Day 7 on the Alaska Highway

Teslin001Teslin003We 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.Teslin022Teslin002

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.

Teslin004Teslin007Next, we did more doubling back in the car to take one last look at the road we saw just before reaching Rancheria as it was quite pretty.

This led us to a detour and across an old wooden bridge, but the road was impassable after that point.Teslin006

Teslin009Not to mention a different spot overlooking a washed out bridge that looked pretty scary. Afterwards we headed back to continue our drive north.Teslin008

Teslin019We stopped to take a very short hike with Angel to Rancheria Falls, which was on our route. It is so nice to get out and walk in the fresh air on a driving day, and it was quite a pretty walk.Teslin017

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Teslin023Teslin025Our 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.Teslin031

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The Tlingit people have spent thousands of years in this area, and two of the museums in Teslin provide displays of their native culture.Teslin046

Teslin047But before heading to the museums, we stopped to see the excellent Yukon Wildlife Display at the Yukon Motel and Lakeshore RV Park.Teslin038Teslin037

All of the animals displayed died of natural or accidental causes. It is quite an impressive display of taxidermy and antler carving, and yes, we have a high tolerance for anything wildlife related.Teslin039Teslin042

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.

Teslin067Teslin063Next 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.Teslin049Teslin050

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.Teslin061Teslin059Teslin052

 

Teslin066The museum also shows a film about Mr. Johnson and some of the adverse impacts of the Alaska Highway construction on the Tlingit residents of the area. Pretty depressing stuff.

Teslin069Lastly, 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.Teslin073Teslin076Teslin074

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.

Teslin082We 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:

Teslin078Road Name (s): Yukon Highway 1

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

Teslin080Tip of the dayTeslin079Teslin081ATMs are few so plan ahead to have cash on hand if you plan to stay in Provincial and Government Campgrounds in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

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.

~ BrendaTeslin068

 

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  1. Such cool museums that you’re finding! We love NW Native American art and have several pieces that we’ve acquired in our travels. Looks like we’ll have to make room for more when we head up to Alaska in a couple of years. 🙂 So fun to follow along your journey — thanks for all of the details.

    • Thank you! We love Native American art and actually have some pieces from the SW, but have had our eye on pieces from the NW for awhile. There are just too many beautiful pieces.

  2. I am enjoying your wonderful trip and stunning photos more as everyday passes. So very inspiring…..

  3. I don’t believe I have ever said the words “seeing a cow moose come out.., was a great start to our morning!” I guess I need to get out more. Do love the commentary and pictures. Such a beautiful area of the world! Thanks.