Miles today: 410
Total Miles: 3,864
Limited bandwidth again tonight, so, I’ll post pictures tomorrow when I get to Anchorage.
The drive from Whitehorse to Tok is just as stunning as every other day since Dawson Creek. At some point, you are on scenery overload and can’t grasp the sheer magnificence of what you are seeing anymore. It takes something increasingly more stunning to leave an impression. Other than what is described below, the one thing I’ll remember from today was the Alaska Highway “whoop-te-doos”. Long stretches of roads where the tundra/ground has buckled, and, if you aren’t careful, will send you airborne for a short distance – even at posted speed limits.
While there was some wildlife along the way (a couple of coyotes, a rabbit, and numerous whooper swans), the highlight of today’s drive was from Haines Junction, YT to Tok, AK. At Haines Junction (the road splits, one to Haines, Alaska and the other the Alaska Highway to Tok), you kinda run smack dab into the St. Elias Range and the Kluane Ice Fields. This is an are where the mountains become increasingly taller and are covered by glaciers. You could even see blue ice on one of the peaks where an avalanche had occurred!
The next visual wonder was Kluane Lake. Created by runoff from the Kluane ice fields, this lake is truly pristine and a color of blue you won’t find in many places. There is little to no development except for a small community named Destruction Bay. Otherwise, it is almost completely unspoiled. One thing to note is that because I’m here sort of early in the season, the lake is still down about 5 feet and I had to navigate a bridge in a “brown out” dust storm.
At Beaver Creek, YT (the most western settlement in Canada), is the Canadian border check (coming south); however, the US border check is some 20 or so miles north of the Canadian checkpoint. Traffic headed north only stops at the US checkpoint and traffic headed south only stops at the US checkpoint. You figure it out.
Driving into Alaska, AK2 follows the Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Refuge. A stunning area of Spruce, Aspen, Poplar, and Alder trees dotted with natural lakes. Of course, unlike Canada, mailboxes and electric lines start to reappear – sad, really.
The fire danger is quite high rights now as it is most every summer, but I did run into some rain today. Just enough to turn the dust on my truck to mud. I’ll need a car wash before I come back!
While I’ve tried to keep politics out of this blog, I just want to mention how nice its been to listen to XM radio for most of this trip and get away from the US news. Today, when the signal finally cut out for good (and because I was tired of listening to the only album I had on my phone), I found the Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC) station. I found their commentary enlightening and straightforward. Not really yes or no on any particular subject, but, rather everybody’s got problems – get over yourselves. One commentator stated that he felt, regardless of political affiliation, Americans are so self-focused they can’t see the forest for the trees.