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.

The final trip to Quebec for Convocation

This past weekend was our final trip to Quebec with middle child (note I say middle child since the young man still has two more years oh gawd). We were going Bishop’s to watch her graduate from University. After five years of living in Lennoxville for nine months of the year, it had finally come to an end, there would be no more 9+ hour drives up on Saturday, collapse into bed, than the next morning open our wallets take her grocery shopping Sunday morning, say goodbye, and start the drive home. Knowing it would be the last time she would see a lot of the friends, it was a sad trip for her, friendships she had built up over the five years she spent at Bishop’s University.

The drive up was not a quiet drive at all. We were not only taking middle child but two of her best friends. Having driven with the girls many times, the first thing one of them asked was whether or not we would play the alphabet game? (This is where you start at the beginning of the alphabet, try to find the letter ‘a’ on a truck, continue on until you have found all the letters, then start again, this time using signs on the side of the road).

The drive started off fine, the usual stop at the drive-thru for coffee, tea, ice coffee, sandwiches, muffins, etc., and since we left at rush hour, traffic was congested so we hopped on the toll highway to try to avoid tie-ups. All was going fine until it started to rain, well drop buckets of raindrops that we had to have the wipers on high for a good portion of the first two hours. Then all of a sudden, the wiper flies off, with the arm still attached it scratches deep into the glass, sounding far worse than nails on a chalkboard.

We pulled over to the side of the road as soon as possible, and hubby walked down the side of the road trying to find the wiper hoping it would still be in one piece. No such luck though, just as he saw the wiper, it was run over by a vehicle rendering it useless. Still raining outside, and in need of a wiper we found an extra one in the back of the van. The only problem with this wiper – it was for the back window, thus half the size of a regular wiper. Hubby moved the wiper on the passenger side window to the driver’s side, and installed the smaller wiper on the passenger side.

A bit further down the road we stopped at the store to find new wipers. Well apparently you need a degree to understand how to install a wiper! In the rain, trying to read instructions, through foggy glasses, hubby finally is able to attach the new wiper. He then goes to remove the much smaller wiper on the passenger side, but it is jammed in so tight it won’t come off. We have no choice but to leave it where it is, and hope it does an adequate job. As the rain starts to come down harder, friend number one can’t get her seatbelt on because part of the belt was stuck in the door. Hubby gets out of the van again, in the rain, and after a few tries is able to open the door to unstick the seatbelt. We stop for coffee before entering the highway again.

Continuing on with our drive, the girls take control of the music, and we grudgingly joyfully listen to the girls sing for the next eight hours. Eventually we arrive in Lennoxville, drop the girls off at our son’s apartment (which was not cleaned by the previous tenants – eww!!) with air mattresses, alcohol and clothes, well hubby and I go to a motel.

Saturday morning we are up early (habit from all those years of feeding the dogs at 6:30 a.m.) so we pick up the flowers I had ordered earlier in the week for middle child. She did not want the usual roses but Gerber Daisies. The rest of the morning was spent waiting for the girls to get ready, then pictures were taken at the apartment, and on campus. Thankfully the rain we had on Friday, did not appear on Saturday, it was a tad cold but otherwise a bright and sunny day. At last we headed into the auditorium for the convocation.

With our new graduate we headed off to North Hatley for more pictures, and dinner at Le Pilsen Pub and Restaurant. After a delicious meal, we headed back to Lennoxville to drop middle child off at her brother’s apartment once again with explicit instructions to have everyone out of by 9 a.m. because we would be starting the drive home.

Picture of middle child waiting to graduate

Our daughter, the new graduate

The drive home was a non-event with the girls pretty much sleeping all the way. As usual there were numerous stops for more coffee and bathroom breaks.

 

 

 

Romance for Valentine’s Day

At the beginning of the week, the eldest decided to make a tiled table for her boyfriend as a Valentine’s day gift. She worked exceptionally hard each day, creating the letter “B” out of black tiles which would be surrounded by white tiles. Then the top would be attached to a stand with a felt bottom (wouldn’t want the hardwood to get scratched). Once the table was done, off she went on the bus to the neighbouring town, to surprise her boyfriend. His mother picked her up at the station with the table, then once at his house, she put her plan into action. The table would be wrapped with tissue paper, with words of endearment written on it (there were also little toy dinosaurs), and then she would wait. Once he arrived home from work, she hid in his closet. All went according to plan, he was surprised, but knew immediately it was her work, and then said, okay where is she? Out of the closet she jumped!

The finished table in our basement.

The wrapped table in boyfriend's room

Second view of the wrapped tiled table

Different views of the table

Note: Before the boyfriend came home from work, he made a stop at the restaurant he was taking my daughter to for dinner. When they arrived at the restaurant later, she saw the reason he had stopped there earlier, lovely flowers were waiting for her on the table they were dining at.