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June 08, 2010

Springs and Signs

June 6 – 8, 2010
I’ve been without internet for the past few days so I have a lot of catching up to do! We stayed in Fort Nelson on Sunday night and Liard Hot Springs on Monday night and tonight we’re staying in Watson Lake. We made it to The Yukon! But to backtrack a little bit first – nothing going on in Fort Nelson, just a place to lay our head for the night. There was a museum next door but you had to pay to get in so I just walked around outside and there was still plenty to see. Cooper and I took numerous walks around the campground and talked to other dog owners. Cooper really knows how to make friends!

There's my little "Ellie" way back there!

We stopped the following morning at Toad River Lodge and took a picture of the famous hat collection. Over 6800 hats hanging from the ceiling and walls.

I saw Buffalo (Bull) on the road and managed to snap one picture while driving. Can you believe this is the one I managed to capture?

We drove past Muncho Lake, where copper oxide leaching into the lake attribute to its beautiful blue green water.

We stopped for the night at Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park and even though we didn’t have hook ups it was just like camping is supposed to be. Nice level campsites set in a wooded area with a LOT of room between you and your neighbor. It’s a nice sized campground with plenty of room to walk around. It was a short stroll down a boardwalk to Liard Hot Springs. They have two pools with most people frequenting the closer of the two, the Alpha Pool. Even though we walked to the Beta Pool we turned around because no one was there – which would be ideal except that there are a lot of bears in the vicinity and I didn’t want to be that isolated. The pool was wonderful and so much different than the one I went to in Banff. For one thing, you could smell the sulfuric minerals and there was buoyancy to the water and temperature variations depending on where you were AND the minerals turned my silver ring purple!  Of course the closer you got to the source the hotter it became. At the end of the pool there is what I call a rock pillar and the object is to be able to get close enough to the structure to put a rock on it. You're supposed to receive good luck if you can do it and kudos that you could withstand “the heat”. And you guessed it – I had to get a rock up there. It took me a few tries but I finally did it. I received a little advice and found that if you continue to churn the water with your hands then it’s not quite as hot as if you just walked through it. It gets up to 126 degrees Farenheight which is freaking HOT! But I did it! And let me tell you, my little heart was pumping fast after all that churning and hotness!

Now "this" is a campsite!

Wading through 126 degrees to get to that pile of rocks on the right!

We did see a bear walking back from the springs - even though it looks like a black blob!

Today we drove to Watson Lake in The Yukon. It’s home of the famous Signpost Forest which pictures don’t do justice. It started in 1942 by a homesick US Army GI, Carl Lindley. While working on the Alaskan Highway he erected a sign pointing the way and stating the mileage to his hometown. Others followed his lead and are still doing so to this day. You’d have to see it for yourself. I’ve never seen so many signs from all over the world. There were simple ones and very elaborate creative ones. Of course we didn’t have our own sign so officially we haven’t been there. You post a sign to signify that “you are here”. Just a good excuse for me to come back someday to post my existence!

We took in a presentation about the mystery of the Aurora Borealis – The Northern Lights – at the Northern Lights Centre. I would love to see that up close and personal some day but I’d have to be here in the fall and winter months, which is when you can see The Northern Lights. It would be one spectacular show!

Next was a nice walk with Cooper around Wye Lake, which is about a mile around the lake. Since I was by myself and forgot to put on “the bear bell” I talked to myself the whole way, just as a precaution! I’m really not used to talking to myself throughout a hike (and looking for bears) - it wears you out - so I only made the trek around the lake once! The locals tell me that there are a more than the usual number of bears this year and I don’t want to surprise one on any trail. So therefore, I make noise! We survived it and it was pretty.

Wildflowers along the trail

Tonight we are parked in what I call a gravel RV lot, where the motor homes are packed in like sardines. This is just RV parking (at $34/night) and not camping. Last night at Liard River ($21/night, including the trip to the Hot Springs) was camping – this is parking. The managers try to compensate for their lack of quaintness and offer a nightly BBQ with menu items ranging from Baby Back Ribs at $22/plate to Buffalo Burgers at $12.50/plate. To be fair, this includes salad, drink and dessert. They also offer breakfast in the morning, but we’ll be long gone by then.

I'm a little better, but this is NOT camping - this is overnight parking for a fee!

Tomorrow is Teslin and we’re actually stopping for breakfast along the way. It’s a place I’ve previously scoped out (in the Milepost) and they offer sourdough pancakes and world famous cinnamon rolls! Can't wait……

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