Monday, July 6, 2009

Yukon Trip 2009 - Day 6 Part 1 - Stewart/Cassiar

This day, May 28th, was an absolutely spectacular day in every way. The sun shone, the skies were clear and the scenery between Meziadin Lake and Kinaskan Lake, where we would end up, is second to none! The day didn't start that auspiciously as we were woken, just after 7 am by the little dog (April) deciding she was going to be sick. Not wanting that to happen on my virtually new bedding, and not wanting her to take a flying leap off of the rather high bed in the camper, I had to quickly get up, grab her and get her outside, while keeping Shantz, who figured if I was up it must be breakfast time, inside. The fact that there had been frost over night and I was standing around outside, in my pajamas with bare feet in 2 degree temperatures did nothing to help the situation.

It did, however, get us up and ready to hit the road a little earlier than we normally would have. The above 'picture perfect shot' was of the mirror like, Mezidan Lake, taken just before we pulled out and once more, headed north.

We were obviously climbing in elevation. I can't recall exactly where this photo was taken, but was one of the first I took that can see we still have a nice smooth, 2 lane paved highway.

I think we spent as much time stopped, looking at things, that day as we did in actual travel time. This lake was beside a rest area at about the 200 km mark (from the southern end). We had obviously been climbing in elevation as the lake was still frozen, the shrubs hadn't begun to leaf out and there was, in fact, snow at the side of the road. For most of this day we would be traveling in areas where it was 'spring' on one side of the road and 'winter' on the other. There were Yellow-rump Warblers happily singing in this location.

It doesn't show well in this photo, but there was what appeared to be a 'den' (the black area), all that green on the ground was insulating a still pretty large pile of snow. Since this was right beside the rest area, I'm not sure if a bear would have used it to hibernate in or not. Shantz was certainly very interested in it! We had seen 2 bear already that day prior to reaching this spot.

Another 'typical' view. The mountains were definitely 'snow capped' all along the route. This spot must have been a bit lower as the trees are more leafed out.

and another view......marshmallow mountains in the background!

We stopped for a morning coffee at the rest area on this lake that happens to have two 'official' names. There was a sign there explaining how this came about. The lake was called either 'Hodder' or 'Mehan' - take your choice! It was a very pretty spot with a lot of bird life in the area.

I included this, because really, does this look comfortable to you? Shantz spent the longest time seated like this while we had our coffee at Hodder/Mehan Lake.

This pair of Canada Geese were at the lake, as was a Red-breasted Merganser that appeared to be sitting on a nest, but was really too far off to get a good look at.

I've been mentioning Spotted Sandpipers, well they were here too, in fact these were the boldest Spotted Sandpipers I've ever run across. The walked right past where Shantz was tied out, right between the front of our truck and where I was standing, and proceeded to look for bugs or worms or whatever in the mud at the side of the parking area.

another view of the Spotted Sandpipers at Hodder/Mehan Lake.

We are now at about the 260 km mark on the highway where there was a memorial to highway avalanche technicians who had lost their lives in this spot.

Looking back at the mountains we had just passed you can see, by the dirty areas, that avalanches had come down again, quite recently. The road is visible just at the bottom of the picture, so you can see how close the road is to these avalanche paths.

A bit further along, the highway runs beside this, the Ningunsaw River. We stopped at one point and saw some very large bear tracks in the sand at the edge of the river
We'll continue this drive in part 2.

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