Starting the Return Trek: Back in the Yukon

Odometer:  168,459

168459

Day Distance & Time:  695 Miles;

695

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

4761

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

ilx_bear

bear

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.

mountains

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_2

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.

pilot_wait

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:

cabin

With dad at the cabin:

cabin3

The cabin today:

cabin

Inside:

cabin_inside_2

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!

kluane_park_inn

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

fairbanks_chevron

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

3_bears_inside

Three Bears Outpost from outside

3_bears

View from a rest area

lake

More amazing views

peaks2

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

bumpy_ride

kluane_4

Stove inside that cabin I visited

stove

Bedroom in the cabin

cabin_inside

Even an oven mitt still hanging up!

mitten

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

old_road

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

kluane_peaks

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

ilx_camera

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

haines_peaks

Passing through Whitehorse

whitehorse_signs

Arrival tonight in Teslin for the night, fueling up.

yukon_motel

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 blog..now 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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