Kluane Lake west of Whitehorse

We made it!! We bounced from Whitehorse and hit the road, for our final day of Yukon driving before the border.  From our visit to the information center the night prior, we knew that our drive today would bring us past the biggest lake in the Yukon, Kluane Lake. What we didn’t know is how incredibly cool it would be! Lake Kluane sits at the base of giant mountains, in a semi-arid climate surrounded by salt flats and sand. The stark contrast of blinding white sand and pure clean water with the huge snow covered mountain summits was something to behold. We decided to pull off, stop, and make a little lunch down on some rocks to soak in the afternoon sunshine.

After lunch we climbed away from the lake, and into an immense taiga, a somewhat swampy forest of stunted conifers growing atop the permafrost. The trees here are mostly black spruce, and resemble millions of small green pipe cleaners. The ground is… mushy? I can’t really think of another good way to explain it. Every step you take sinks about 10 inches into a spongy carpet of peat moss.  Wild blueberries, cranberries, crowberries, Labrador Tea and Cotton Grass carpet the ground.

With this interesting landscape came interesting roads. Well maybe not so interesting as just plain crazy. The best analogy I can come up with is mobbing a steep tree run with your buddies, picking a hard and fast line, until all of the sudden things get hairy. You come across a creek gap, or a tight section of trees where you have to slam on the breaks but your momentum carries you forward regardless your efforts to stop. You make it through the obstacle but think “holy shit.. that was nuts” and turn back to see if your friends have the same fate.  This is driving the Al-Can between Destruction Bay and the border. A constant stop and start, through snake-like ditches, huge potholes, and whoops that either leave your stomach in your shoes, or your lunch out the window.

Trixie Loves Bugs

Some of her tats

Despite the slow going through the frost heaves, we charged forward, and reached our final border crossing: WE MADE IT TO ALASKA! Of course we hopped out, danced and took pictures, crossed customs with no problem, and cruised into our camp for the night. Talk around the campfire was all about the journey, the bugs, and how excited we were to make it to Valdez the following day. Since Trixie joined us in Rupert we have traveled over 3,000 miles, and have about 314 to go.  It’s neat to think that where we are is only a day’s drive from home. That means everything cool we see from here on in can be visited on a weekend trip!