Since Blogger has told me that a) I am out of space, and b) they want my cell number to create a new blog (like what is up with that? my cell doesn't even work where I live) and since it's time to grow up a little, I've moved the blog over to Wordpress.
Blogger, you have been good to me throughout these past three years, but, I think it's time I move on... one day in the future, maybe our paths will cross again.
I can now be found over at: http://yukonkennie.wordpress.com/ - please update your bookmarks!
Sorry this is late everyone .. but NWTel did it again and "accidentally" severed the fiber optic line leading into town killing all outgoing communications efforts.
So ... after sitting around all day Friday watching the weather very closely, as it was raining, and cold, and windy, I finally gave up and packed up my bags and headed out to Lapie Canyon ... initially just to go off and visit Matt and Kara and the boys since they were out there. After visiting for a bit, the weather did clean and I decided to pitch my tent in a corner of their site overnight.
The evening was filled with good conversations, yummy snacks (think campfire s'mores) and even the RCMP tracking me down. I thought I was going to freeze around 3am when the temp dipped well below zero (or at least what felt well below zero as I could see my breath) ... but it was all worth it for a yummy breakfast cooked by Kara.
The rest of the morning before I headed back to RR was filled with walking around the campsite and a nice hike through the woods.
Well ... my plans on spending a couple of days out camping got squashed by the change in weather on day 2. The winds picked up, the rain clouds moved in and the temperature dropped. But, I did get in one really good day of touring and camping, so the trip wasn't a complete "wash out".
Now, just as a warning, this is going to be a long post :-) plenty of historical info will be added into this one.
The drive down to Haines Junction along the Alaska Highway was pretty uneventful. Saw a couple of young Grizzlies, a herd of horses, and plenty of squirrels. Along the way down I did manage to hit a couple of Historical Sites (at least those that were accessible) .. next time, I'll need to make sure that I have them all written down so I can keep an eye out for the mile markers.
Canyon Creek Bridge
Canyon Creek Bridge was built during the gold strike in the Alsek River (1903). During this time a stampede of miners flocked to the area to strike it rich. A wagon road was built from Whitehorse in the next year and Sam McGee and Gilbert Skelly, constructed a substantial bridge over Canyon Creek. This bridge survived heavy traffic and high spring floods until the 1920s when the government contracted the Jacquot brothers from Burwash Landing to rebuild it.
In 1942, during construction of the Alaska Highway, the old bridge was dismantled and a new one was hand-built in 18 days. It has been described as the most ambitious and important bridge to be built by the US Army 18th Engineers. When the Public Roads Administration built permanent bridges along the highway, the old pioneer bridge was left in place. The Canyon Creek Bridge was reconstructed by the Yukon Government in 1986/87. Approximately 10% of the original bridge was left in place and 85% of the cribbing.
Pine Lake Campground
Pine Lake Campground is a Yukon Government run site. It was a nice place to camp out ... other than all of the RV's revving up their generators at all hours to have power. It is located about 6km outside of Haines Junction and has the usual campground necessities - outhouses, fire pits, chopped firewood and potable water (something that not all government sites have). Pine Lake also has a day use beach, playground and dock for boats.
Is one BEAUTIFUL place. It has now made my list of "places I must live in while residing in Yukon". The Village of Haines Junction lies in the Shakwak Valley in southwestern Yukon and has, by far, one of the most amazing landscapes that I have ever seen.
Haines Junction, like many of the other communities in the Yukon, is home to several First Nations Groups. Champagne and Aishihik First Nations live in and around the area of Haines Junction and are a self-governing First Nations Group.
The establishment of Haines Junction dates back to 1942 and the construction of the Alaska Highway during WWII. The following year a branch road was built from Haines, Alaska over Chilkat Pass to join the Alaska Highway. Portions of ancient travel routes became pioneer roads built for vehicle traffic. Situated at the junction of these two roads, Haines Junction was a construction camp and an important supply and service centre for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers building the highway.
Alaska Highway, Heading Towards Kluane National Park / Haines Alaska
All I can say is WOW.
Kluane National Park
Oh, only if the weather would have cooperated more / I had a gun / there were no grizzly sightings. Beautiful place to visit. Maybe, after summer break I'll head back there and take one of the flying tours of Kluane and the Glaciers (only about 130$ per person ... would definitely be a trip of a life time).
Last Wednesday we (the school) all went over to the Old Ross River town site for Kaska Day, where we partook in a variety of cultural activities plus a little tour of the Old Ross River lead by a local elder.
Suspension Foot Bridge that links the two sides of the river together.
This suspension foot bridge was built during the 1940's to allow for the transportation of oil from Norman Wells NWT to Whitehorse, YT.
With the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the targeting of American oil refineries in the Aleutian Islands, the American government began to worry about their Alaskan oil supply being cut off by the Japanese. In May 1942 they began construction of an oil pipeline and service road that was to carry crude oil from Norman Wells to a refinery in Whitehorse. It took two years to complete and was shut down at the end of the war, only one year after it became operational.
When the order came to close the project, many soldiers simply abandoned
their vehicles on the side of the road, some with the keys still in the
ignition. The rusting shells of army jeeps and other equipment can still be seen along the Canol road (one such vehicle is at the Welcome to Ross River sign).
The Pelly River
The Path to Old Ross River (there is also a road that takes you to the site).
Old Ross River was settled by the Kaska during the early 1900's and were joined by other First Nations groups that, elders think, were escaping conflict in other areas of the Yukon due to the Gold Rush.
Although no longer standing, this was the site of the first trading post in Ross River (circa 1902).
One of the few remaining structures in Old Ross River.
Where the Pelly River and Ross River join
Kennie and the Pelly River
Old Greenhouse Frame
Old house in Old Ross River
During the 1960's the Canadian Government along with the Canadian Military uprooted the whole community and moved it from the Northern banks of the Pelly River to the Southern banks of the Pelly River (its current location) so that the community would be more accessible to government workers and services.
Split Tree along the path to Old Ross River
1:18 PM By Kennie
It is officially summer vacation (yeeee-hawww!). Three months off to enjoy the outdoors, relax and unwind before heading back to work on September 7th, 2010.
All I've been doing for the last couple of weeks is figuring out how much of the Yukon I can visit before I head out for a field course (the last course I need to take to get my permanent teaching certification here in the YUkon) and before I head back to NB for a short visit.
So far, the plan is to head to Kluane National Park on Monday for an overnighter (maybe two nights depending on things as I have to be back in RR for a videoconference on the 17th). I figure a nice little trip out to visit a part of the Yukon that I have yet to see will refresh and recharge the batteries ... at least long enough for me to make it though my last course :-).
Early in the Morning I'll head into Whitehorse to get the last things that I need (like a camping stove and some grub) and head out from there... if the weather isn't on my side, I guess I'll just go for a nice drive out to Haines Junction for the day then head back into Whitehorse for the night ...
I spent all of last Sunday afternoon washing and polishing my truck ... then I went on a quick trip to Faro ....
for all of those that are wondering, no it was not raining out here. To keep our roads semi dust-free and to avoid the dreaded washboard effect on the roads, they are sprayed with a calcium-lime solution (to which I think is referred to as calcium hydroxide to the rest of the world).
So, yet again, this weekend, I will be outside, baking in the sun (if we have sun) soaking off this muddy mess off of Gates, the truck.
This morning, I received word that a past teacher of mine (who taught me phys ed and health from grade 5 to 8 and who was my soccer/field hockey coach with his wife many times over) had passed away doing what he loved best - going on adventures. News of his passing had just made it into New Brunswick newspapers, and I imagine has been a shock to many who knew him, his family and the community of Sussex, NB.
As a tribute to his love of the outdoors and cycling, I headed out into the Yukon wilderness around town with a colleague. I am sure he would have approved and would have loved to join in.
Here's to you Mr. L, for teaching a generation of students to love and appreciate the outdoors and recreation.
This weekend I headed over to Faro to partake in the Sheep and Crane festivities. I managed to see plenty of wildlife (cranes, grouse, squirrels) and yuppies but not a singular sheep. Seems as by the time I made it out to the sheep viewing station, they had decided that they had had enough of everyone staring at them and went incognito.
On my way to Faro, I decided to drive down the other direction of the road for a couple of clicks heading out to Watson Lake (just out of curiosity). Beautiful scenery out there, and if I had another person traveling with me or another vehicle in the pack, I am sure I would have gone out a little further ... but I didn't want to get stuck out there with no rescue.
Once in Faro, I headed down to the school where there was a BBQ going on that was hosted by the school. After chowing down on a burger and some potato salad, I headed over to the library for a bit, then to the Kettle Cafe for a latte and then out for a drive towards the Mine (to which I had never been to before). Not much to see other than the mine, and the sludge pool below the mine.
The next morning I was up bright and early to head out on a nature walk out to the falls. On my way there I passed a large group of Cranes.
There was quite a large group of us heading out (head count was 65 people for the 9:30am hike). On the hike we learned about some of the flora and fauna of the Yukon and what is present in Faro and what some of the plants were and are still used for. Pretty amazing to think what some of the plants in the forest were used and are still used for.
At the end of the hike we made it to the water falls. Weren't quite as spectacular as I thought that they were going to be, but still impressive all the same. I just enjoyed the walk through the woods more than anything.
Prior to 1957, the official flower of Yukon was the Crocus ... however, Manitoba also had it as their official flower as well and were quite upset that Yukon wanted to use it as well ... so in 1957, Yukon changed its official flower to Fire Weed.
And of course, we have mysterious paw prints .... our theory (mine and Julie's) is that it was Big Foot carrying Hasselhoff on his back.