Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yukon Trip 2009 - Day 7 Part 1 - Stewart/Cassiar

I guess perfect days, like the day before, have to be counter balanced at some point. Rain started over night and was still falling in the morning, none of us wanted to get out of bed, consequently, it was almost 10 am before we hit the road....one of our later starts! This was the view of Kinaskan Lake, from our campsite when we left ~ a far cry from the view the day before! It was a shame the weather was so unpredictable this day (May 29th) as the scenery we were to travel through was every bit as spectacular as the preceding days. The weather teased, sometimes almost clearing up and then.....well you'll see.
One of our first stops was at Eddontenajon Lake....as you can see, still mainly frozen over.

Further along the Skeena and Cassiar mountain ranges could be seen in the distance.

another view of the terrain with the mountains just visible on the horizon - you realize just how vast this province of ours is, when you travel in the northern half of it.

At this point, where we started to climb again in elevation, heading to Gnat's Pass....we wondered just what we were heading into......

This was high alpine country....the sort of country I just love...unfortunately it wasn't showing at it's best this day.

You can just make out a 'cut' across the far hill - that was the result of grading preparation for a proposed B.C. rail extension to the town of Dease Lake - construction was halted in 1977.....oh, and yes, that is snow that is coming down.

This is Upper Gnat Lake - it must be a very pretty lake....but this day it was so cold there that even Shantz couldn't wait to get back in the truck. You can see it was still really frozen, with the thaw process just starting around the edges.

A little further along we come to Lower Gnat Lake.....which was now ice free. Our Milepost Guidebook said that at Gnat Summit (elevation 4,072 feet) you can sometimes see Caribou in the spring ~ and guess what? They were right! A small group of Caribou crossed the road in front of us and proceeded to feed on the vegetation at the side of the road.

One of the Caribou....

more of the Caribou at Gnat's Pass Summit......

and since these were the only Caribou I saw during the trip (Ernie saw more which you'll hear about in a few days time)....you get one more picture of them.
The highway then drops back down to a bit lower elevation as you approach the town of Dease Lake. This stretch of the highway becomes gravel for a short while and since the weather was wet, that meant mud. We stopped in Dease Lake to top up the fuel and since they also sold take out chicken at the same spot, bought some of that for lunch.

Headed to the next rest stop - Rabid Grizzly - to eat our chicken - wouldn't you love to know how that name came about? and that is when we got to see what our new truck and camper look like with a coating of mud....it seemed bad at the time but considering how it would look a few thousand kilometers later, this was pretty mild!

Mud! Fortunately or unfortunately the road would quickly become pavement again and we were to run into heavy rains so most of the mud got washed off before we had to stop again. By the way there was supposed to be a view of Dease Lake (the lake not the town) at this Rabid Grizzly rest stop - there wasn't - so I have no photos of the lake itself, but it was still frozen.

Further along, and under lifting clouds, this is Dease River.

and this is, if my notes are correct....Good Hope Lake....shortly we would turn off to head to Boya Lake Provincial Park....and that report will be in part 2.

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