April 20, 2014

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Alaska Trip- Day 7 Whitehorse

Kirk and crew continue their journey on the ALCAN Highway across the Yukon Territory and enjoy the rhythm of potholes, nature and no wildlife!

 This is my personal blog about our Alaska 2013 trip, and is not the opinion of the station nor anyone else. 

So as we leave Beaver Creek Junction behind, it is with a song in our hearts.  We will forever remember this rustic hotel and the funny dinner theater they performed for us.

It is hot again today, and the temperature remains in the 80s until we get past the next range of mountains south, where it starts to cool a bit, and we see towering thunderheads, but no rain. Most of the day is bright and sunny and hot...and that spells disaster on the wildlife sightings. The animals prefer to come out when it is overcast, cool and rainy...and so we see NO animals since two days ago.

We did see a moose standing in a pond next to the Gold Dredge #8 two days ago, but all the sheep, wolves, bear, moose and others stay under cover.  Ironically, just after passing through a construction zone on this ALCAN highway, the driver announces a grizzly bear is crossing the road behind us, but no one else sees it.  We take it in good humor though.

After a high priced lunch on our own at Disaster Bay, we stop at the new Kluane Welcome Center with an excellent film shot by the BBC for private showings. A few of us buy a copy, it was that good!  We walk through the displays and models of the mountains, and never have enough time to see it all, but we all agree that the center is excellent, and money well spent.

We arrive in Whitehorse, and the air has cooled considerably, with breezes blowing. At a rest area roadside park, we find the local power company has erected a utility pole with a cage a top to allow the local pair of bald eagles to rebuild their nest.  For the last six or seven years, they have been successful, and are raising three young eagles now.  As we watch, the papa eagles returns with a fish in his talons, and feeds the babies as Mama stands guard.  The entire thing is televised on a webcam at www.YECLeagles.com    It's a great P.R. move for the power company and every afternoon, a representative comes to explain to passing tourists what the effort is all about.

We arrive at our hotel and find the rooms are still stuffy and warm, but the outside breezes begin to cool it down as we wander the streets in search of eating spots.  Some choose the tavern across the way, others Subway, but all relax after our second long day of motor-coach travel.

I find my back and neck are tense with a pinched nerve as we have tried to brace ourselves against the lurch and sway of the motor coach as it handles the permafrost heaves in the roadway.  And I remember why I had no great desire to return to Alaska again.  Two Advil PM tablets later, I am somewhat improved, and ready for dinner.  But the strain returns, even as I am sitting still, laughing with the others. I hope they are enjoying their trip, as it is costing me much in physical pain again.

We will strike out for Skagway and the Inclined railway of the White Pass & Yukon Route tomorrow.

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