hill. 


Christian, Lisbeth, Hansuli, Annemarie and Liz on top of Keno Hill
Signpost on Keno Hill with Christian, Lisbeth, Hansuli, Annemarie and Liz

We were so exited to show the Swiss team the beautiful flowers on the hill. Well, the spring was over and most of the flowers were gone. Up here the frost comes early.


Views from Keno Hill


Keno Hill
Keno Hill with old mining scars

The views from Keno Hill with its sign post are amazing Here on Keno Hill or "Sheep Mountain" as it was first called Louis Bouvette in 1919 found a rich silver ore deposit. Some of the old mining sheds are still visible up there.

So this area is famous for its silver mines, even though there were gold prospectors combing this Stewart River area already in the 1898s when the big Yukon gold rush came through.

Even today, there are active mines for silver and gold in this area. When we look carefully into the beautiful hills, we can spot mining going on all over the place. 



Views from Keno Hill
Views from Keno Hill

Alexco Resources opened the Bellekeno Mine a little more than a year ago, but mining in the hills surrounding Keno City has occurred for almost a century. And the landscape has the scars to prove it.
But the hay days of Keno City as a mining town are over. 

Keno is a sleepy little town. But the few people living here are genuine Yukoners. We had lunch at Mike's Snack Bar. His pizzas were again super yummy.



People waiting at an old restaurant outside
Waiting for Mike's Pizza at his Snack Bar in Keno City


On the way back we visited the Binet House in Mayo. This is well worth a stop. It shows the history of the area on nice old photographs. There is also an interesting hospital museum with the first Iron Lung on display


Having fun back at the campground


Back at the campground on 5 Mile Lake we had a great outdoor supper and had good stories to tell from our trip to Keno Hill.

Liz and I visited Keno City 4 week prior to this visit. It was then more spring colours. Have a look at post number 24 and 25.

Here are some more pictures from this trip.

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