On the Road Adventures

Monday, August 31, 2009

August 27 and 28 Playing Catch-up

August 27 – Not in Whitehorse

We got our shopping done quickly at the Real Canadian and then buttoned everything up and hit the road, with great glee, I might add. As we went down the highway we kept saying, “Oh look. I didn’t see that last time.” Of course we didn’t see whatever it was, rivers, lakes, mountains, because we were following Cleo on the flatbed truck that was doing 85 and creating white-out conditions from the dust he was throwing up behind him. This was a much nicer ride.

We stopped at the Tlinkit Heritage Center in Teslin and looked at their displays of carvings and beadwork. The totems in front of the center represent Eagle, Beaver, Wolf, Frog and Raven, the five clans of the nation. The narratives that went with the displays talked about how the people had kind of lost their way after the highway came through, but some of the young people are learning to carve and drum and dance again and there is a resurgence of the traditional skills.

After lunch there, we drove on until we got to the Rancheria at Traditional Mile 710, the scene of our big breakdown last June. It was nice to talk to Dennis and meet his wife, Linda. We are spending the night here in their RV park, and enjoyed Linda’s good cooking for dinner.

August 28 – 104 miles down the Cassiar Highway

I took a walk around the Rancheria Lodge this morning. When we were here in June I was so fixated on Cleo that I didn’t even realize that there is a lovely little lake behind the café, so I took pictures of it this morning in the sunshine. We stopped at the overlook where the terrible radiator leak happened and got pictures of a healthy Cleo and a nicely paved road. No dust. Amazing.

Once we got on the Cassiar, our speed decreased significantly. Like, 5 mph in many areas. There was a long stretch where the province had prepped for construction and then there was a landslide that took priority, so the road’s pretty much as bad as everyone said, at least for that first stretch. But once we got through that it got better. Still not great, but better, and we’re pretty much the only people on the road so we can take it as slow as we wish. We saw a mountain goat and a fox, but no moose or caribou, even though signs said to watch for them. We watched, but the critters didn’t cooperate.

We stopped at a store called Jade City. I didn’t know that 90% of the world’s jewelry grade jade comes from here, so that lovely jade pendant I bought in Hong Kong a few years back probably came from right around here. We drank their free coffee, took a picture of a giant jade boulder and looked at the jewelry but didn’t see anything that wanted to come home with us.

We’re at Dease River Crossing RV camp tonight. It’s another of those places that makes up for the lack of hook-ups by providing a spectacular view out the front window. Two tent campers next to us came paddling up in their canoe. They said they had been moose hunting but only saw two cows. I wondered but didn’t ask how one brings home a thousand pound bull moose in a canoe. I may have to go over to their camp later and ask them.

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