Starting the Return Trek: Back in the Yukon

Odometer:  168,459


Day Distance & Time:  695 Miles;


Overall Trip Distance & Time:  4,761 Miles;  78 hours 31 minutes


No big deal – just a little grizzly bear crossing the road in Haines Junction, Yukon Territory!



The southbound trek has begun!  And we’re hoping that some of that Alaska mud caked to our cars still remains when we make it back to the Lower 48.  Call it a souvenir.  Today was a back-track day – the only one we’ll be having, since tomorrow morning we head south from Watson Lake on the Cassiar Highway – Highway 37 – through British Columbia.


After fueling up at Chevron in Fairbanks, Jason and I made our way to the Canadian border under bright blue northern skies this morning.  The Customs representative was a little puzzled when he learned that we were traveling together, yet in separate cars.  It’s something difficult to justify – even to ourselves – but eventually we were sent on our way in Beaver Creek and on down the Alaska Highway in the Yukon, retracing our steps from a few days prior.


Destruction Bay is aptly named – the roads in that stretch of the highway are among the worst we’ve experienced.  We had to wait twice – for 15 minutes each time – for a pilot car to guide us through some very long (and dusty) stretches.  Now that the 3-day holiday weekend is in full force, the RV traffic is starting to ramp up and most of the vehicles we saw coming northbound were touristy looking.


I made a point to stop in Kluane National Park and Reserve to take a picture at an old log cabin that my dad & I visited in 2006.  Sometime in the last decade, the original highway through that area has been bypassed by a newer version.  The log cabin was visible from the new highway but I found an access road to the old stretch of road and went to the cabin once more.  The padlock on the front door had already been busted free so I let myself inside and wandered around the two rooms.  It was still fully furnished, though in pretty sorry shape.

The cabin in 2006:


With dad at the cabin:


The cabin today:




We dined at the Kluane Park Inn in Haines Junction.  We were the only patrons.  The sight outside the windows was breathtaking.  Freshly-snowed-upon peaks surrounded us.  The menu was surprisingly large and also had a surprisingly Asian flair.  I didn’t want to risk anything too crazy so I went with a cold cut turkey sandwich and a Diet Coke.  It ended up being delicious!


By this time we’d decided we wanted to press on to Teslin again and stay in the log cabins we stayed in on the northbound leg, so I called ahead.  I actually recognized the woman’s voice who answered.  “Is this Jessica?” I asked.  Sure enough, it was her, and she remembered me!  The people in this region are so dang friendly.  Jason and I hauled some butt to get on through Whitehorse and to our final destination for the day, which took us about 3 hours.  It’s of course still very light outside at 11:00 p.m.

Jason has been dutifully blogging about his trip, too.  Check out his version of the story at any time!  Here’s his blog link.

Fueling up at Chevron in Fairbanks


The Three Bears Outpost in Tok, Alaska. One stop shop for ammo & sporting goods!


Three Bears Outpost from outside


View from a rest area


More amazing views


Fitting song for the roller coaster frost heaves after entering the Yukon.



Stove inside that cabin I visited


Bedroom in the cabin


Even an oven mitt still hanging up!


View of the old road that goes past the cabin, which has since been bypassed


Peaks in Kluane National Park.  Just can’t get enough of these.


Here’s how my car’s back-up camera looks when it’s covered in mud.


Peaks in Haines Junction, to show Carlos they were just under clouds in my previous picture.


Passing through Whitehorse


Arrival tonight in Teslin for the night, fueling up.


Catch ya later!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

15 Responses to “Starting the Return Trek: Back in the Yukon”

  1. Pam Buckshon Says:

    Good grief look at your cars! Such a short trip and you got so much done. Could you take a pic of the wide screen on your back up cam? Thanks for the excellent trip coverage 😉

    • Hey Pam! You bet I. You know what, I’m actually not entirely sure my back-up cam HAS a widescreen view but I’ll play around with it today and see!

  2. Woo-boo, we’re making progress back! You snapped a really good pic of that bear. Hope we continue to see more of that! Also, thanks for the plug to the the pressure is on. 😉

  3. Patrons? One of my favorite words! I follow you along daily and soak in every word. Have a safe and memorable descent back home — I hope our paths cross in Utah!

    • Yeah, it’s such a Doce word! And I need to drop something off at your place on my way through Utah so I’ll be seeing you later this coming week.

  4. Can’t go wrong with Chevron Premium unleaded 🙂 I recommend you always get your gas there. Forget those little gas stations. What is the mileage range of your car on a full tank and how big is your tank? My 2005 TSX has a large tank with a capacity of about 17.2 gallons. I have done about 550 miles on one tank in years past. And according to the mileage super computer, I could have gone past 600. 🙂

    • In Canada we use High octane Shell fuel … it’s the only brand that has no additives in their 91 fuel. In case you should visit me some day 😉

      • Good to know, Pam! And Carlos, the ILX range on a full tank is around 400 miles I think. It’s a teeny gas tank, only about 13 gallons I think.

  5. Glad to see those mountains behind the Haines Road sign. Glad they are still there. 😉

  6. Cars look great! Something close to what collectors call a “patina” 😉

    • That’s right! Somehow it doesn’t feel like the words “patina” and “ILX” should go together, but I’ll take it! Full detail treatment coming up for this car when I get home. And somehow – fingers still crossed – my windshield has survived unscathed!

  7. Hey Tyson!
    400 miles on a tank! I wonder if you’d get more with the good stuff we have out here (93). My car (’16 MX-5) can get roughly 400 (I think I got 403 once) when I fill it with 93, and I usually only put 9 gallons in. I guess that fresh new Skyactiv engine really does live up to its reputation!

    Do you guys have ethanol-free fuel anywhere in your area? I filled up with that a couple times in my ’13 SI and got something insane like 42mpg.

    Anyway, enough nerd talk – love the photos and your descriptions! Safe travels back home…

    • Yeah sounds like you’re getting some pretty good MPG’s with the Mazda! I noticed that some of the gas pumps say that Premium is ethanol-free.

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