We returned to the Rancheria Restaurant for breakfast. When we arrived, we heard that “we had gotten up too late and missed two moose in the pond”. Shucks. But we had a good breakfast and used their WiFi again. We had an ambitious plan on driving day 7 on the Alaska Highway, with a couple of town and museum stops along the way.
We took a quick walk over to the pond behind the restaurant after breakfast and after a few minutes, a cow moose came out on the opposite shore. She was a bit far but we got a nice long look at her as she walked around feeding by the shore. A great start to our morning.
Our first town stop was in the village of Teslin. As you approach the town, there is a beautiful overview of the Teslin River and the Teslin River Bridge, the third longest bridge on the Alaska Highway. The rest area has some lovely interpretive panels.
But before heading to the museums, we stopped to see the excellent Yukon Wildlife Display at the Yukon Motel and Lakeshore RV Park.
The gift shop is right by the wildlife display and they had some beautiful First Nations crafts. Not to mention some adorable huge stuffed animals out front, the only other wildlife we saw that day.
Next we stopped at the George Johnson Museum, which has displays of Tlingit ceremonial robes, photographs, and articles from the life of George Johnston, a Tlingit man who was a photographer, trapper and strong advocate of maintaining the Tlingit traditions.
The museum includes the first car imported to the Yukon before there were roads, Mr. Johnston used to drive it on the frozen lake in winter! The car was beautifully restored by the local car dealer when many years later Mr. J traded it in for a truck.
Lastly, we stopped at the Tlingit Heritage Center to see their displays on the lifestyles of the Tlingit people including some beautiful masks and five great totem poles in the front of the building.
At this point it was getting pretty late, and our original plan was to take a detour to Carcross, another village with a strong First Nations heritage. This is an area that we will pass on the way out of Alaska however, so we decided to save that stop until then. This is why it is important to have a lot of flexibility when traveling to Alaska.
We stopped at the Marsh Lake Yukon Government Campground, a lovely little place with 41 sites including 9 pull-throughs by a lovely lake. We did not have to unhook our car and found a level spot! And we had time for a nice campfire (free firewood!) before dinner. So glad we changed our plans.
Day 7 driving recap:
Road Type: 2-lane
Road Conditions: Generally smooth, but you have to keep your eyes open because there are some gravel breaks,roughly patched potholes, and frost heaves.
Miles Today: 177
Miles driven from Canadian border: 1593
Miles on the Alaska Highway: 859.9
Driving Time: 3:30
Even those with an attendant only accept cash, others have an “iron ranger”. But at CA$12 per night, they are a great bargain. In the Yukon, free firewood is even provided.
We were headed to Whitehorse in the morning, only 30 or so miles away, so sleeping in was in order.