Thursday, June 02, 2005

Watson Lake, Yukon

Watson Lake is just across the border from British Columbia and is on the Alaska Highway, the main artery between Dawson Creek, BC and Alaska. It is home to the "Signpost Forest", begun in 1942 by a homesick American Soldier working on the "Alcan". He put up a sign for his hometown. They say there are over 50,000 signs now, from all over the world. This site has more on the "forest":

This morning I was relieved to peek out and see sunlight. That meant a chance to dry out and, hopefully, clean up. But the mosquitoes were vicious. Though I dread using the stuff, I dabbed on a few more drops of DEET. These guys are undeterred. They even climb in through the vent holes of my hat to find a nice bald spot.

So, I just keep moving steadily. Trying to allow time for the tent and gear to air-dry a bit, but also without stopping, which would give the mosquitoes a chance to swarm me. Still, I have plenty of bites to keep me itching for a while.

The only other campers, the young couple that was drinking, singing, screaming and howling last night (louder than the wolves) were back to "normal" this morning and packing up.

The road that seemed so treacherous last evening, had dried out considerably and was now easy to manage, though still better done standing up on the pegs.

The town of Watson Lake felt more hospitable by day. There is a large grocery and bakery where I had breakfast of custard-filled donut and coffee-colored water. Across the street, I noticed a large-bay car wash. This looks promising. I asked the store clerk whether the town had an internet cafe. "No, but the library is two doors away." Outstanding. Now all I need is a shower and a laundromat. But first things first. At the car wash, unpacked the bike again and hosed off the gross mud deposits. A thorough washing would have to wait.

So, I'm now at this very nice library, where they've allowed me to use an ethernet connection and plug into a power source. Of course there's a nice clean bathroom too. Trying to be discreet and not too inconsiderate, I bathed at the sink as much as I could without the removal of clothes. This is just too civilized!

At some point later today, I'll head up the highway. I plan to drive down to Skagway, where my ferry would have docked. I understand the ride over the pass to Skagway is remarkable, though the town is a "tourist trap". If possible, I'll ferry across to Haines and continue the trek north from Haines.


Jkampion said...

Wish I could say, "wish I were there", but it I am tempered by the thought of winged insects hoisting me up and dropping me off that precipice you shot. Must be gorgeous, though.

Nice job.

cathie said...