Saturday, July 11, 2009

Yukon Trip 2009 - Day 10 Part 1 - Atlin, B.C.

Since I'd downloaded all the memory cards from all the cameras, we are now starting with the next batch of pictures. We weren't quite in the land of 24 hour sun yet, but these pictures will give you a bit of an idea of what we were dealing with.
Ernie took the above picture, from our 'penthouse' site at 10:30 pm on the 31st of May.

It was almost 1 am on the morning of June 1st when I took this one out of the camper door. That was about as dark as it got because the sun started coming back up shortly after. As a result we were finding it harder and harder to get to sleep as it took a long time for temperatures to cool off - and then we'd find ourselves sleeping in longer and longer in the mornings.

When we finally got up on June 1st we were greeted by another sunny day with out a breath of wind. This photo was looking directly west from our spot....the float plane is at the float plane terminal.

and this view, of course, shows Atlin Lake, looking back towards the town. You may have noticed in yesterday's picture of this same spot that there was a bit of ice still on the lake between the small island and the shore. That ice had completely disappeared overnight.
While Ernie gave Shantz her morning walk, I wandered around the RV park. I've been mentioning the fact that White-crowned Sparrows were found pretty much everywhere - well this is an Atlin White-crowned Sparrow.

Had to get a few more shots of those Cliff Swallows as well..... Our original thoughts had been to spend a few days in the Atlin area, so after breakfast and dog walking we headed to the public laundry to do some washing. The laundry was in a nice log style building, but once again I was a bit taken aback by the condition of the machines and almost didn't want to put my clothes in them. Between that and the litter laying around all over the place outside, I spent the time sitting in the truck, reading. Ernie was a little braver. They did have a book exchange and since he goes through so many books when we are away, this gave him a chance to get some more reading material. It was noon by the time the clothes were dry enough that I could just drape the damp ones about the we decided we would head east on Discovery Road to Surprise Lake were there was supposed to be a recreational area.

Pine Creek is on the way. This was, and still is, one of the major gold producing creeks in the area. This is probably the only length of the creek that remains in it's original position.

I guess maybe the fact that the walls are solid rock could be the reason the creek is unaltered. Certainly a good example of water erosion.

Further along, this is Birch Creek. This view is looking northwards....there must have been a claim on the south end of the creek as there was a chain across and Private Property signs.

This is Surprise Lake. There was a recreational site there, some sites in the trees and others around a large grassy field. The problem was that the road into it was so steep and so rough that we weren't willing to take a chance with it. We parked at the top, amongst the trees and left April in the truck. It was hot so we had to leave the windows down, but she is a good car alarm. The rest of us walked down to the grassy area. You can see there was still some ice on the lake although I imagine it would have been gone by the following day.

We decided that we would at least have lunch here, so Ernie went back to the camper to grab some cheese and crackers and Shantz and I sat on a picnic table and stared out at the lake. I was trying to figure out what kind of ducks were out there (Red-breasted Mergansers). This shot shows the mining operation that is on the south shore of the lake.
As I was staring through binoculars, I heard a crashing in the bush, turned, not knowing what to expect (but thinking the worst!)....but couldn't see anything - turns out, because Ernie saw and had his camera raised - that a pair of Caribou had walked into the clearing but just as Ernie was about to take a picture, they spotted me and Shantz and took off into the bush.

I guess the fact there are Caribou here is one of the reasons for this sledge that was tied to a tree in the area - no doubt used by hunters.....

This shot is looking back towards the concrete dam/road. Those are Barrow's Goldeneye ducks....I saw a total of 7 of them in this little section of the lake.

and a final view of the lake as we decided it really wasn't worth staying there that headed back towards the town.

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