Dawn light on the Kluane Mountains from our motel at Haines Junction yesterday morning at 06:55.
Most of the folks walked over to The Village Bakery while I drove the rest over in the bus. It started raining lightly a few minutes after we arrived, and the rain got much heavier as we got ready to leave. Just past Bear Creek Summit, the highest point on the Alaska Highway north of Whitehorse at 3,294 feet (1,004 meters), I pulled over for a rainbow-photo stop.
Plus a rainy-highway photo
A detour to the ghost town of Silver City, dating to 1903-1905, provides lots of photo opportunities. This became one of the service centres for the Kluane gold fields after the first discovery of gold in the summer of 1903. There are enough ruins and graves scattered through the forest to make this a multi-hour stop for the hardcore historian or photographer – I’ve certainly spent many hours here over the years.
We made a stop at the Tachal Dhal Visitor Information Centre at Sheep Mountain, but as there were no Dall sheep to be seen, it was a short stop.
A mile further on, we hiked up the original road to Soldiers Summit to the spot where the Alaska Highway was opened on November 20, 1942. Here the group is listening to the original radio broadcast of the opening. The hike took a total of almost an hour and everyone seemed pleased with the experience.
We stopped at Beaver Creek for an excellent lunch at Buckshot Betty’s, and at 3:15pm reached the Yukon-Alaska border at the 141st meridian. This view is directly south along the border cut.
The most-photographed of the many signs at the border. A few hundred yards further on, we crossed into the United States at Port Alcan – we were the only vehicle and the crossing was quick and simple as it almost always is.
Our final stop was made at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Centre. Cora gave an excellent presentation – over the years the centre, and Cora’s presentation in particular, gets better and better.
Our overnight stop was in Tok, at Young’s Motel – I shot this photo a few minutes ago, at 05:25. The motel is basic and spotless, the restaurant consistently one of the best on the highway. In 3 hours we’ll be heading south on one of the most scenic days of this entire journey – the destination tonight is Valdez, Alaska.