Yukon Territory

Kluane Lake to Beaver Creek, Alaska Highway

20 July 2011 - Wednesday

This morning the weather was not clear blue skies.  The sky was cloudy with blue patches.  No rain but it was chilly and windy, making the dog walk interesting.

Congdon Creek Campground, Kluane Lake, Alaska Highway
View west from Congdon Creek Yukon Gov't campground

There was some fresh snow up there, even though it is mid-July!

Congdon Creek Campground, Kluane Lake, Alaska Highway
Fresh snow on the Kluane Ranges in July

We continued our journey north on the Alaska Highway.  There was a significant amount of road repair underway; the winter had been rough on the road surface.

This day I wanted to explore a section of the "old Alaska Highway", to visit a memorial that I remembered from my childhood.  The old highway section was in good shape and there were no issues towing the fifth wheel.  No traffic either!

Alaska Highway
Old Alaska Highway alongside Lt. Small's memorial

1st Lt. Small's memorial was still in the same spot looking as good as I remembered it from 40 years ago.

Lt Small Memorial, Alaska Highway
Memorial for 1st Lt. R.R. Small, who died during the construction of the Alaska Highway

For the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Highway, signs were erected at significant locations.  This is the one at Lt. Small's memorial site ...

Lt Small Memorial, Alaska Highway
Sign marking the historical site for Lt. Small

For the 50th anniversary, explanatory signs were also erected.  This one for Lt. Small.

Lt Small Memorial, Alaska Highway
Text reads: In the 18th Engineers regiment there were five fatalities due to accidents and natural causes ...
August 9th, 1942, Roland Small died in a jeep accident near this site ... he was buried in Whitehorse.

The old section of the highway became rougher north of the memorial.  Still fine with the fifth wheel though.

Back on the Alaska Highway, the surface wasn't in any better condition!

Alaska Highway near the Donjek River, Yukon
Alaska Highway northbound just south of Donjek River

It was a slow go for a while ...

Alaska Highway near Donjek River, Yukon

At the Donjek River, the clouds hung in the valley.  The day was damp. 

Donjek River looking north from the Alaska Highway
Looking northeast from the Donjek River bridge

The Pine Valley Lodge had been closed for years.  I was surprised to see the sign below indicating it was open.  We decided to stop in at the bakery for some treats.  Only...the lodge was closed!  Nothing was open when we drove by!

Pine Valley Lodge sign, Alaska Highway
Inaccurate sign indicating a lodge was open...it wasn't!

Many sections of the highway were rebuilt early in the spring.  There were numerous sections of good gravel surface. 

Alaska Highway, gravel repair area
Gravel surface on repaired section of the Alaska Highway

We weren't in a hurry so pulled into the Lake Creek Yukon Gov't campground for a break.  It was nice enough with campsites alongside a creek.  Good for an afternoon dog walk.  But we decided to carry on after having a nutrition and exercise break.

Lake Creek Yukon Gov't campground, Alaska Highway
Entrance to Lake Creek Yukon Gov't Campground on the Alaska Highway

Further north, the highway, mountains and wetlands made for a striking image. 

Alaska Highway view
Scenic spot on the Alaska Highway

The White River always interests me.  Spent much time in this area as a kid.  My best friend lived at the White River lodge.

White River, Alaska Highway, Yukon
Looking northeast on the White River from the Alaska Highway

We thought we might overnight at the Snag Junction Yukon Gov't campground.  After a quick tour through the decision was made to carry on to my hometown, Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek sign, most westerly community, Yukon

At Beaver Creek the fifth wheel was parked at the Westmark RV Park, a spot that is sort of our home away from home.  Saw some old friends, walked the whole community, and then settled in for a quiet night.

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