Day 18, Meziadin Lake Provincial Park to Beaumont Provincial Park, British Columbia

Mileage 7493.7 km

On the morning of day 18, we awoke to a message from our son to call him. Now our son is never one to call unless it is important, so mom’s worrying was on high. There was no cell service at the park, but I had paid for a wifi connection the day before, so we had to use Facebook Messenger to try and contact our son. This was not an optimal connection, but enough to find out what had happened.

Before leaving for our trip, we had put together a number of bags of clothing that the son was supposed to drop off at the donation centre, in the meantime they were left on our front porch. Sometime during the night, a couple of teenage/young adult males had went through all the clothing, laying some of it on the railing. They tore down our Canadian Flag pole with the flag still attached, and took it with them when they left. One of them, dropped a cigarette on some newspaper flyers which had been thrown on our steps. This cigarette butt thus set the paper on fire, which set the steps on fire. How the entire house did not go up in flames, can only be attributed to the fact it had rained a lot and everything was pretty wet, either way, four out of our five porch steps were destroyed.

Now we have neighbours from hell, who are also not that smart. She and her husband had smelled smoke during the night, but decided we were having an illegal bonfire in our yard, and did not call the fire department, (weeks later when my husband and I returned home, I had quite the argument with her, as to why on earth she didn’t check where the smoke was coming from, especially since in the over fifteen years we have lived beside each other, we have never once had a bonfire in our yard! I was beyond upset, because the outcome could have been so much worse, if our house had gone up in flames with our son and his friend sleeping in the back upstairs bedrooms).

When our son woke up at 6:40 am to go to work, he immediately noticed the burnt porch steps. He phoned the police, who in turn called the fire department to assist in determining whether or not this was a case of arson. Sadly the culprits were never found.

It was around 9:30 am when we finally started travelling again. One thing we noticed in the interior of British Columbia was the lack of signage, so after driving for 2.5 kilometres, we were unsure if we were travelling south, so we turned around and went back a few kilometres, then turned around again, going back another few kilometres before we finally saw a sign – we had been driving the right way the first time. Oh what a morning we were having!

It was late in the day when we made it to Beaumont Provincial Park site #24. There was another Bear warning for the area, but he/she was more interested in the abundant supply of Saskatoon berries. Instead we could be concerned about the Western Thatch Ant, if you disturbed their nest which can be five to six feet wide or more, and as tall or taller than I (5’6”). The ant will bite you, if it feels threatened. Thankfully we somehow picked the only campsite that did not have a Western Thatch Ant nest, but did have plenty of Saskatoon berries! I filled as many Tupperware containers as I could of the berry which I found to be delicious.

Beaumont Provincial Park campsite
Beaumont Provincial Park, campsite #24.
Western Thatch Ant nest
Western Thatch Ant nest.
Western Thatch Ant newsletter
Western Thatch Ant warning.
Western Thatch Ant nest
Western Thatch Ant nest.
The lake at Beaumont Provincial Park.
The lake at Beaumont Provincial Park.
Another view of the lake at Beaumont Provincial Park.
Another view of the lake at Beaumont Provincial Park.

Towards Whitehorse, the Yukon Day 15

Mileage 6008.5

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.

Yukon Visitor Information Centre
Yukon Visitor Information Centre
Another highway, another moose
Another highway, another moose.

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.

Fireweed
Fireweed.

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.

Matt with replica of a lifesize moose
Matt being cheeky.
Totem Pole in Whitehorse
Totem Pole in Whitehorse
Yukon River
Yukon River.
Boardwalk along the Yukon river in Whitehorse
Boardwalk along the Yukon river in Whitehorse. It was a very cloudy day, and as you can tell by my hair quite windy.
Mother Bear and her cub
As we were leaving Whitehorse, we were graced with a sighting of a mother bear and her cub.