An early morning start to head to a great pancake breakfast. The Whitehorse United Way Pancake Breakfast. Joanne is a celebrity server and is supposed to be flipping pancakes, having been promoted from serving yogurt the year before. It is a packed event at the Whitehorse Convention Center. We arrive to find Joanne serving potatoes. The job of flipping pancakes was left for the RCMP – they did a great job.
We bid on and won a one night stay at a hotel (formerly a Brothel) in Dawson City – Bombay Peggys! We will be doing that later in the trip.
Today we head south to Carcross; a beautiful little tourist town. At the United Way Breakfast we are advised to makes some stops en route: Emerald Lake and the World’s Smallest Desert.
The scenery on the drive is spectacular, which will be the case for the next several days. The sun is lower here. As we drive due south at 11am, we have to lower our visors to prevent from being blinded. The sun is similar in height to the low sun in late afternoon in Ottawa. It won’t get much higher that day.
The first official stop for pictures – Emerald Lake we meet up with Devra, the tourist from Toronto we met the day before, and we play leap frog with her for the next few stops. Emerald lake is picturesque with beautiful green waters. Though I must say, I am partial to the Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park.
The World’s Smallest Desert is 2km north of Carcross. While a big sign at the highway proclaims the area Carcross Desert, the interpretive display tells us that the area is an old seabed and not a desert at all. Still we cross the desert and climb the dune on the opposite. As we climb higher up the dune and look back, a lake is revealed in front of the distant mountains.
In need of food and a washroom we head to Carcross. We arrive in Carcross, only to discover that it is a town that is not open in the off season. Train station – closed. Restaurants – closed. Oldest continually operating store in the Yukon – closed. Post Office – closed. Community Centre – closed. Library –‘ Back at 2pm’. Out houses – chained and locked. Main road – seriously dug up. The town will look beautiful next year when the tourist season opens again and the sushi restaurant will be open again. The beach is beautiful and it is open; the water is too cold for us!
We decide to drive another 33km to Tagish. The trees that line the highway are filled with yellow leaves. Tagish is spread out along the highway and having driven through the whole ‘town’ we realize there is but one choice for food. We turn around and go back to the beginning of the town. We both decide to order a cheeseburger. It is the largest burger we have ever eaten. It must be a full pound of beef. The owner apologized that she had to serve it on bread as she forgot to buy buns. The couple that runs the restaurant/post office/hotel/general store is from Germany. They were looking to come to Canada and found this business for sale – so they bought it. (note: Reading the paper today – the business is up for sale. $429K and you can live in the Yukon)
She told us that if we have a 4 wheel drive vehicle that we should be able to see a visit a great look out. Continue along the road 4km until the power line crosses the road and then turn right. There is no street sign. We find the hydro line and turn right onto a dirt road. The road is about 8km long. It winds and is steep and snow covered in places. Occasionally a downed tree lies partly across the road. At the top, is an antenna and fire tower, and the view is stunning. The wind is incredible. At the top of the mountain the iPhone has a signal again (outside of Whitehorse there really isn’t much cell service). We take a picture of the Rav4 on the mountain and send it to Joanne- just so she knows her Rav4 is a good little climber. The wind is so cold that on the way down the mountain we put the seat warmers on to warm us.
When we return to Whitehorse we join Joanne for a Pub Night at a local hotel. It is a loose group that gets together that had the pleasure of having Ron James join them a few weeks back. While that we got to hear the numbers being called for Radio Bingo – a Friday night occurrence.