Friday, July 10, 2009

Yukon Trip 2009 - Day 9 Part 1 - Atlin, B.C.

Day 9, which was May 31st, dawned sunny with a temperature of 4 degrees. Took a quick walk down to the shores of Teslin Lake before we headed out.
You can see, that despite the cool over night temperature that had created just a thin skim of new ice, the lake is much more 'open' than it had been the afternoon before. You have to remember that we are now in the land of almost 24 hours of sunshine.....

Shantz did find enough ice to make her happy. This 'berg' disintegrated under her, which is why we had a wet dog to start the day with. As she rides in her kennel in the back seat of the truck, it really didn't matter.

We now had a relatively short, and uneventful run to 'Jake's Corner' which is where highway 7 cuts off from the Alaska highway, heading south, to Atlin, B.C. The above photo was taken from the last rest area before Jake's Corner, looking directly south.

From the same spot, but looking westwards, this is 'White Mountain'. The road to Atlin is on the far side of that mountain.

Almost immediately we came to 'Little Atlin Lake', which is by no mean's 'little'. It is only 'little' in comparison to Atlin Lake itself. There was so much traffic right around this lake and leading to it that we were really beginning to wonder! I guess the fishing must have been good because it sure was busy! If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will note all sorts of little black dots....yes, they are bugs....but not mosquitoes - there must have been a chrominide (sp?) hatch or something!

This is the road leading to Atlin, B.C. Yes, it is gravel, but it is good gravel, except for a few spots where road construction was underway. You don't reach pavement again until you reach the village of Atlin which is about 93 km. from the junction with the Alaska Hwy.

Right around the Yukon/B.C. border we came to a spot where you could pull off and get a good over view of the country. The above sign was erected in this spot. I was quite impressed by it's message at the time, a few hours later, I found it more ironic than anything.

This view, taken with my small camera, shows Atlin Lake in the distance, but also shows the really arid terrain.

The same view from a slightly different position, taken with the SLR camera. The mountain is, I think, Minto Mountain but I may be wrong about that.

This is a closer view of some of the plants growing in this very dry location. A type of Jacob's Ladder (there are a number of types of this plant) and also a type of Cinquefoil

The succulent, 'Stonecrop' that these Cut-leaf Daisy's are growing with really shows just how dry the climate is.

I did find a few of these Pasque-flowers, or Prairie Crocus....most were long since finished blooming. One thing we found, and it became more noticeable the further north we went, is how quickly flowers bloom, and are finished.....I guess being under 24 hours of sunshine is like living in a greenhouse with the lights on 24 hours a day....growth and blooming are really accelerated.

Apart from a small flock of Bohemian Waxwings that flew in momentarily, and a junco, this was the only other bird I saw in this particular area - a Townsend's Solitaire - mind you it was mid-day and getting rather warm, so not the most ideal for birding.

Chipmunks didn't seem to mind the rising temperature.

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