All mountains are rocky, but not all are Rockies

By Sarah Reynolds | Jun 08, 2016
Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds Looking down Kluane Lake in the Yukon.

Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory — Well, this is embarrassing. We looked at a map of the Yukon yesterday, and it turns out that at least since Saturday, I have been identifying the mountains incorrectly. We left the Rockies behind somewhere after Jasper, and have been traveling through various other ranges since. They do all look quite similar, at least to the untrained eye.

The chief wildlife treat we saw today was a group of five wild horses, including a colt, that we watched for a few minutes from the shoulder of the road. We also saw three eagles, thanks to Maureen's eagle eye.

Yesterday we drove from Whitehorse to Beaver Creek, just on the Yukon side of the border with Alaska. Among the mountains we saw were the Saint Elias Range, the Ruby Range, the Nisling Range and the Kluane Range, the latter in Kluane National Park and Reserve. We saw beautiful Kluane Lake, a glacial lake near Destruction Bay, and drove along its shores for a ways.

Most of the road was fine, but, as before, some was loose gravel, with attendant clouds of dust, and some was plain old bumpy dirt. There is a stretch of maybe five miles or so that is under construction. Approaching it, you see one of those portable traffic lights set up with a sign, “Please wait for pilot car. Approximately 15 minutes.”

Eventually, a truck comes driving up to the lights, turns around and waits – in our case, it was a good two or three minutes before we copped to what was going on – for you to follow it to the other end of the construction area. By the time you get there, someone is waiting at that end for the pilot car to them in the other direction.

While I'm on the subject of Canadian road construction, we have seen many more women working at construction sites than is common in the Midcoast, at least. And not just flaggers, though many of them are women; there are women running the construction equipment too. And another thing we found interesting is that there are no police at construction sites. Instead, they have a mobile medical van.

One of the things we enjoy on a long drive like this is listening to audiobooks. On this trip, we are listening to Diana Gabaldon's “In My Own Heart's Blood,” the latest in her Outlander series of historical/time travel novels.

Today, we cross the border back into the U.S. on our way to Fairbanks, where we will spend two nights before going on to Denali, our ultimate destination.

Beauty lies around every curve. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Wild horse mother and colt walk along the roadside. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
(Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Purple wildflowers like these grow in profusion along the roadside in parts of the Yukon. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Mountains in Kluane National Park and Reserve, Yukon. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
(Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Cushla does her gargoyle impression in the trailer at the end of a long day. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
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