Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Jun 29 Klondike Loop Hwy 2 to Dawson City

Klondike Loop starts at the junction of Alaska Hwy 1 and Hwy 2. It meander's for a total of 323 miles. Basically just North of Whitehorse to Dawson City. Plan; what is our plan, well we have no plan except to be in Dawson City the day before provincial day, July 1.

We left Whitehorse about 10:30 am in the morning. Our trip would take us 330 miles or 531 Km on the Klondike Hwy. We had heard that the highway was in a rough condition all the way, but the first half was easy going.

Our first encounter was just leaving the city, a small bit of road construction. However once we passed this section it was clear sailing. We must have traveled for Km, before we really started to encounter frost heaves which we needed to be on the lookout for. We watched the highway for any changes in the color of the road or visible orange cones or markers alongside the highway. This allowed us enough time to switch lanes if necessary. We were able to keep our speed close to the limit. All this time we were on the lookout for wildlife, it wasn't until Susan was driving that I spotted a small brown bear on the passenger side of the road. It was small and extremely hard to see, so be careful when driving and keep a visible eye ahead and don't look side to side too much.

Our really first stop was at the Braeburn lodge, located at Km 55.2 from the junction or 280.8 Km from Skagway; their claim to fame is an official checkpoint for the 1,000 mile Yukon Quest International Sled-dog race. And, yes there is a yes, Cinnamon buns/rolls. You get to choose your 3 lbs. cinnamon bun or 1,360 grams Yikes. The cost of the bun along with 2 coffees was around $14.50 CA. This was the first really good cinnamon bun we purchased. We split it up and froze some for later.

Additional Notes on Road Conditions
There was some loose gravel and construction through Whitehorse.
Marker 238 on Klondike N is first road construction.  Posted at speed of 70 K- we did 50  to begin, loose gravel on shoulders, hard packed on main portion of road.  Not dusty, some potholes after 240 and washboard at 244.  Slow down and move to right as cars approach.   Ends at 248.  There is a pull over near the end to let traffic from the rear pass, sloping, best to just pull to side, not off and let others pass.

Still rougher after 248, maintained speed in 70 km range.  Orange flags at road level denote rougher areas.
MM 304 or 99 km from Junction look for pine tree with Xmas ornaments and take a photo for us, please.

When signs say Construction  - usually no workers, but loose gravel on roadway.  Slow to 40/45 mph  -one at 137Km from Whitehorse Junction for several k, another near 141 for 5 Km (extreme dust here).  More all the way to Dawson

Just past 5 fingers rec area Construction – 1 BIG Dip and gravel at bridge on both ends

Our second stop was at Pelly Crossing, located at Km 270 from the junction or 286 Km from Skagway, we wanted to get our books stamped, but instead spent time talking to the museum attendant. Along the highways, are many of the First Nation Tribe heritage sites/culture centres. You may tell yourself once you have seen one, you have seen them all, but you haven't heard the stories at each location. How they came about and how they are surviving today, and the culture difference between then and now.

Flagman at 452 KM – pilot car just past Stewart Crossing for several miles.
As we can up to Stewart crossing it was decision time, drum roll please, to proceed or stop for the night. Easy decision, Susan was driving and was very refresh, so off we went. Need you ask, to Dawson of course 1 day early.
544 km  - gravel Lots of potholes, mostly patched, just bumpy.

We switched drivers about 30 miles from Dawson and I resumed the rest of the way. We arrived and then drove thru town looking at refueling stations and then drove back out to Bonanza RV and quickly landed in the RV wash rack. Susan quickly signed us in and came back with change for the wash machine. The best time to spray and clean your radiator, is when you come in off the road and the radiator is nice and hot.

I had just sprayed the radiator a few days ago, but this time it was hot and the power sprayer did an excellent job. I cleaned the Charge Air Cooler while doing the radiator. I do believe I can tell by how the water flows whether or not the radiator and CAC is dirty.

We arrived at the Bonanza Gold CG just outside the city. Oh, by the way, when they say Wi-Fi, HA, their concept of free Wi-Fi is 1 hr. for every 24 hrs. They say it is because of costs. Baloney, it is all about raping the customer for all they can get. The cost of internet service especially in a camp ground that has a high speed system, is not based on data usage.

Anyway, back to our story. Once we got setup and arranged everything, it was after 8pm, and it was still DAYLIGHT. So, off we went for adventures. First stop, the ferry crossing to see how it works. Pretty simple, you wait in-line and when they are ready for you, they give a signal for you to proceed.
Our goal was to be in Dawson for Provincial Days July 1, well we made it with time to spare. So off we went in search of adventures.

My first impression, once we arrived was the massive destruction in the landscape and hill side. You have to remember, this was Gold Rush Country. Where massive dredges like #4 and other ones, Earth movers that just tore up the country side for pay-dirt. There were no laws stating put the area back the way you found it. So you have hillsides, stripped and recent growth sprouting up.

Anyway, we went in search of Dredge #4, trails, free gold panning just to name a few. We spent fun time in Dawson, including July 1st watching the parade even though it rained, the parade still went on. Then onto the museum where special events were taking place. I dare say, if it was sunny, many more people would have come out to see everything.

July 1st Provincial Day in Canada "Happy Canada Day"

So we Leave you with this "Happy Canada Day".

As Susan Says SeeYa

Safe Travels and Journeys 

Della                     &                      Tilly