Yukon Territory

Snag to Beaver Creek to Lake Creek, Yukon

1 September 2013 - Sunday

With the fresh rain overnight and the heavy equipment on the Snag Road we decided to not drive into Snag. Instead we continued north to Beaver Creek to visit with friends.

The morning was damp and the sky a fuzzy white.

After our visit, we drove to the airport that Dad built to pursue his love of flying. Imagine! Building an airport by yourself in the bush, with muskeg all around! In 2016 Dad (Jack Stalberg) was honoured by the Transportation Hall of Fame for his effort.

Then it was time to return south.  

AK Hwy in Yukon
Southbound approaching Beaver Creek

AK Hwy in Yukon
Beaver Creek visitor information centre - a worthwhile stop!

On the south end of Beaver Creek there is a church that has been there ever since I can remember. Many, many decades. It continues to serve the community.

AK Hwy in Yukon
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Beaver Creek

South of Beaver Creek there is a Permafrost Research Test Section with numerous government agencies attempting to eliminate the frost heaves and dips that plague this portion of the highway.

The muskeg and permafrost cause the road to deteriorate each year. Travellers are usually frustrated by the condition of this section. Before the highway was paved through here it was an easier drive as the maintenance crews could grade it smooth each spring. Now it can be a bone rattling experience!

AK Hwy in Yukon
Sign for the Shakwak Highway Project Permafrost Research Test Section on the Alaska Highway

Oddly enough, my impression is this test section of the highway is the worst of it!

AK Hwy in Yukon
Test section with various experiments underway

Some know the next spot as Bear Flats Lodge (it has been closed for years). When I was a kid it was the Koidern Northwest Communication System Telephone-Telegraph Service centre. Dad took a picture in the 1950s of this spot too ... the building has changed very little!

AK Hwy in Yukon
Koidern / Bear Flats Lodge - now closed

Steve spotted some swans in one of the lakes on the west side of the highway.

Trumpeter Swan
Swan near Koidern River

While we were stopped, I took some pictures of the east side of the highway and the highway too.

AK Hwy in Yukon
View to the west near the Koidern River

AK Hwy in Yukon
Looking northward on the Alaska Highway near Koidern River

Then we were at Pickhandle Lake. The day was brighter so time to launch the boat for some fishing.

AK Hwy in Yukon
Fishing on Pickhandle Lake

While Steve fished, I took pictures ...

AK Hwy in Yukon
Looking northward on Pickhandle Lake from the rest area

Mallard
More mallards enjoying the sun

Mallard
Looking rather smug as he swam by

Mallard
An amazing shake! One of my favourite action shots!

The fishing wasn't successful. As we were pulling the boat out, some people stopped to ask Steve if he had caught anything. As the conversation continued, it came to light that I knew these people from 40 years ago in Beaver Creek! Wow! Small world! After a short visit and exchange of contact information, they headed off. We packed up and drove just a few miles south to the Lake Creek gov't campground. This spot is a nice place to spend the night, along the Koidern River.

Again, the cranberry picking was great! The damp moss was deeper so the berries were bigger and my feet were wetter. Note to self: pack your rubber boots next time!

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