After enjoying the beauty of the Haines Highway, we arrived in Haines Junction. Not knowing where we were going to spend the night, we pulled into a station and refueled. We kept looking for a turnout off the highway but most of the roads we spotted looked really muddy and made for a 4×4 only. There was a paved pullout but it was occupied by a huge truck filled with some hazardous material from all the marking on it-not a good spot for us to camp. So we kept heading east bound until we came up to the rise of a hill and saw a scattering of RVs in a large gravel pullout near an abandoned building.
It was getting late so we pulled over and set up camp. When we woke at 6am , everyone but a 5th wheel had left. We brewed some coffee and pointed towards Whitehorse. The plan was to confirm when my camera would arrive -the backup camera that my brother was mailing from Bellingham . First date-June 15th; then June 16th; then June 19th; finally I was told I would be lucky if it would be there by the 21st. We cancelled that FedEx and had it sent back to my brother. We couldn’t afford to hang around Whitehorse until the 21st. So I ordered one from Amazon, with guaranteed priority delivery on June 16 . Cool we could be on our way to Kluane on Friday. NOT ! The delivery was delayed.
Here is my TIP-never ever ship anything to Whitehorse. It will come via pony express with horse changes along the way. According to the UPS tracking today, it’s due date changed to Monday the 19th. It went from Ohio to Kentucky to New Brunswick to South Dakota to Calgary back to New Brunswick back to Calgary and arrived in Edmonton on June 15th. Today is the 17th as I write this and it hasn’t moved from Edmonton. Every time I call UPS I am assured it will arrive Monday even though it doesn’t look like it’s moved in two days.
Okay, so after frustration with UPS we were both tired so we opted for Walmart in Whitehorse. All the campgrounds were full and we didn’t feel like driving out of town. What a trippy Walmart parking lot. I have never seen so many RV’s at a Walmart. This picture doesn’t give you the true feeling of the rules that were being broken by campers. Most folks with slide outs had them out; instead of pulling into marked spots folks pulled across them blocking 4-5 spots instead of only 2; one guy had his dirt bike taken apart and was working on it revving the engine; some folks had clothes hanging from the trailers drying out; a couple of barbecues were set up and a couple of portable propane tanks were sitting on the ground outside the doors of the RV. UNBELIEVABLE-this is why so many Walmarts don’t want RV folks parking in their lot-I get it now.
The best thing about this second trip to Whitehorse-a return trip to the Alpine Bakery. We grabbed some pastry goodies and decided to head north, about 30 minutes out of Whitehorse and find a spot to camp , where we could kick back and wait out the arrival of my camera.
Using IOverlander, I found what looked like a prime boon docking spot off the Takhini River Road. It sounded like it sat right above the river, so we entered the GPS coordinates and headed that way. Google maps indicated we would be about 35 minutes outside of Whitehorse.
When we arrived at the spot it was awesome. A bluff overlooking the Takhini River. Mountains out in the distance, an open area with plenty of sunshine and solar charging capability. One problem- access was down a very steep and short incline.About 40 feet to where it leveled out . As pretty as the view was, we choose not to attempt it We worried about the forecasted rain storms and the mud. We could tell from the dry mud that it was that clay like slip sliding away type of mud. We could just see ourselves trying to pull out of there, and sliding backwards off of a very steep drop into the Takhini River. We have already had one mud experience, we didn’t want another. So we headed further south to search for a safer spot.
Don’t you just love our adventures, never a dull moment. We went about 6 miles and came out into an open field surrounded by mountains, trembling aspens, pines and marmots. In the winter it’s a snowmobile staging area. Right now, it’s pretty much deserted. During the day we had about 3 cars go past our campsite heading towards the highway. We waved at them coming and going.
We decided this was perfect, we could wait out the camera arrival and not be that far from town when it was time to pick it up. We had trails to hike; the antics of marmots (or pop ups as we called them) to watch; a red fox visitor and the promise of seeing moose, bison and bear-oh my.
Our 2nd day here, one of the folks who live down the road stopped by to say hello, Regan. He had just retired last year and told us the open road was calling him but his wife wasn’t ready for that lifestyle yet. So he spent his free time hiking the trails with his dog Lucy.
He and Jim had lots of guy time together. He took Jim on walks and showed him where he had come within 2 feet of a momma grizzly and her baby and lived to tell about it. He pointed out birds nests on the ground; beaver activity and shared his secret path to the river. A very sweet man, he has visited us daily and enriched our time here, I hope we did the same for him.
He did tell us that there definitely are moose, bison and grizzlies in the area we were camping in. Unfortunately the only visitors we have had are the red foxes and the marmots.
There is something so serene and relaxing as the evening approaches to just sit and watch the trembling aspens in the wind. They remind me of green sequins shimmering constantly-it’s a wonderful way to meditate-just staring at the leaves and losing yourself in their beauty.
This place has been good for both of us-soothing to our a souls. A reminder of what our journey is about-not the city but the wildness of the earth. Deep blue skies, huge white cottontail clouds, trembling aspens, red foxes sneaking among the trails along the edge of our campsite, birds waking us in the morning. This is a special place-we border First Nations land here and that lends to the spirituality of this place.
Not planning ahead or anything, but if we come back through Whitehorse on our return trip we would definitely come back to this spot to camp. It’s a decent dirt road in-gets a little muddy when it rains, but it’s manageable without 4×4.
No services here, it’s just an open field in the middle of Mother Nature’s beauty. We occasionally get 2 bars of wifi, enough to check the weather report-so if you camp here, plan on enjoying the solitude . And come prepared-full tank of fuel; propane; food and water.
We just finished with 2 days of cold pelting rain and the sun today was glorious. Tomorrow is Sunday and we are heading into town for laundry, fuel, propane and Sani dump. We plan on staying at a campground Sunday night, picking up my camera (fingers crossed) and heading towards Kluane and then Wrangell St Elias.
Happy Trails and safe travels and heres to solitude and peacefulness, may we all enjoy both. Oh, and may we all stay away from the mud and slippery slopes !
PS Camera arrived on June 19th and we are off to Kluane !