It’s an Easy Winter So Far

The fur-kids and I were due for a road trip yesterday, and just by coincidence, I had a couple of packages to pick up at the Skagway post office. The weather forecast called for a dull day, but there’s still little snow and the temperature was a mild -11°C (+12°F) when we left the house at 08:40, an hour and 11 minutes before sunrise.

As this was “rush hour” towards Whitehorse, we met almost a dozen vehicles in the first 20 miles or so 🙂 , and then it got very quiet as usual. Near Emerald Lake, a couple of particularly fine looking mule deer, a buck and a doe, were at the side of the road, but it was still too dark to get any photos so I didn’t stop.

Winter dawn on the South Klondike Highway
South of Carcross at 09:30, at the gates that are used to close the highway in the event of landslides, avalanches or other problems. The thick, low cloud kept it very dark even though the sun was up there somewhere.

Gates on the South Klondike Highway, Yukon
A few hundred feet south of the Yukon/BC border, this young bull moose was at the side of the road. I stopped and rolled the passenger side windows down. Bella and Monty were wonderful, not making any sound at all for the several minutes we stayed with him. Very, very special.

Young bull moose at the BC / Yukon border

Young bull moose at the BC / Yukon border
A few hundred feet further down the highway, I stopped to get this photo of our black-and-white world. This is near the south end of Windy Arm – the land on the left is the delta of Dail Creek, and was the site of the little town of Wynton during the 1905-1906 silver mining rush.

Winter view of Windy Arm, BC
We stopped for our usual walk on the beach at Tutshi Lake, whose level has now started to drop.

Tutshi Lake, BC
Right the the summit of the White Pass, we drove out of the low cloud, and although the weather report had said that it was cloudy in Skagway, it was lovely!

White Pass, Alaska, in the winter

My stop in Skagway was very short. Although the temperature was just one degree below freezing, a strong north wind was making it very cold. We made a short walk in the forest and then headed north again.

This crew was cleaning up a bit of snow between the William Moore Bridge and the summit.

Rotary snow plow working in the White Pass, Alaska
The best tree frosting along the highway was at Log Cabin, so I stopped there to let the kids have another run and to get some photos of the trees.

Frosted trees at Log Cabin, BC
The view north up Windy Arm. To have this little snow in early December is quite surprising, but must be wonderful for all the mountain goats and Dall sheep that live on that slope.

Windy Arm in the winter
An icy waterfall below the historic Venus silver mine prompted me to switch to video mode for a minute. Clicking on the image below will open the video in a new window.

Beside the waterfall above, this little seep coming out of the rocks caught my attention.

Ice coming out of what looks like solid rock
Looking up to the 1905-1906 workings of the Venus silver mine, with the twin cables of an aerial tramway dropping towards the concentrator right beside the highway.

The Bove Island viewpoint, with frosted trees and swirling mists on the lake, was worth a stop. Scenes like this make me really wish that the Yukon’s tourism slogan was still “The Magic & the Mystery” – it may be gone as a slogan, but that’s still what the territory is to me. If you Google term, you’ll see that lot of other people feel that way as well.

The swirling mist looked like it might be good for another short video. As above, clicking on the image below will open the video in a new window.

We were back home by 2:00 pm, and managed to get a fair bit of Web work done before my niece came over to discuss our trip next week. On Thursday, I’m helping her to move back to southern BC – she’s not a big fan of winter driving, and I am. It’ll be a very quick trip (3 days, then I’ll fly home), but I might take a photo or 2 to show you 🙂


It’s an Easy Winter So Far — 8 Comments

  1. -11°C (+12°F) is mild??? Looks plenty wintry to me from my vantage point near Los Angeles California. I like the term “tree frosting” and that is my favorite picture. Many thanks for portraying this road trip.

  2. As you say in one of your videos “Nice work mother nature” and I’ll add “Nice work, Murray”. That was really enjoyable…the views were absolutely gorgeous.

  3. Gosh I love looking at your great land to the north……

    Had a few days of 30c+ here recently, so looking at your photos is not only pleasing on the eye but is good for my well being, I’m sure.

    Thanks Murray.

  4. Great photos. I like the new format of your blog. +30c might sound good at – 30c or so.

  5. Great photos as usual. Love the picture of the moose! Have a safe drive down south! Like your niece (and you already know) I hate driving long trips. We’re lucky to have you 🙂