First Motorcycle Trip of the Season

It was only one day, but it was a Most Excellent Day! I should have been working, but my eyes kept drifting from the keyboard to the sunshine in the back yard and on the snow-covered mountain beyond, and I finally succumbed. Cathy suggested that I go for a loaf of bread, and where better to get it than the bakery in Haines Junction, at the foot of the Kluane Range 180km to the west!

My first stop (at noon) was at the Takhini River Bridge at Historic Mile 946 of the Alaska Highway (Whitehorse is at Historic Mile 918). A pullout there provided a pleasant place for a short walk up the river, and a few photo ops.

Takhini River, Alaska Highway

I was surprised to hear a few days ago that the LaPrairie Bison Ranch has shut down, and shipped all of its bison to Saskatchewan in December. Their sign along the highway will no doubt soon be history…

LaPrairie Bison Ranch sign

The enticing view of the Kluane Range from Km 1526.

Kluane Mountain Range

An abandoned section of the highway leads off to the south from Km 1540.

An abandoned section of the Alaska Highway

I decided to stop in at Otter Falls for lunch, and I’m very glad that I did. Rebuilt a couple of years ago after being abandoned for a few years, this is a really high-quality operation, with cheap fuel ($1.389 for regular gas, $1.449 for diesel) and excellent food (the seafood chowder I had was exceptional). The fuel prices are 3 cents higher than Whitehorse but 2 cents cheaper than Haines Junction.

Otter Falls, Alaska Highway

Dimok Timber, the lumber mill at Canyon Creek, appears to be going full speed. I need to go through my old camera gear and find my split neutral-density filter setup – that would have made it possible to even out the extreme contrast between the lower part of the photo and the upper part.

Dimok Timber, Yukon

Pretty funny sign for a lumber mill 🙂

Lumber mill sign - 'Have You Seen What We Saw'

A panorama of the road ahead at 2:20.

Alaska Highway panorama

The highway at Km 1558. The old road can be seen to the left – it was very narrow and had lots of ups and downs that have been mostly eliminated now (this section of the highway is about 10 years old).

Alaska Highway at Km 1558

A rest area at Km 1566 provides one of the best views from any rest area along the highway.

Rest area at Km 1566, Alaska Highway

A self portrait at the rest area.

Rest area at Km 1566, Alaska Highway

Through the slot can be seen distant Mount Kennedy on the left, 3965 meters high (13,007 feet) and Mount Hubbard on the right, 4572 meters high (15,000 feet).

Mount Kennedy and Mount Hubbard

Approaching the village of Haines Junction.

Approaching the village of Haines Junction, Yukon

So much for my loaf of bread! Apparently my memory of it being open year round is incorrect.

Village Bakery & Deli, Haines Junction

This veterans’ memorial is at the Parks Canada interpretive center across the road from the bakery. It’s one of several identical monuments set up in particularly impressive locations across Canada. The text reads: “They will never know the beauty of this place, see the seasons change, enjoy nature’s chorus. All we enjoy, we owe to them, men and women who lie buried in the earth of foreign lands and in the seven seas. Dedicated to the memory of Canadians who died overseas in the service of their country and so preserved our heritage.”

Veterans memorial

An impressive street sign!

Antler street sign, Haines Junction

Madley’s General Store closed four years ago, and though it’s been for sale, there have been no takers. It was the only grocery store in town.

Heading home, I could see showers ahead but they never did hit the highway.

Rains showers ahead on the Alaska Highway

That was a great way to spend a sunny day – 6 hours, 360 kilometers, 89 photos, a great lunch – but no bread 🙂


First Motorcycle Trip of the Season — 8 Comments

  1. Madley’s closed at the end of last fall. I had purchased from them in September and they were robbed near the end of September or early October before the robbers shot at an RCMP officer just outside The Junction.

  2. This Texan commends you, sir, for getting on your iron horse and going to the ‘local’ bakery. I’m more than impressed.

  3. Madley was open in September 2010 when we did our trip through Yukon/Alaska. Because of heavy rain we could not stay at the campground and so we stayed at the motel and bought a lot of things for breakfast the next day. I know the exact date, it was 9/11 in 2010, because there was nothing than the “9/11 memorial day” on tv.

  4. And by the way, the Village Bakery seems to have a very short opening season because it was closed too on 9/11/10.