Sorry about the delay in posting the last couple of blogs…we been having trouble finding internet so I just had to stack em’ up until we found some. Finally got some at the Visitor Center in Watson Lake YT to put these up.
Day 49 (Sunday August 16) we started up the death march again…up at 0500 and started actively hitching and leaving at 0630 with out of the RV park between 0730 and 0800 for the 230 mile trip down to Carmacks YT…straight down the Klondike Highway. The road was pretty good most of the way…a few rough spots but by and large the surface was good, no steep drop offs to really worry about and only a few grades. The weather also most cooperated and we had a pretty nice day until about 2 hours after our arrival at the Carmacks Hotel and RV Park. Our original site 19 we fit in just fine but BAT was hanging out and we woulda had to unhitch…which is a pain for a single night…so we moved over to site 21 instead which let us hang out of the back of the pull through. A quick setup today…electric only as we had enough water to last and our gray/black tanks were empty.
We did get a few nice photos on the way…
First up was a stop at the Tintina Trench which is a long valley along a fault line that extends about 1,200 miles through both Alaska and the Yukon.
Pretty impressive valley, eh? Probably 1,000 feet down to the floor from the plateau top where the road runs.
Next up was a stop at Gravel Lake which is a major migratory bird stop. Not many birds this late in the season but we did get a couple of nice shots with reflections and the mountains.
Our last stop of the day was at Five Finger Rapids so named because there are 5 channels and the rocks look like fingers sticking up. Personally I only see 3 channels total and only the one farthest to the left of the image is navigable…and only then with a cable that the paddle wheelers used to pull themselves through the narrow 100 or so foot wide gap. The center and far right channels are too shallow for traffic. Currently only canoeists, kayakers, and pleasure boats travel through these rapids. Connie took this shot from up on top.
Neil meanwhile hiked down the 219 steps and half mile hike to get some closeups. Looking upstream here and the navigable channel is to the far left…the others are too shallow and rocky. This was right after a couple of kayakers went by…I’ve included a second photo taken about 30 seconds earlier to show you how narrow this passage is…and this is after it was blasted wider. Imagine taking a stern wheeler river boat through here!
Looking downstream from the observation platform just above the rock in the photos above…this is the upstream end of the narrow split through the rapids. You can see 2 of the other channels through the rocks here in the background…don’t know whether it’s called Five Fingers because there are 5 rocks or what but from what we could see there are a total of 3 passages vice the 4 one would expect if there were 5 fingers. Maybe they didn’t count the thumb and only the 4 named finger…which would result in only 3 passages but then they woulda been known as the Four Fingers Rapids.
Standing on the lower observation platform…the navigable passage is immediately below the two interpretive signs that describe the rapids and the cable system used to pull the boats through.
Looking back up towards where Connie and the rig were. The little white dots just about in the center of the photo and you can see the steps leading down and to the left from the upper platform. To orient yourself it would be off to Neil’s left in the above shot.
She got this shot while she waited…no idea what it is.
Tucked into site 21 at Carmacks Hotel and RV.
Looking upstream towards the Yukon River bridge we crossed about a mile before the park. This completes our Yukon bridge crossing quest…as I told you several weeks back on our initial encounter with the Yukon it’s only got 2 pedestrian bridges (both in Whitehorse) across it along with 6 vehicle capable bridges and the single ferry at Dawson City. We’ve driven (or walked) across each of these 9 crossings with the singular exception of the one on the Dalton Highway up to Deadhorse AK about 120 miles north of Fairbanks…and we flew over and took photos of that bridge. It isn’t often that you can say you’ve been over every bridge over any river…particularly one as long as the Yukon at over 2,000 kilometers.
And a shot of the bridge on the Dalton Highway we had to fly over instead of drive…just didn’t have an extra day to go and drive over it as our ‘free day’ was utilized for our flight up to Anaktuvuk Pass and Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Looking downstream on the Yukon from the bank just below the Carmacks Hotel and RV Park.
And that was our day…off to Whitehorse YT and Pioneer RV Park tomorrow…this is the same park we stayed in on the way north from Dawson Creek.
Day 50 (Monday Aug 17) we were off to Whitehorse…we had gotten word that Bill and Linda had their axles repaired but had an unassociated bearing failure that they discovered on arrival at Whitehorse and were awaiting parts before heading on. It was a dreary, cloudy, off and on rainy day…so photo opportunities were non-existent…and we safely arrived in Whitehorse YK 115 miles later and got quickly setup in site 58. After setup…Neil went over and talked to Bill…turns out his parts weren’t coming in until Friday so he was headed off to seek other options locally in Whitehorse. More on that in the next post since I’m trying to keep things mostly chronological here ya know.
Picture wise for day 50…we got nuttin…it was pretty much raining all the way to Whitehorse then mostly cloudy during setup. We did grill some Halibut and invited Bill and Linda over for dinner since they had been having a bad week…first the axles then 4 days in the garage parking lot then the bearing failure. Bill was concerned about bearings after the axles hit the ground and were repaired and based on temperature readings on the hubs everything seemed fine…but on inspection in Whitehorse found the bad one.
That’s about it for day 50…it was really just a travel day with nothing seen worth writing about.