Meet the Alaskan Highway
Taking me from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, the Alaska highway is steeped in history. It fed the area with hordes of people desperate to strike it rich during and after the gold rush. The landscape along the highway is varied, it moves between dry almost desert to huge treed mountains to enormous bare mountains. The Tanana river valley has some stark viewing, thousands of half dying trees line the muddy flats of this basin. I believe something in the soil leaves the trees this way.
Crossing from the US into Canada at Beaver Creek I felt more at ease somehow. Maybe I won’t see a man casually stroll into a grocery store with a gun and holster hanging off his hip (3 bears grocery, Tok) or maybe its comfort in the knowledge that if anything happens to me, I’m covered! The two biggest changes on entering Canada, no cell phone reception and back to gravel roads. Kluane national park in the Yukon is simply riveting, with more stunning scenery than I had realized. I was in awe passing through Kluane with my mouth agape most of the time. Bugs..I swallowed lots.
Being on a bike you notice the wind, up here it seems to change direction multiple times every day. I suspect all the massive mountains have a huge impact on wind patterns.The route is mostly flat with some minor climbing, but after the Dalton I’m very much ready. Kluane seems little known with not much in the way of facilities. The St Elias range is breathtaking, lake Kluane and its eye grabbing backdrop is no runner up.
As for wildlife on the Alaska highway, I’ve seen some. One campground I was to stay at outside Destruction Bay was closed to tent camping because of aggressive bears in the area. A mother grizzly bear with a cub crossed the road in front of me, I’ve seen Moose, some turned and ran others stared me down. Also beavers, sandhill cranes, eagles, ospreys, trumpeter swans and ground squirrels. When you are up close with a large wild animal pretty much the last thing on your mind is getting a photo.
For now I’m going to rest up in Whitehorse and in a few days I should be back in BC on the Cassiar highway.