Monday, June 29, 2015

On the Road from Watson Lake to Whitehorse Yukon Jun 28

We have had a fun time in the village of Watson Lake, seeing Wayne, Kathy and Tungor. They were very surprised when they arrived and Kathy saw this guy, taking photos of them as they disconnected the tow car. Next thing, she realizes who's taking the photos and runs over to give me a BIG hug, which almost bowled me over.

We spent time catching up and meeting their traveling companions, of the S.M.A.R.T. Caravan group. It is fun to watch the caravans arrive and get setup for the night. We also get a chance to catch up on the road conditions heading toward Whitehorse and Dawson City. The word is SLOW, due to frost heaves and the road which is under repair.

This past Thursday (June 25th), we did a road trip up the Campbell Hwy. We spied  a few good shots but the best one was of the moose and her calf crossing the Hwy. Something you have to be faster than animal.

We did spied a nice cabin in the woods, ready for restoration:

Well, Sunday morning arrived like usual, BRIGHT, as sunlight last about 18 to 20 hours now. You know me and sun, once it comes in, I'm up. Well Susan has been working on making black out curtains along with a skylight curtain. So I have been able to sleep till 6 ish. Not bad, but we have been staying up longer also. What a drag.

Anyway, before we got out of the campground, Wayne pop out to say goodbye. It was great seeing them again, so off we went, north to Whitehorse Yukon, we only needed to travel about 300 miles. Our goal, the Wal-Mart in Whitehorse and stay for either 1 or 2 night.

Since we had heard that the Yukon was teaming with wildlife,  our expectations were high is seeing bears, moose, caribou and many more. I mean the Milepost book said so right:

Sometimes the camera is not as fast as DaGirls Rv. We have seen some but not as much as we were lead to believe. But really, you are driving on the highway, would you want to stand next to a highway?

Susan, was behind the wheel as we took off for the first leg of the road trip with me in the co-pilot seat. Well, where else did you expect me to sit?. And look who had to drive across the first bridge:

As we headed out we kept reading the MilePost book to find hidden gems along the way. Our first goal? Teslin, YT, where we learned was a culture centre on the First Nation Tribe Teslin Tlingit.

Along the way we were reading  about the Continental Divide in THE BOOK, the Milepost made it sound like there was a rest stop/pull off RIGHT AT the divide. Well it's not, you know the Continental Divide separates the two ranges, and is at the highest point (1116 Km). Well, here is the highest point, sorry for the out of focus. And the information in the BOOK is OUT of DATE, everything is closed.

However along the way, we pulled into a rest stop overlooking Swan Lake along the Alcan (Alaska-Canada) Highway (Hwy). This stop is located on the south bound side at 1152 Km and called the Swan Lake rest area, we notice a small group of people looking out into the lake. Little did we realize at the time, they were looking at a small heard of Moose in the lake getting breakfast.

If this teaches you anything, is to stop and smell the roses:

DaGirls resting

Now, one other item, as we were leaving, I happened to look to the left and even closer were 2 more moose in the water. If only I had just stopped, set the flashers and gone to the side of the road, what a shot that would have made. I have got to just stop and get out.

Back on the road our goal, Teslin, Yukon, a First Nation Village, is about 163 miles northwest of Watson lake, our goal was the culture centre on the First Nation Tribe Teslin Tlingit, pronounced Klink-It.

Our grand entrance into Teslin:

 DaGirls together enjoying the view

We stopped in and had a very enjoyable time at the culture centre. In fact it was so much fun and educational that we sent an Email to Tip Evans the manager:

Recently my wife and I chanced to stop ​in at your culture centre just outside Teslin. What a wonderful experience. Our first meeting was with your staff member at the counter. As we were talking and asking questions, she was polite and very informative about the culture and history of the Tlingit people.  We were amazed at the history of the Tlingit. However, as we were getting ready to tour the centre, she suggested that we visit and listen to Margaret, an instructor on the  art of tanning of moose.

Margaret Douville is a wonderful representative of your Nation and culture.  She recounted an amazing story of how at the age of 13 her grandmother informed her she was to learn the ancient art of moose hide tanning. Also, how her grandfather suggested she may as well just do it, because what grandmother says, grandchildren shall do. 

As we sat there mesmerized, she weaved her story, embarking into this art, passed down from the old to the young. She continued, by telling us how she is teaching this art to the younger generation of Tlingit. She showed us the tools handed down from her ancestors, telling us about the marks that were made on the staffs representing each hide tanned by that tool. 

As we were talking, she recounted to us about her first hide.  How at the age of 13 it took her about 16 days to complete it and that when she stretched it, it looked much like  a fish net due to the many holes in it.  She shared that a young man who then made fun of that hide, just 4 years ago asked her to make a pair of moccasins for him and finally apologized for the actions of his youth.  

We truly experienced the culture of the Tlingit thru Margaret's stories of her life and the many crafts she is skilled in.  She shared information on the art work that she has on display in the centre. 

We wish we could have spent the day, watching and learning more about your culture.  We also want to thank you for the bannock and coffee, both were a welcome treat.

The Tlingit will be hosting a celebration in July and everyone is invited.

We arrived into Whitehorse around 4-ish and parked alongside a grass area in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, our overnight stop.

We arrived just in time for the SS Klondike to be closed,

but we headed out anyway to take a look. What did we find or should I say, what did we hear when we arrived? A bag-pipe and drum group practicing.

I managed to get about a 3 minute video of the group playing. It's something about the sound that just gets to me.

Bag Pipes in the Park Video 

Of course we couldn't pass by this opportunity shot:

As Susan Says SeeYa

Safe Travels and Journeys 

Della                     &                      Tilly