After leaving Watson Lake last Sunday, we continued on to Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon Territory, where we spent a rather obnoxious night in the
parking lot of the local Walmart. That was by far the most RVers I have ever seen at a Walmart at one time. The lot was absolutely packed, more so than most of the commercial RV parks in town. It was also quite loud as we were parked right next to a major thoroughfare.
At this point we could have continued on the Alaska Highway, or opted for what’s known as the Klondike Loop. The Klondike continues on a more northerly route through Dawson City, and then into Alaska via the Top of The World Highway. Top of the World is around 80 miles of gravel road, but with world-famous vistas of the pristine Yukon/Alaskan wilderness. We decided to take the Klondike and spent the next day driving north to Pelly Crossing, one of three major river crossings in the Yukon. There, we camped at what appeared to be an abandoned government campground. It had the same layout and typical markings, but all signage had been removed. A couple of posts in the ground were all that were left of the self-pay station typical of provincial campgrounds. It was a perfect spot; all the campsites were still quite level and the gravel roads through the grounds were still largely intact. Most importantly, it was free! Several folks appear to have heard about this place as it started to fill up as the evening wore on.
The next day brought us to Dawson City, an old gold mining town turned tourist mecca. On the eastern bank of the Yukon river, it’s the last town before the Alaska border 60 miles to the West. There is no bridge across the river, only a ferry that operates 24/7, carrying cars and people across the fast-flowing water. Evidently the ferry backs up in the mornings, so we decided to cross that night. We found another provincial campground just on the other side that seemed to make more sense than fighting the crowds in town. After setting up camp I walked back to the ferry and rode it back into town. Dawson is a neat place, but very very touristy. Not my style at all. It only took about 45 minutes to explore the main part of town on foot, after which I enjoyed an excellent (but way overpriced) dinner at Sourdough Joe’s, locally famous for their fish and chips. After dinner and a couple of beers, I slipped back across the river for bed.
That brings us to yesterday. As intended, we got an early start to avoid the crowds. The drive from Dawson to Poker Creek on the US border, was indeed quite spectacular. It was all I could do to resist stopping every mile or so to take photographs. Unfortunately there really is no way to capture the incredible, expansive beauty with a camera alone. It’s truly one of those things one has to experience to fully appreciate. A couple hours later we crossed the border, making slow, creeping progress along some of the most atrocious roads of the entire trip. Finally, late in the afternoon, we emerged back on the Alaska Highway, just outside Tok. From here we’ll head south where I hope to spend a couple weeks exploring the coastal areas and doing some much anticipated fishing. So until next time, keep on livin’ la vida Bohemia!