Friday, August 7, 2009

Yukon Trip 2009 - Day 23 - back to Whitehorse

We pulled out of Tachun Creek Campsite about 8:45 in the morning on June 14th, although cloudy and cool when we got up (10c), the weather quickly improved as we headed southwards.
We hadn't gone far when we spotted a pair of Trumpeter Swans in a lake at the side of the highway. We are fortunate to live in a wintering area for Trumpeters, so are used to seeing Swans, but had hoped to see them in their northern nesting grounds and these were the first we had spotted.

Pulled over into a wide area and walked back....had hoped to spot some young, but try as we might, couldn't see any.

Notice the male Mallard in the middle of this is already in 'eclipse' plumage, which means as far as it was concerned breeding season was over and done with....even this far north! Remember it is only half way through the month of June!

A bit further on we pulled into Twin Lakes Campground where we had stayed on the way up. The temperature was a lot more comfortable than the heat we had encountered then and I would have liked nothing more than to throw the kayak into these waters!

On our way up, there had been a variety of shorebirds in this spot, this day, there were Bonaparte and Mew Gulls. The water level had also dropped substantially as you couldn't really walk along the shoreline before.

Mew Gull on the left, Bonaparte on the right.

closer view of a Bonaparte Gull - the jet black head shows that these guys are still in full breeding plumage, unlike the Mallard!

The Bonapartes appeared to be fishing by flying and then.........

diving in, head first!

also managed a picture of one of the Black-bill Magpies that had surprised me on the way up.

back on the road and one last roadside flower picture. You can see from those in the fore front that these ones were almost finished.

Next stop was at the site of the Fox Lake Fire.........

one of the information signs about this massive fire.......

this trail leads out to the 'view' point. In a few weeks this area would have been a mass of pink due to the Fireweed that was in bud, but not yet in flower. There were some lupins and Labrador tea in flower.

at the view point, this is what you see........

back on the road, this is Fox Lake....the lake is actually south of the burn site.

back in Whitehorse for our first 'fast food' lunch in a couple of weeks. This A&W, and MacDonalds, that is also in Whitehorse are the most 'northerly' of their chains, although I know there is a MacDonalds in Yellowknife (but that is a whole 'nother trip!). There is a Colonel Saunders in Inuvik although not a 'full service' one.

some more of downtown Whitehorse....this taken from the parking lot at the Super Store where we did another major grocery shopping......

after feeding our stomachs and the camper's fridge, we took the dogs for a walk at the nearby park along the Yukon River.

Final duties in Whitehorse were topping up the fuel tank (finally diesel below a dollar a liter!) and the empty propane tank and we were good to go. Headed to Wolf Creek Campground where we had stayed on our way north. It was much busier now but we managed to find a spot. More mosquitoes now too but not as bad as where we had been. In the evening we followed a nature trail 3 km!) to this spot overlooking the Yukon River....this would be looking northeast......

and this view looking back towards Whitehorse. Tomorrow we will start the trek east on the Alaska Highway.
Campground fee: $12. Total distance traveled to date: 4,852 km plus (forgot to write it down)

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