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Friday, 8 July 2011

Sad Farewell to the Yukon

Boy what an emotional pull to finally leave the Yukon. After such incredibly rich experiences, hospitality beyond belief, and new friends to cherish, it was hard to actually set out on the bike back down the Alaska Highway and turn South onto the Stewart-Cassiar highway.  Just across the BC border was a recent forest fire that looked pretty grim, but then on down road there were more magnificent views. Ended the day at a secluded and quiet lakeside near Iskut – had the lake to myself.
At Meziadin junction I could have continued South to Dease Lake but decided to do a quick trip to Stewart and Hyder Alaska which are located on an inlet from the Pacific. The road down to the coast through the mountains with glaciers hanging off the tops was again spectacular and worth the trip. I spent all of 2 minutes in Hyder and determined that it’s a bit of a dump  before returning across the border to Stewart BC which is a pleasant little place with a sea port for loading concentrated ore, tidal flats and a glacier hanging above the gas station.
A pretty cool ride, even if a bit lonely without my buddy Rog along to share it!

The aftermath of the recent fire

Great Campsite!

Stewart- Cassiar Highway

On the road to the coast

The Port at Stewart

Tidal Flats

Good halibut!

Glacier above the Petro-Can

Avalanche right beside the road

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Atlin and the Float Plane

Atlin and a Glacier Flight
The only road access to the town of Atlin BC  is from the Alaska highway in the Yukon, about 50 km West of Whitehorse, so it really is “the end of the road.” But don’t interpret that as derogatory because it is on stunningly beautiful Atlin Lake and has more incredibly hospitable people. The vegetation is rich in the micro-climate nearer the coast and the snow covered mountains complement the bright blues of the lake. It feels like part of the Yukon.
 We toured the town with Roger connecting with old friends and me lucky enough to be welcomed with a comfy bed and great meals.
I was also lucky enough to get a ride in a Cessna 185 float plane with John Falkner. We soared over the Lake with its many islands, bays and pristine beaches, then up over the massive Llewellyn Glacier – part of the Juneau Ice field.
A magical couple of days!

In front of friend`s house...

Falkner`s view window!

Atlin Lake

Captain John

Llewelyn Glacier

Glacier melt lake and bergs

John heading back to Whitehorse

Welcoming Joanne



Sunday, 3 July 2011

Kusawa Lake Wow!

Kusawa Lake lies about 60km West of Whitehorse and is about 75 km long as it twists and turns through the huge glaciated valleys. In some respects it reminded me of Kootenay Lake but on this Canada day weekend we probably saw only about 15 people out on the lake. Mind you, thanks to Paul Christensen -, we were travelling in style in a 22 ft welded aluminum shallow draft jet boat with 150HP two stroke Merc on the back.  We got to the remote parts of the lake pretty quickly.
Paul led us on two fantastic hikes – simply run the boat up on the beach and start hiking. A couple of thousand feet on the first day got us warmed up for 4200 ft of splendor on day two. On each evening we camped on stunning sandy beaches with not a tourist in sight. Clean water, clean air, incredible views, midnight sun (or at least 10:55) and great companions. I’m pretty damn lucky to see the Yukon like this!

Paul's cool boat.

Starting a short hike.

Kusawa Lake - a real beauty


The dual soft finned arctic dolphin- rogerus maximus

Oooh that's refreshing!

Our route

Nice Camp

The view from camp

West is that way!

Gotta have a little bushwhack!

Paul - "the Kid"

Arc Mountain


Ice patch on top

Down the other side.

Rocky top

10:55 sunset

Lot`s of empty beaches.

Storm moving in.

On the way home.