Storm & Rainbow Chasing Along the Alaska Highway and Atlin Road

On Tuesday evening I decided that despite the nasty weather we’ve been having, it was time to get the motorcycle out for a long ride. I’d seen a fellow dragging a huge wooden cross down the Alaska Highway that afternoon so figured I’d see if I could find him for a chat. And if I didn’t find him, that was a good direction to be going anyway.

I got to Jake’s Corner at 7:10pm and hadn’t found the cross guy, but the dramatic skies gave me a new idea. This view is along the highway to the west.

Storm clouds alon the Alaska Highway

The skies to the east were jet black and didn’t look like much fun to be under, so I headed south on the Atlin Road. The Little Atlin Lake boat launch at the bottom of the hill in this photo was a busy place. Another local blogger saw 7 bears in this area a few days ago, but I had no such luck.

Atlin Road at Little Atlin Lake

There’s been a lot of construction along the Atlin Road, widening and rerouting the twisty gravel road – it’s in great shape now.

Atlin Road

I stopped here at about Km 15 with the idea of turning around…

Atlin Road

…but those mountains in the distance lured me on 🙂 Just past them is the massive Juneau Icefields, and at the south side of the icefield, the capital city of Alaska, Juneau.

Mountains beyond Atlin, BC

There’s a new section of the road being readied for a rebuild, and I expect that the Snafu Creek bridge will be history in the near future. Snafu is an acronym from the days when the Canadian Army Engineers built the Atlin Road, meaning “Situation Normal, All Fouled Up”.

Snafu Creek, Yukon

I reached the turnoff to Snafu Lake Campground just after 8:00pm and decided that had to be the turnaround point. This is the view towards Atlin at that point.

The Atlin Road near Snafu Lake, Yukon

The most impressive part of the last rebuild was this long, steep hill. The orange colour of the cut isn’t the dirt, it’s been hydro-seeded.

Atlin Road

This great storm over Marsh Lake stopped me for a few minutes!

Storm over Marsh Lake, Yukon

Dramatic light-and-dark patterns on the Yukon River near the bridge stopped me again.

Light-and-dark patterns on the Yukon River

As I was looking for new shots a rainbow began to appear so I hung around.

Rainbow over the Yukon River

It took about 10 minutes for it to get this bright – worth waiting for. While I was shooting as the rainbow got brighter and brighter a fellow driving by noticed what I was doing and pulled over to shoot it too 🙂

Rainbow over the Yukon River

One final, brilliant rainbow over Shaddow Lake (the 2 “d”s is correct). I caught this sight over my shoulder and did a U-turn to get a few shots.

Rainbow over Shaddow Lake, Yukon

I got home just after 9:30 – 3 hours of storm and rainbow chasing on the bike was a great way to get me energized. Yes, I did get caught in a few rainstorms (one very heavy), but I was dressed so it didn’t matter.


Storm & Rainbow Chasing Along the Alaska Highway and Atlin Road — 4 Comments

  1. If you took as many pictures when 35mm was around, it must have cost you a fortune ! Great pictures, have you ever thought of publishing a book on Yukon scenery ? Not going to the Yukon this year…keeping my expenses down to try and make it there in the fall of 2013 for a longer stay so your blog helps connect, thanks

  2. I “only” have about 15,000 slides from my film days – that’s about what I shoot every year now that it doesn’t cost me 50 cents per! Every now and then I think about photography in $ terms, but I like it as just a creative outlet that helps me share my passion for travel generally and the North particularly. Perhaps when you make it back we can get together for lunch.

  3. I’ll take you up on lunch when I do go back !
    I do believe I’m as much a photo person as you are, in fact I call my small pocket pentax my third hand ; always with me.
    thanks for sharing your pictures and have a great summer.