Starting 2012 Off Right

Wow, it’s the 7th of January already! Times does fly when you’re having fun 🙂

We had a very quiet New Year’s Eve as usual. The City put on an excellent fireworks display at 9:00pm, and I made it to 11:50 before going to bed. Cathy says that the next-door neighbour put on a good fireworks show at midnight, despite it being illegal. The photo below is from the City’s show, not the neighbour’s!

New Year's Eve fireworks in Whitehorse, Yukon

The weather on average is still well above the norm, but I haven’t heard a single person complaining about it. I’ve been working at the travel agency a lot lately, and it’s so nice to be able to go for a walk at lunch without wearing even a hat or gloves.

Weather forecast for Whitehorse, Yukon

On Tuesday I took a day off from the many jobs I should be doing, and drove to Skagway. I was on the road just before 10:00am, and took this photo at 10:05, a minute before official sunrise.

A winter view at Km 129 of the South Klondike Highway

Spirit Lake Lodge is still open, though I noticed that most of the motel rooms have plywood over the windows now, so it may not be for long.

Spirit Lake Lodge Yukon

I stopped for a few minutes at the Carcross Desert to run the fur-kids.

The Carcross Desert in the winter

I made a loop around Carcross and let the dogs out again for a run on the beach. This view is about as close as I get to my cabin anymore – it’s probably time to sell it and move on…

Winter in Carcross, Yukon

The snowplow was out on Bennett Avenue in Carcross cleaning up the overnight fall of about 3-4 inches.

Winter in Carcross, Yukon

I passed this snowplow down by Tutshi Lake, then pulled over at a viewpoint to get this shot.

Snowplow on the South Klondike Highway

Tutshi Lake was mostly still open, but a skim of ice was forming.

Ice on Tutshi Lake

The overnight snow hadn’t been cleared from the access road into our normal stop on Tutshi Lake, so I continued on.

This classic view at Km 48 often stops me, in any season.

Classic winter mountain view on the South Klondike Highway

Another of the always-impressive views, at the Alaska border.

Alaska border, South Klondike Highway

Skagway got a few inches of snow overnight as well, but crews already had Broadway pretty well cleaned up.

Winter in Skagway, Alaska

The final bit of snow clearing on Broadway being done, in front of the National Park Service headquarters.

Winter in Skagway, Alaska

The White Pass & Yukon Route shops.

The WP&YR in the winter

Some of the wind gusts were very strong!

The WP&YR in the winter

I made the detour to the viewpoint on the Dyea Road, just to see the snowy, very quiet harbor.

Winter in Skagway, Alaska

I love watching rotary snowplows/snowblowers of any size, but the bigger the better!

A snowblower in the White Pass

The wind reduced visibility quite a bit at the summit, to the point that the video camera was having a hard time keeping focus.

The lack of snow at this point along Tutshi Lake was odd, and I can’t figure out whether it was warm weather or high winds that did it.

The South Klondike Highway in the winter

The ice on Windy Arm was incredibly smooth and snowfree for a couple of weeks, and there are several good videos on YouTube showing people skating on it, but the wind dropped and enough snow fell in the past 2 or 3 days to end that for the year. It’s extremely rare for skating to be possible on any of the big lakes, which is why it got such huge attention.

The South Klondike Highway along Windy Arm in the winter

Almost home, at 3:49 pm. This is the Alaska Highway at the boundary of the City of Whitehorse. Though you see very few buildings for the next 10 miles or so, so there are hundreds of homes on acreages off to the side out of sight.


Starting 2012 Off Right — 4 Comments

  1. Thanks Murray. The Skagway to Emerald Lake drive is one of the prettiest drives I’ve ever taken. It is absolutely gorgeous. I would rather take the drive than the train ride any time. If I ever go on an AK cruise again you can be sure that I’ll take that drive again. The AK border looks a little different that it did when I went through there in June. 🙂

  2. Hi Murray, I’m amazed that at 26 F you can say it’s nice to walk about without a hat and gloves. It was 45 in West Palm Beach, FL last Thursday, and we had gloves, hat’s, scarves, etc. It was big news about the “freeze”. God Bless you guys from the far North!