Today’s Mileage: 470 miles
Total Mileage to date: 4,163 miles
Description: Stewart, BC to Watson Lake, Yukon
Today’s Route (6-18-12)
I hit the road today at 5am to make it to Watson Lake at a reasonable time. Travel times up here are a a bit longer as care must be taken (at least I do) to anticipate road construction, rough patches, and wildlife on the road. Today, in about 9 hours, I saw:
- 3 young grizzly bears
- 4 moose
- 4 black bears
- 1 fox
- 1 stupid domesticated dog lying in the middle of the road…
Today was the Cassiar Highway , a stunning stretch of highway – even in the rain and cold. No pictures that I could take could adequately portray the beauty of the place – simply magnificent. I found myself slowing down just to see/feel the solitude and power of the mountains. Almost ran off the road a few times. Not the best picture below, but you get the idea. Road just goes on and on. I ended up on the famous Alaska Highway.
After about 200 miles of highway, the forest was scared and black, clearly a forest fire. Miles and miles (I’d guess about 25 miles) of burnt forest.
Soon, little camps and lean-tos stared appearing all over the place. In the middle of the wilderness, and I do mean wilderness, hundreds of people milling around. Couldn’t figure it out until I made it to Watson Lake and sat with a family at a small restaurant for lunch/dinner. Here these folks come to a site after a fire (one year later) and harvest the mushroom crop that appears. This family said they make $600 – $1,000/day picking mushrooms – sold to buyers who set-up shop along the road. They are harvested, bought and packaged for shipment or further processing – most go to Europe or Asia to gourmet cooks and such.
I think that this is the type that they are picking – Morchella?:
Must make for an interesting lifestyle.
Tomorrow I am off to Whitehorse to get the oil changed. Was going to do it myself, then where would I put the used oil, buy new oil, etc… Figured I would just go to a local shop and have them do it. Can you imagine driving 6 1/2 hours to have your oil changed? Like driving to Boston for routine service… However, it will be on the way to Dawson City. Might make a run to Skagway tomorrow afternoon – or might just explore Whitehorse.