Mileage 8009.8, on the road at 8:38 a.m. This was an exceptionally long day spent in the car; for some silly reason we decided to drive all day with the goal of reaching my Uncle Bob’s house before nightfall. I’m not sure why we didn’t break it up into a two day drive, considering there were many different places we could have set up camp.
The drive may have been long, but the scenery was spectacular as expected. There were times when driving on the highway, beside the Fraser River, where I had to close my eyes. The twists and turns at highway speeds, and when you looked out the window it was a straight drop down to the Fraser River.
The next few days were spent with my Uncle Bob, his wife Aunt Willie, and their daughter. This was a welcomed rest from the long drive, I was also able to do some laundry
When I was originally planning our
journey to visit my Uncle in Chilliwack, British Columbia, both my
husband and I, having never been to the Rockies decided we would
drive through them first. Of course this was the opposite direction,
and since we were driving quite a ways north, I felt we might as well
go all the way to the Yukon.
We were all packed up and ready to hit the road by 8:51 a.m., but first we had something very important to do – make a phone call to our daughter who was turning 29. Luckily cell reception was quite good in Watson Lake, and we were able to phone Genevieve and sing Happy Birthday to her!
Still reeking of rotten eggs from Liard Hot Springs, (hot showers were not available for us at the hot springs, and Watson Lake did not offer such facilities), we started back on the road again. There were two different highways to Whitehorse, we could either stay on the Alaskan Highway, or at Jakes Corner take Tagish Road (highway 8), then go North on Highway 2 at Carcross, which would take us back to the Alaskan Highway into Whitehorse. We chose to take the Carcross route as recommended to us by one of the tourist information officers we spoke with when we first arrived in the Yukon.
One of the things I couldn’t get over
was the amount of sand in the Yukon. The drive takes you through the
Carcoss Desert, and according to Wikipedia, “it is often considered
the smallest desert in the world.” On the drive you will also see
damage caused from forest fires, but also fireweed, the first flower
to grow and bloom after a fire.
The first thing we did when we arrived in Whitehorse, was to look for a hotel to spend the night in, what we didn’t realize though, is most of them were booked solid with tourists. Luckily we were able to find in room at the Westmark Hotel, where we quickly took showers! No longer reeking of rotten eggs, we went out to explore the city, and find a place to have dinner.
For dinner we decided to go to the
World Famous Klondike Rib and Salmon. For my menu choice, I selected
the Wild Elk Stroganoff – wild elk, potatoes, pearl onions,
mushrooms, and gravy served in a cast iron pan. It was the most
delicious meal! Matt had the George Chuvalo spread, comprising of
fettuccine, chorizo sausage, and vegetables.
Both exhausted from another long day of travel, off to bed we went, first closing the blackout curtains. I woke at 2 a.m, noticing the sunlight creeping in beside the edges of the curtains. The sun had yet to go down, and it still looked like the middle of the afternoon. I don’t think I could get used to the number of hours of sunlight for half the year, and the lack of sunlight for the other half. Being from southern Ontario, it was truly weird to experience the hours of daylight in the north.
For years, my last surviving Uncle has asked me to visit him in Chilliwack, British Columbia (I had flown out when I was a teenager), but it was time to go again. So figuring that we would be driving all the way, I said to my husband that I also wanted to go to the Yukon, after all, it would be unlikely we would ever have the opportunity again. My husband, having worked at the hospital for over twenty-eight years, has earned seven weeks holidays each year, so I suggested he take five of those weeks. He, of course, thought I was insane, and was not completely convinced he wanted to drive that far, so I needed a ‘hook’ to get him on-board. It didn’t take long for us to come up with the ‘hook’ – enter Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta
The trip was on!
Day one, Total kilometres to ferry 300.
We were both agreed to arise around 4 a.m. but the husband thought he would be a really sweet guy and let me sleep in, this as it turned out was bad idea, as I forgot numerous things while I tried to finish packing everything in a half-hour, have coffee, get dressed, etc. Both of us were in the car at 6 a.m., said our goodbyes to the young man who would be left in charge of the house, my vegetable garden, and most importantly our two dogs. I think my husband drove about an hour and a half when he realized he forgot his wallet! No driver’s licence! Quickly phone the young man, who thankfully is still at home rather than on a trail walking our dogs. I ask him to drive an hour to highway 401 and 6, where we, in turn will drive an hour back, and meet him at the car park. This normally would not be such a big deal but we had booked ourselves a spot on the ferry from Tobermory, Ontario to South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island.
On the ferry from Tobermory to South BaymouthOnce on Manitoulin Island the plan was to meet up with fellow Blogger Christine, who had graciously offered to be our host, show us around the island and even put us up for the night.
Christine, her husband and daughter gave us an amazing tour of Manitoulin Island. One of our first stops was Bridal Veil Falls for a wonderful swim.
Next was a visit to Manitoulin Chocolate Works, then dinner at The Trough. Later, exhausted from the whirlwind tour of the island, Christine put us up for the night, and our first good night’s sleep was well earned.