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Alaska, Last State in North America, 2017 (No Boat to Hawaii)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Watson Lake to Whitehorse: 288 miles

We were up early on Thursday so that Craig could do a little more windshield cleaning in preparation for the day’s drive. He wanted  to go over it with some Bug-Off and Windex. We also wanted to watch a little of the Comey testimony, which started at 7:00 AM.


Much of our drive was smooth. Once again we saw distant  mountains and spruce forests that felt endless. 

Most of the time we could not see a vehicle either ahead or behind us.






But when we hit one 17 Km stretch of construction, we were stopped by a flag lady, and a there was a small backup. I know there were several more RVs behind us, and in the group ahead, only a few were cars. Everyone is going to Alaska, and there is only one road! It’s fun to look around the RV parks in the evening and see many of the same rigs. I suppose some drive farther, and some stop sooner, but if you prefer the same type of park we do, the choice is limited.

We all got dirty again. When we pulled into the Pioneer RV park in Whitehorse, we were glad to see they had a power wash station available.

We are staying in Whitehorse through the weekend. Friday night was the fourth game of the NBA finals.  The Cavaliers won, so there will be at least one more game on Monday.

The first of several days in Whitehorse:

There are a number of interesting things to see. Friday, we started out at the Visitor Center, then went out to the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center.


One of the sculptures outside of the Center. I don’t think he is quite full size.




Inside the Center there were a number of fossilized skeletons of mammoths, giant buffalo, prehistoric horses and camels, and informative dioramas about Beringia, which was the land bridge between Asia and North America during one of the Ice Ages when the world sea levels were lower.



There was also some art depicting First People stories. We are going to the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Center on Sunday, and look forward to seeing and learning more.

The Yukon TransportationMuseum was right next door so we bought a combined ticket. ($9 Canadian each).



This delightful engine was out front. When editing the pictures of the day we noticed how the cloud in the sky looked like it was smoke from the engine. Fun!



Great examples of modes of transportation: dogsleds, bush planes, snowshoes, trains, trucks, sleighs and stage coaches were displayed and explained.



This bus was one of a fleet that was used on the Alaska Highway. It must have been a bumpy ride!



The snowmobile evolved from machines like this one. The first ones were Skidoos.

One fun quote I read went something like this:
 “If you could drag yourself back onto the sled, the dogs would get you home, a Skidoo could never do that!”



Saturday’s  adventure was to the Yukon Wildlife Preserveand Game Farm. It is not a zoo. The animals live in huge natural habitats on 700 acres of grassland, marsh and hillsides. Small enticements like water stations and supplemental foods are located near the fence lines, but the animals are free to roam out of sight into woods and more distant parts of their enclosures.

As visitors we had a choice of taking a bus tour, or walking the 5.5 km (about 3 miles) of road and trail. We chose the walk. The day was warm and sunny, but not too hot to hike.

Animals we saw were:


How would you like this guy to land in your bird bath?


I think these were young buck Mule Deer. They were munching on a scattering of fresh branches next to the fence. Perhaps they had already eaten all of this favorite kind of tree in their space, and this was a treat.












I think all the deer in this enclosure were female. They had a large grassy area, and some nice shade trees.



























Speaking of shade, this group of Dall Sheep were snoozing among the trees. We almost missed them, even though they were pretty close to the fence. Can you see all four?



Most of the caribou were in more distant parts of their habitat. A few were snacking on some choice tree branches that had been left for them near the fence.

It seemed all of the mountain goats were sleeping high up on the rocks or in the shade of the woods. However as we walked along a wooded path that ran along a fence in a different part of their enclosure, and I was looking out into the large grass field, Craig said “Merikay” in a quiet voice. I turned to him and he pointed at a huge mountain goat lying up against the fence next to me. 



As I tried to get a frontal shot, he got up and kept his back to us. He was in no mood to move, but if he had to, he was poised to bolt forward. Eventually he moved away, but never turned our way. Once we moved on, he went back to his favored spot and resumed his nap.


This thin horn sheep was not shy. He and several of his friends were in an area much closer to the road. There was a large watering station next to the fence and some feed on the ground.















We also saw buffalo, elk, and several other kind of deer, but didn’t get decent pictures. We got a good view of a ragged white Arctic Fox that was losing his white fur in favor of summer gray, but he ran and hid before I could capture his portrait.


The musk oxen and moose were so far away they really shouldn’t be counted as among animals we saw.

All in all, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve lived up to its name. Not a zoo, but an opportunity to see wild animals in wild like settings, where they lived an almost wild life with minimal human intervention.

 It was a good three mile walk too.  

More about things we did in Whitehorse in my next post ...


5 comments:

  1. Some interesting sights along the way thatI am enjoying , lots to see and do.

    ReplyDelete
  2. glad you are taking your time to see things. Looks like fun, although slightly marred by politics!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That was quite the place to visit. Glad you are Enjoying your adventure.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks like a great trip, thanks for taking us along.

    ReplyDelete

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