Our original plan was to head to Hyder, Alaska after Haines, with a stop in Whitehorse but we made a few changes. We were now chasing the Aurora Borealis. There was a forecast for a strong Aurora on the evening of the day we left Haines.
We had to head out on the Haines Highway once again, since we made quite a detour to see Haines, which was totally worth it. Leaving quirky Haines was definitely bittersweet but driving through the spectacular Haines Highway a second time was certainly not going to be a hardship.
We were now leaving Alaska once again and crossing back into Canada. Going through customs was quite easy, with just a couple of the standard questions and a wave through. For some reason, it is still always stressful for me.
It truly is a fabulous road with lots of lakes and other wetlands, tundra, and many mountain peaks and the colors were really turning.
While on the highway, we spotted an animal by the side of the road – a lynx! They are so elusive, we never thought we would see one, and definitely not by the side of the road. A good omen! But the lynx was gone as quickly as he appeared. Still amazing.
We had checked weather before we left Haines and had to rely on that early forecast, as internet would not be available to us again for the rest of the day nor evening. The forecast was for cloudy weather to continue in the Haines and Haines Junction areas and to the east and for clearer skies to the northwest.
Angel had an appointment with a veterinarian in Whitehorse the next afternoon which meant turning east at the end of Haines Junction. Bit instead we turned west to search for clearer skies. We were headed to Kluane Lake, a lovely area we stopped in on the way into Alaska. We knew that the beautiful lake would be a great setting for the Aurora.
Alaska Driving Day 14 Recap
Road Type: 2-lane
Road Conditions:Very good to excellent.
Road Name: Alaska Highway
Road Type: 2-lane
Road Conditions:A very good section of the Alaska HIghway.
Miles Today: 226
Total Miles in Alaska: 2344
Total Miles in Canada: 2879
Total Miles since entering Canada: 5243
It was quite late in the season and things were beginning to shut down. The campground we had stayed in previously was closed, but we found a fabulous boondocking spot in a wide rest area. It even had a path down to a beach just below it, great for walking Angel.
The ewes and lambs dotted the hillside and were close enough for a few pictures. The rams were still at higher altitudes though.
This night there were no mountains blocking the moon, which was still pretty bright, so the Aurora was a bit fainter than our first view of it back in Haines. We only saw the lights low on the northern horizon, none were visible above us as happened the last time.
But a cool fact is that the human eye does not discern some of the intensity of the colors in the dark, but the camera sensor does. It was interesting to watch Hector taking photographs and look at the images that appeared in the LCD screen on the back of the camera. The colors were brighter, not by a lot, but still different.
We had a similar experience when we watched a moonbow in Yosemite National Park. It was actually a more dramatic difference, to the naked eye the moonbow was mostly silver, but the camera captured the full spectrum of its colors.
Now we were really hooked.