Alaska Camping Journal – Day 6
Kluane Lake and Beyond
Woke up around 5:30 to cloudy, misty skies, and a temperature of 49. We’re in an RV park primarily to dump our tanks and refill our fresh water tanks, which Brian got out of the way first thing. Had a nice breakfast of ham, scrambled eggs, toast and a roll–too much food to go to Alaska yet! Imagine that!!! Our plan is to continue towards Alaska, but take at least one more day to arrive at the border to keep working down our food supplies.
Fueled up this morning also with 140.34 litres for $150.00. Keeping our tanks just full enough as we’re hoping fuel will be less expensive once we get back into the US.
The drive west from Whitehorse is quite scenic and heavily forested, but doesn’t seem as thick as what we’ve already encountered thus far on our journey. There have been rest area stops that we’ve walked to the edge of the forest and it seems impassable due to the dense forestation. Plus the sounds of wildlife tends to make us a bit leery of wandering too far into the wilderness!
The closer we get to Haines Junction, the mountains get more substantial. The Kluane Range looks like the mountains would be absolutely gorgeous if we could see a bit more of them through the low clouds.
Approaching the Kluane National Park the mountains keep getting better and better! A few places the peaks are poking their summits through the clouds, and there are some fabulous mountains somewhere behind those clouds.
The drive around Kluane Lake is spectacular in spite of the overcast skies! There is a thin layer of ice over most of the lake, but every now and then there is some open water and the mountains are reflected in the glassy lake! We stop at what we believe is the best place for lunch, and eat up our leftover spaghetti, sausage, and also the views!
The road skirts Kluane lake and about 3 miles from our lunch spot the water becomes completely ice free and the mountains to the north are a mirror image in the cold clear water. The road tends to be pretty bad through here, and not far from our lunch spot we encounter…..road construction! This is our first delay due to road work so far on our trip.
The flagger is a very pleasant young woman, who loves dogs, so we open Gozer’s driver side door and share Casey with her! He is a people person, and has never met a stranger!!! She says it won’t be more than about 10 minutes, and we visit. I, of course, ask about bears–I am fascinated with them–and says she was charged by a Grizzly bear just that morning! She’s also been having foreign language lessons from the French, German, and Russian tourists during flag stops!
Near the north end of Kluane lake is our camp spot for the night and there are snow capped peaks all around us! This is a wide flat place we believe was used for road base construction in the past, and there are many areas just like this along the Alaska Highway. We grill some steaks and have salads and try to eat as much as we can! Since we’re not sure what foods will be allowed across the border, we’ve decided to store them around our middles!
Only 180 miles today, but the scenery has been fantastic in spite of the low lying clouds. Tomorrow, Alaska we hope!
Road Notes: We encountered several construction areas today where the road surface was gravel but no work was being done. One section before Haines Junctions was about 5 miles and our top speed was 20 MPH and more like 15 MPH due to washboard conditions. Potholes are not as numerous along this section of road. According to our flag person the road is constructed of Chip Seal. That is a gravel base, oil is sprayed onto it, and then fine gravel is spread and compacted onto the gravel and oil surface. We’ve encountered a lot of this type of road surface and it is usually fairly smooth but not always!
Tomorrow…RV Camping Journal Day 7 – Border Crossing
Yesterday…RV Camping Journal Day 5 – Mileposts, Signposts, and Whitehorse…Oh My!