May 29, 2013

Day 3: Heeeyyyyy Bear

Day 3: Whitehorse, YT to Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, BC

Wildlife Spotting: porcupine, hare, LOTS of bison, 10 black bear, 2 brown bear cubs 

Distance Traveled: 646 km/404 miles

Total Distance Traveled: 1788 km/1118 miles

We started the morning off right, with a Timmy’s coffee.

We made a must-stop at the Watson Lake Signpost Forest in the Yukon.  Started by a US Army Soldier working on construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942, this forest now contains over 75,000 signs! 

We enjoyed lunch by Watson Lake and then went in search of the nearest liquor store so that we could get some local brews for the campfire later that night.  Much to our disappointment, the only liquor store in Watson Lake is closed Sundays and Mondays.  Ya, didn’t make much sense to us either.

As we drove through the Yukon and into BC, we noticed a terrain change – the trees started to get taller and the mountains got smaller.

Eagle eye Steve spotted two bear cubs at the edge of the forest, about 10 yards from the side of the road.  They would be around 5 or 6 months old. It was an extremely impressive spot!  At the exact moment we were wondering where the mom was, a Government of Canada Public Works employee pulled up beside us and gave us the answer.  Apparently mom hadn’t been seen for a few days, leaving these cuties orphaned.  

In the two hours between Watson Lake and Liard River Hotsprings, we saw a total of 12 bears (10 black bears and the 2 brown bear cubs). Bison were also making an appearance in numbers.  They are massive, with huge heads!  An adult male can weigh around 2000 lbs!

We stopped a Whirlpool Canyon, a spot where debris of the river collects.  Definitely would not want to get swept away in that.

The temperatures reached 81F and we were able to turn the AC on the car for the very first time!

Our destination for the night was Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park in BC.  We set up camp for the night, put on our bathing suits and headed for a much deserved soak in the hot spring. A long boardwalk leads to springs, which are hidden in the forest. Temperatures in the hot spring range from 108F/42C to 126/52C.  

After enjoying a relaxing soak, we finished the day around a campfire, getting eaten by mosquitoes.  Mo also escaped in the car, which could have been interesting if Steve hadn’t opened the door and caught him mid-escape. (For the record, he has not enjoyed this road trip as much as we have.)

We fell asleep to the sound of rain on the tent and what sounded like a whirporwhill in a nearby tree. (The only thing that would have made the day better would have been a nice cold beer to cheers to around the campfire.)

So until next time, when we get a little closer to home and can finally say can we drove the Alcan, and survived!


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