Monday, August 1, 2016

Alaska Adventures Part Twelve - Time for a Soak, or Two

After enduring the beating the highways have been doling out to us, we pulled into Takhini (Tak-EE-nee) Hot Springs ready for some real R&R. Takhini is just north of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory, about 15 miles (or 25 kms) away. We would be spending two nights here. This would allow us time to go soak in the hot pools and also visit the town of Whitehorse where the only quilt shop in the Yukon that was participating in Row by Row was on our "must do" list. LOL.

See-More @ Takhini Hot Springs

Toadstool in our Campsite

We met a very nice couple from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who were camped in the site next to ours. Scott and Jeanette would also be spending two nights here. We hit it off right away and spent the evening around the campfire talking about our adventures so far.

The next morning it was time to hit the hot pools. They have two, one warmer and smaller than the other. It felt soooo good to be in these naturally heated waters. It does a body good.

After showering off, it was off to Whitehorse for us. We found the quilt shop, and the meat markets, and Walmart. Now their parking lot was a sight to see. So many campers "camping" there. There was a sign limiting your stay to 24 hours. I could see where longer stays could easily become a problem. It really takes up a lot of their parking lot not to mention some of the campers were not in the best of shape. We also had our windshield repaired while in town. We had picked up a couple new rock chip stars in the past couple of days on the Klondike Highway and we didn't want the cracks to spread any further.

Walmart "Campground"

We stopped to see the sternwheeler S.S. Klondike, now a Canadian national historic site, on the banks of the Yukon River in downtown Whitehorse. The boat is actually the S.S. Klondike II. The first Klondike ran aground in 1936. Between salvaging and cannibalizing as much of the wreckage as possible, the Klondike II was built the following year. It was used to haul freight between Whitehorse and Dawson City until 1950. Once the Klondike Highway to Dawson City was completed, many of the sternwheelers were decommissioned. The SS Klondike II was then put into service as a cruise ship but that only lasted until 1955. She was eventually donated to Parks Canada and underwent restoration, opening to tourists in 1967.

S. S. Klondike II - Whitehorse


Love the Doors and Windows!

Upon leaving Whitehorse the next day, we simply had to make a quick stop at the Yukon Transportation Museum, located near the airport. Oh how I wished we had more time to spend there. It looked like a great little museum. What is really eye-catching is their weather vane made out of a 1942 DC-3 airplane. This plane spent the first three years of her life flying transport missions in India and China for the United States Army Air Forces. After the war, she was sold to newly-formed Canadian Pacific Airlines and registered as CF-CPY. She flew routes throughout Canada until 1960 when she was sold to Connelly-Dawson Airways and based out of Dawson City. Eventually the plane was operated by Great Northern Airways out of Whitehorse. On her last flight in November 1970, she lost an engine during a routine take-off. The crew was able to abort the take-off without incident. Great Northern declared bankruptcy in December 1970 and CF-CPY was among the assets acquired by Northward Airlines. It was used for spare parts and sat neglected at the Whitehorse airport. By 1977, she was purchased for the purpose of making her into a monument. She was then promptly sold for $1.00 to the Yukon Flying Club. Four years later, CF-CPY sporting her 1950s Canadian Pacific colors, was mounted on her special pedestal in front of the Whitehorse airport. With expansions planned for the airport, CF-CPY was moved in July 2009 to the front of the Yukon Transportation Museum. Her nose always points into the wind with the slightest of breezes. It wasn't very breezy the day we visited, but you could see the plane imperceptibly pivot on her pedestal.

CF-CPY Wind Vane

Outdoor Exhibit at the Museum

Another Exhibit

Yet Another Exhibit

We also found the house on the outskirts of Whitehorse that George's friend, Mike, lived in until recently. They moved to southern British Columbia and we will be visiting them in a week or so.

Our destination for the night would be back in Teslin, YT. We would be closing the loop from where we turned off to Skagway about a month earlier. This time we opted to stay at Teslin Lake Campground. This is another Yukon government campground and was definitely much nicer than our last stay in Teslin, even if our site had a good slope to it. There was a footpath down to the lake where we took Trip. He is not a water baby. No way! We tossed a stick into the lake because he likes sticks, but he does not like to get his feet wet. We laughed at his antics trying to retrieve the stick along the edge of the lake. Scott and Jeanette showed up and stayed in the site across from us.

Campsite @ Teslin Lake

View of the Lake Looking North

Trip Trying to Keep His Feet Dry

George and Trip

Next it was on to Watson Lake where we once again stayed at Baby Nugget RV park. We got caught up on laundry while there. We made another quick stop at the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake the next morning before driving on to Liard Hot Springs in BC. And no, we did not leave a sign of our own.

Sign Post Forest - Watson Lake

On the way, we passed a lone bison along the roadside and then nothing else for a long period of time. I was beginning to think this would be like our visit to Yellowstone when we only saw one bison. One. Then we crested a hill and saw lots of dust way ahead of us. It was a stampeding herd of bison, running along the shoulder of the road, tongues hanging out of their mouths. We wondered what spooked them and wished the traffic would slow down so the bison could stop running.

It's a Stampede!

We also spotted a small black bear chowing down on something in the grass during our drive.

Our campsite at Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park, while nice and private, was about as far away from the hot springs as one could get. We were lucky to get one as it is a popular place. It was probably a good 2/3 of mile from our site, with 4/10ths of that being the board walk out to the hot springs. It was too far for mom to walk there, and George was "been here/done that", so only I made the trek out for a soak. These hot springs were really natural...a pea gravel bottom and mud sidewalls compared to the concrete pools at Takhini. The upper pool was again much hotter and even more so the further up the pool you went towards the source. The lower pool had more of a muddier bottom but was neat in how it wrapped around with the trees overhanging it and the small waterfall over the log barrier into the stream. Liard also had a sulfur smell to it that wasn't present at Takhini. It was still enjoyable though.

Part of the Boardwalk Over the Marsh

Upper Pool

Lower Pool

More of the Lower Pool

Clear Water in the Upper Pool

We did have several squirrels in and around our campsite at Liard to keep us, and Trip, entertained.

Hang on, Baby!

What are you looking at?

As usual, we have had rain, at least a sprinkle, every day still since leaving Denali. Will we ever find a full day of sunshine?


  1. Those hot springs sure look inviting! Glad you all are having a great time and meeting some nice folks along the way! Safe travels! Love you all!

  2. You guys spent a lot more time in Yukon than we did and I enjoyed following this part of your trip (Chicken was the last place we "shared' -- I can't remember what we did next from there but it wasn't what you did.) We camped at a different hotsprings resort just outside of Fairbanks... a great place whose name I forget.


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