Skip to main content

Featured

New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website  https://www.ceciliaclark.com/ . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at  https://www.ceciliaclark.com/blog .

Watson Lake to Dawson City: September 19-22, 2017



We did make it to Whitehorse without a hitch. From Whitehorse we drove to Watson Lake and to begin working our way down the Al-Can highway (Highway 97). Watson Lake has a forest of signposts. Before seeing this forest I had no idea how huge it had become. The Signpost Forest has more than 88,000 signs in it. Some are homemade, some probably stolen city signs, some are memorials. The signpost forest began in 1942 during the building of the Alaska Highway. A homesick US Army GI erected a sign pointing the way and miles to his hometown.


I felt an affinity with the people who nailed the crushed yellow antifreeze jug to the signpost. It says "We made it all the way from North Carolina with a leaky radiator- 9/17/17". They visited two days before us.

After our overnight at Watson Lake (our last night in Yukon Territories), we drove southeast.


This was a easy drive day for us only 171 miles to our next night’s lodging at Muncho Lake and the Canadian Rockies because we planned to stop at the Liard Hot Springs Park along the way. The hot springs are natural pools surrounded by a boreal forest. After we slipped into the pool we understood why so many people along the way told us we must stop there.




The Watson Lake Visitor Center told us to keep our eyes open along the way for the Wood Bison that are usually found sleeping on the road. When we’d all but given up ever seeing these buffalo, there they were—maybe 100 bison hanging out and resting next to the roadside. It is mating season so the males have joined the herd of females and babies. The girls didn’t seem too happy about the male invasion. As huge trucks sped by, the bison didn’t flinch. The babies kept nursing, the older females remained at rest, and the males do what males do when it’s mating season.




Together with their entourage of gnats, they crossed back and forth over the Alaska Highway.



We saw very late baby wood bison nursing. Wood Bison are supposed to calve in May. This looks to be a September baby making his chance of survival not very good.


This is the Nordquist herd of about 125 individuals. They are critically endangered now mostly because of roadway collisions in low light. Bison are dark colored and stand with their heads down. The range for this herd is about 150k/93 miles along the Alaska Highway. In 1906 the last wood bison in British Columbia was shot. In 1995, 49 wood bison were reintroduced to the area. Wood bison are larger than plains bison. Males can be up to 900kg/2000 lbs while females are half their size.

Muncho Lake
Continuing on toward Muncho Lake, we took a short hike on the Mineral Lick Trail hoping to see the promised animals: sheep, caribou, moose, licking the mineral walls of the Trout River Valley. We didn’t see any of those animals, but on the way out we saw a Spruce Grouse (aka Canada Grouse) who was frozen in place hoping that we wouldn’t notice it. This black and white with a red crest male grouse is a beautiful creature.


Moving on with our drive south along the Alaska Highway, we drove through the beautiful fall colors and stunning scenery in the northern Canadian Rockies to Pink Mountain, British Columbia.

Detail of Folded Mountain
The folds in this mountain attest to the fact that over 175 million years ago all of the Canadian Rockies were part of the flat sea bed on the western continental shelf.


Summit Lake
We didn’t see the many large animals like Stone Sheep, but we did come across a lone young caribou. It stood frozen in place for awhile before beautifully prancing across the road to continue northward along the highway. Further on, we saw hundreds of Sandhill Cranes working the thermals as they come together for their journey south. The night before we had a hard frost on our car so we’re all taking notice of the upcoming change in weather temperatures.

All four feet off the ground 





Looking back at the Canadian Rockies
Friday, September 22 we arrived at Mile "0" in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.




The Al-Can (Military Highway) is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The Al-Can connected the lower 48 states to Alaska and provided a roadway to move soldiers and supplies up the highway to Alaska during WWII.

Our day's driving wasn't done. We continued with a 4-5 hour drive to Tumbler Ridge. Why Tumbler Ridge? At one of the Tourist offices we saw a photograph of a beautiful waterfall in Tumbler Ridge and knew we had to see it for ourselves.

Comments

Popular Posts