We were completely spoiled by our stay at Muncho Lake Provincial Park. Our last two days were filled with sunshine, perfect for taking a drive and exploring or sitting outside and doing nothing. I managed a fair amount of both.
We finally learned that blazing and affordable Wi-Fi could be had at Double Gs café for the price of two cups of coffee and a cinnamon roll the size of your head. Since we had run out of Canadian dollars, we had to spend a minimum amount in order to use our credit card, so I took a carb-bomb for the team. The limit was $10.00, but the guy took pity on us - $8.68 later and we were handed the code and were posting away.
On our way back to the campsite we happened upon a couple (Mike and Judy) pulling a 5th wheel who had just experienced a flat tire on the driver's side of their truck. We pulled over and offered to help. To ensure the safety of everyone involved, we first zipped back to Scoopy to get our orange caution triangle thingies to put on the road, and to grab Bill to assist. He was out for a walk, so Steven and Mike changed the tire while Judy and I yakked up a storm. They are on their way to a camp hosting job in Denali State Park, which they also did last year and loved it. We're going to look them up when we get to the area.
One of the great things about long sunny days is that our solar generates nearly all of the power we need. In fact we managed to go without running the onboard generator for a couple of days. I suspect, as we get even further north and the days get longer, we won't need to use the generator at all or at least keep it to an absolute minimum. I am keeping track, so we'll see at the end of our trip.
We had a gorgeous travel day to Watson Lake and we made the trip without incident. The big deal on this trip was that we finally crossed into the Yukon! No matter how you slice it, British Columbia is huge!
We rolled into Watson Lake and parked in the big gravel lot right across the street from the Sign Post Forest. Since we hadn't stopped for lunch, we decided on a little café just up the street. Lovely people and gorgeous scenery aside, there are three things I love about Canada: Poutine, Nanimo bars and Coffee Cream. We found two of the three in Watson Lake as both Steven and I ordered poutine for lunch. We found Coffee Cream, which has a fat content somewhere between Half and Half and heavy cream, at the nearby grocery store. Nanimo bars will have to wait until our return trip.
After lunch we trekked over to the Visitors Center and met the woman who won the prize for the most talking ever without taking a breath. She knew more about Watson Lake and beyond, and kept pulling out brochure after brochure and map after map. The four of us stood there stunned, in some kind of alien trance as she highlighted this and drew a big circle around that. I was finally able to break free from her spell and said to the others, "I have to get out of here, my head is about to explode!" and I made my getaway. Even her coworker was like, "damn!" We all carried big bags of stuff we really didn't need or want as we wandered through the forest, dazed and confused.
I will say this for the Sign Post Forest, it is impressively clean, neat and orderly. I suspect by the end of the season all manner of signage will overtake the tidy poles and turn it into a mess of hometown and homemade signage nailed where ever one can find an inch. I guess each year they must remove some of the more gnarly messages and those not likely to last through the harsh winter. It's a pretty interesting place and we enjoyed our stroll.
When we returned to Scoopy to drop off our new brochure collection, Steven unknowingly stepped in something we now think was a tube of grease. It was ooey and gooey and raspberry red and it was all over his right shoe. He made it well inside Scoopy before I screamed at him to stop, but by this time the floor looked like a murder scene. Seriously. It took a few tries and Internet cleaning recipes to rid Scoopy of the goop, but it's finally gone.
After an overnight in Watson Lake, we took off for Whitehorse, YT. We had plenty of suggestions of sites to see while we were there, but for us, it was just a quick overnight at the Walmart. A good Walmart at that, as it was right next to a Starbucks and a fuel station that had both potable water and a sani-dump. Every fulltimers dream combo. :)
The next morning we were on the road early, making our way to Haines, Alaska! It was about 250 miles, but it took us 7 hours to get here. The roads were fine, in fact, the highway from Haines Junction, YT to the U.S. Border was smooth as butter, probably one of the best we'll find on this trip. But the views, oh my! The vastness of the snow-covered mountains demand your attention. It was an incredible drive. More on that in the next blog, but here's a tease!