We made it to Tok just fine. The road was bumpy in places all the way into Tok, but we had heard that the Alaska Highway from Tok to Haines Junction would be even worse.
I spent the day in Tok catching up on emails and bogs and completing a little shopping. I had planned to go to the free car wash and clean up the vehicles but rain out of time. We dry camped behind Young’s Chevron Station where we had previously camped in June. It wasn’t as quiet this time, but at least it didn’t rain.
Sunday morning we headed out catching the Alaska Highway to the Haines Highway We haven't driven this portion of the Alaska Highway yet. The reports were right about the road being terrible. It took us all day to drive the 90 miles to Burwash Landing. The road was full of frost heaves, dips, pot holes, and gravel. We chose to dry camp at Burwash Landing Resort.
The owner of Burwash Landing Resort offers lake front hook ups for $25.00 but free dry camping in the parking lot. We enjoyed a well deserved cocktail in the lounge along with a very nice view of Kluane Lake.
Burwash Landing Resort from Kluane Lake
Monday morning we toured the Kluane Natural History Museum, within walking distance from our campsite at Burwash Landing Resort. The museum has the best exhibit of stuffed wild life I have ever seen and was will worth the admission charge of $3.00...what a bargain!
Don't they look real??
An old log church in Burwash
Look at the lower right. At least someone appreciates us!
I was airing up the tires on the Jeep in preparation for our departure when one of the valve stems broke on one of the tires. Fortunately, Bill and Nancy knew how to fix it and had the parts to repair it but we got a late start. The road was a little better into Haines Junction, but not much. We went through the Canadian Border and for the first time the customs agent asked for Sadie’s “credentials”. Of course I was prepared and whipped the "very important papers" out for display I was happy that someone had finally asked for them after spending $$$ for a health certificate before I left the lower 48.
Kluane Lake. It goes on for miles and is a beautiful color.
Soldier Summit is where the dedication ceremony for the completion of the Alaska Highway was held. Note the Canadian and American Flags. The dirt road between the podium and the flags is the original road.
Kluane Lake looking North East.
In Haines Junction we went to the visitor center to get information on the Kluane National Park and visit the local bakery (of course!) "The Muffin" is at the junction of the Haines Highway and Alaska Highway. I don't know the story behind it, but it is the most photographic subject in Haines Junction. so they say.
It was getting late as we headed out on the Haines Highway and we ended pulling off at the overlook near Kathleen Lake Campground for the night. We had views of the lake through the trees. It was extremely windy, but we were all nice and cozy in our RVs.
View from my window of Kathleen Lake
Tuesday, morning we woke up to the sound of road construction, which got us up moving at a decent hour. We still had about 140 miles or so to Haines and several stops. The Haines Highway is suppose to be the “most beautiful drive of all Alaska”. We’ve heard that a lot. The day was cloudy and windy and cold. I had noted that some of the Aspen trees had started to turn already and the Fireweed was almost finished with blooming.
The road was much better, except for the first few miles of road construction where we ended up following a water tanker for a few miles. I was happy that I hadn’t spent time washing my vehicles in Tok.
We stopped at several view points to take pictures.
We also stopped at Glacier Rock and hiked the easy board walk trail nearly to the top. It is a rock glacier which has been stable for hundred of years. A rock glacier is a mixture of ice and rock. The rock insulates the ice and the whole field moves slowly down the mountain like a regular glacier. This rock glacier was a little different from the other rock glaciers I have seen in that it was stable and the rocks were bigger.
Nancy and Liz walking on the hard part of the trail
Some visitors had left numerous rock art. This one blew down right after I took a picture of it. (That's how windy it was).
Next we stopped at Million Dollar Falls.
We sailed through US customs (they didn’t ask for Sadie’s credentials), and headed to Haines. The drive along Chilkat was interesting.
Scenes of the large alpine valley coming into Haines
Chilkat River which is part of the Bald Eagle Preserve. There is a glacier nestled in the saddle on the mountain (middle of the photo).
The drive to Haines on the Haines Highway is beautiful, but it would have been much nicer if the clouds had parted. I have seen so much beautiful country at this point, its hard to separate out what is the most beautiful; it's all gorgeous.
After we arrived in HainesHaines for a few days as there is suppose to be some good hiking.