Day 14 - Carmacks to Teslin Lake

Justine found us a treat...

We had originally planned to get all the way from Carmacks to Liard River today, but had decided earlier in the trip that we need to break it up, as it was was too far. While it would have been nice to stay there a couple of nights, it would have been a killer drive. And we've had enough of those. 

So we picked Teslin Lake Campground, a spot we had stopped at in our way through, as it was a nice spot on the very large Teslin Lake. It ended up being a very good decision. An we got to stop in Whitehorse for a short visit as well.

From Camacks, the trip south was pretty easy. We made good progress, stopping at a little resort called Breaburn Lodge for "the Yukon's biggest cinnamon buns". The things were huge, enough for four people to share. We didn't eat it there as there was a tour bus full of old people that pulled in at the same time.

We continued south, stopping at the site of the Fox Lake Burn, a huge forest fire from 1998, where we did a short walk to see how the forest recovers from a fire. I had not really been that close to an old burn site, and it was quite amazing to see. It really takes a long time for a forest to bounce back after a big fire like this one.

Little Fox Lake, from the viewpoint at the end of the short walk.

Almost 20 years later, the recovery is slow.

We continued south a short distance and stopped at the Fox Lake Viewpoint, where we had our cinnamon bun. It was delicious and the view was amazing.

The view across Fox Lake.

Fall colours and snow capped peaks.

From there it was a short drive into Whitehorse, where we stopped to take care of a few things. Mom and Justine did a bit of souvenir shopping, while dad and I took the truck and trailer in for a long overdue wash. I also popped back into the Yukon Brewing Company to pick up some beer for the last leg of our trip. I would have preferred to stop back in at Winterlong, but they weren't opening until 3:00, and we couldn't really wait until that point to continue on our way.

We made a quick stop at Whitehorse's signature tourist site, the steam paddle wheeler the Klondike, to take some pictures and enjoy the sunshine. We were up into double digits for the first time in days, and it was really nice.

 

The SS Klondike -  a pretty impressive ship.

Justine, Dad and Mom in front of the S.S. Klondike on a sunny summer day in Whitehorse.

We bid a final farewell to Whitehorse, and continued on our journey. I really liked Whitehorse, and enjoyed our time there. The drive from Whitehorse to Teslin Lake was spectacular. While we had done the drive a week or so before, the weather was so much better this time, and the colour on the mountains really popped. We also saw three bears - a mother and two cubs - as we drove this stretch.

More amazing scenery.

teslin lake sign

We arrived at Teslin Lake Campground around 5:00, and were setup very quickly. We didn't need to unhook the trailer, which is very helpful on these one night stops. We had a couple of games of washers while we enjoyed our evening beverages. Justine and I finally won something - Mom and Dad had dominated everything we'd played the whole trip! Then we went for a walk along the lake, before the sun went down.

All set-up for a relaxing evening.

We weren't very gracious winners...

A nice evening for a walk along the lake. Dad found some skipping stones...

Justine tried her hand as well.

Teslin Lake - it's just a beautiful spot.

We made dinner and got a very nice fire going, which we enjoyed (with marshmallows and s'mores) while we waited for it to get properly dark. We finally had a clear night, and were hoping to see the Northern Lights.

It took until 10:30 before the light really went out of the sky. There were no clouds, and Justine was sure she was seeing the start of some colour. I took a couple of pictures and sure enough there was some faint colour bands across the sky.

Some faint colour signaled the  start of the Northern Lights show.

About half an hour later we got a real show. The sky just exploded with this living, moving colour. Purples and green light flowed across the sky, which was pretty amazing. The Lights lasted until a little after midnight when it was time for bed.

The colour then spread across the whole sky.

There were some crazy shapes in the sky.

Sometimes the shapes were very compact...

Other times they were just crazy.

 This one was my favourite - I see a face...

This one was my favourite - I see a face...

Eventually the show slowed. The pictures don;t really do it justice - you have to watch the colours change and move, like they're alive. An there were some many colour changes that the long exposure just can't capture.