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, β€œit 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.

Days 9 & 10 our last day in the badlands, then off to Calgary

Yesterday was awesome, we spent the day walking trails, and just resting in the beautiful sunshine. Without trees on our campsite, there was no way for Matt to hang tarp to provide some shade. He did do his best attaching two very large umbrellas on the roof of the RAV4, but by the next day I was pretty sure, my eyes were sun burnt. I should have been wearing my sunglasses for protection. I learned the hard way, my eyes were quite sore for a good week afterwards.

A photo showing the umbrellas on our car in effort to provide us with some shade.
Though there is some shade provided from the tree at the next campsite, it quickly disappeared, thus umbrellas on top of the car.

Before we left for Calgary, Matt hiked up a large mountain, I stayed at camp, packing up, knowing I would not be able to complete that particular hike. The video he shot really showed how wide-ranging the badlands are, covering 8,086 hectares.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Mileage 3625 kilometres. We took a scenic drive towards Calgary because I wanted to make a stop in Drumheller to visit a few stores. Matt wanted a dinosaur shirt, and ended up buying one that glows in the dark. He has a thing for t-shirts with animals prints.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

Driving towards the Canadian Badlands.
The Canadian Badlands
Matt making a funny face standing in front of a dinosaur statues (Note, the animal print t-shirt, he has a thing for them).
In Drumheller, where dinosaurs roam. Well, actually there are just many statues. Note, his animal print t-shirt!
The prairie sky, Alberta
Prairie sky, Alberta, Canada
A red grain elevator in Dorothy, Alberta
Red Grain Elevator Dorothy, Alberta, Canada
Rain clouds in the distance, Alberta, Canada
Rain in the distance Alberta, Canada

We arrived in Calgary in no time at all. The main reason for visiting Calgary was to see my lovely friend Nicole, owner and writer of Girl in a Boy House.

Nicole and I at Nose Hill Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta
Nose Hill Natural Environment park with Nicole and Barclay

Neither Matt nor I have ever been to Calgary, so Nicole drove us around, giving us a brief history of the city, then it was off for a walk in Nose Hill Natural Environment Park with Nicole’s dog Barclay. In the background are the Rockies. After our walk, we headed back to Nicole’s, where she took the time to make us a nice meal. Soon her husband arrived home from work, and the evening was spent having a few drinks, and chatting. It was an early night for us though, excited about reaching our next destination.

Our hike to Buttermilk Falls, Hamilton, Ontario

A couple of weekends ago, hubby and I decided to ignore our household chores so we could go on an Autumn hike. Where we live in Hamilton, Ontario we are blessed with numerous trails and for being known as the Waterfall Capital of the world.

Now I had only seen Buttermilk Falls from the top at Oak-Knoll Park, so it was decided we would walk down the Red Hill Trail through Upper King’s Forest Park, then hike through the forest and stream to reach the falls (there is no trail to follow). At times the walk was quite treacherous, as you are climbing over fallen trees, up hills, down hills, and over plenty of rocks. Overall though the hike was a lot of fun, and once we reached Buttermilk we were able to stand under the falls.

Here are just a few of the pictures we took:

Autumn Leaves
Upper Kings Forest Park

Cocoa tried to go north, when we had to go west.
Cocoa tried to go north, when we had to go west.

Bear running upstream
Bear running upstream.

Another view of the stream
There was very little water coming from the falls.

Image of the rocky landscape.
The rocky landscape, the entire hike was pretty much like this picture.

Fungi
I love taking pictures of fungi.

We had to take a couple selfie to send to the kids.
We had to take a couple selfie to send to the kids.

Is Matt contemplating, or playing on his phone while he waits for me to catch up.
Is Matt contemplating, or playing on his phone while he waits for me to catch up.

Cocoa walking towards Buttermilk Falls.
Cocoa walking towards Buttermilk Falls. At the top is Oak-Knoll Park.

Standing behind the falls
I am standing behind the falls as I took this picture of Matt.

Matt and the dogs underneath the falls
Matt and the dogs underneath the falls

Looking up from behind the falls
Looking up from behind the falls