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A Hot Day on the Klondike Highway

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

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We get a late start this morning. It’s raining and the sound of the raindrops always seem to keep us in bed later :-)

We leave the Hi Country RV Park in Whitehorse, Yukon, and after about 30 minutes on the road we hear a noise of metal being dragged along the road—not a sound that you want to hear. We quickly stop the trailer and find that one of the front legs of the 5th wheel has dropped to the ground. I’m not accusing anyone of not securing it tightly, but the leg I secured in the morning was fine :-) Jere takes it apart and fixes it so that it doesn’t drag on the ground, but it doesn’t want to work properly.

This part of the Klondike Highway is not real scenic at many places. It seems that they had lots of forest fires on this stretch of the road (they label the year of each forest fire with a road sign). We do make several stops, including a stop for coffee. The store is not only a convenience store; it is also a grocery store, souvenir store, miniature K-Mart, and most important a hardware store. So we take the trailer leg apart again and voila! It works. Jere had simply over tightened the one screw, so we happily take off and continue our drive.

Our longest stop of the day is at Five Finger Rapids on the Yukon River. We pull up beside another 5th wheel that we’ve seen off and on over the last 2 weeks. We introduce ourselves to each other and find that they have been on the road TWO YEARS! Jere spends the next hour saying “2 years” every 5 minutes. I don’t ask him if he would like to do that – I think I know the answer and I’m not anywhere ready to go down that road.

We realize as we’re walking up and down the trail to the rapids that it is very hot out! We are not used to warm, let alone hot. It feels like it's in the 80s. Strange that the high in Whitehorse today is supposed to be 14 degrees C, and the high in Dawson City (which is 300 miles north) is expected to be 23 degrees C, and Ninulvik which is several hundred miles north of Dawson City is expected to be 30 degrees C.
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Although the scenery is not spectacular today, the wildflowers are spectacular. The road is lined with purple lupine, bright pink fireweed, yellow daisies and buttercups, and pink wild roses.
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When we get near Stewart’s Crossing, the road is lined with large piles of trees and logs. We assume they are clearing the trees from the sides of the road, but it’s odd to see pile after pile of trees beside the road. We’re wondering what they’ll do with them.
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We stop at Stewart’s Crossing for the night. We had hoped to make it to Mayo, Yukon, but too many stops today and we’re tired. Plus we really need to change into shorts – it’s hot here tonight.

Joe and I take a walk down the road to the Yukon River. There are dozens of swallows flying around the bridge so we watch them and their mud nests under the bridge for awhile.
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The hot day turns into a violent thunderstorm later in the evening. The lightning and thunder are incredible. Then there's a loud boom of thunder and the trailer shakes and a spark of light travels across the light fixture above my head. Very scary. Joe comes running out of his bedroom and I tell him to stay with me for awhile. Jere says "I think we just got hit by lightning." We're not sure what it actually hit but it must have been very, very close to us. The storm finally passes after an hour or so. I don't think I like being in an aluminum box on wheels in the middle of a field during a thunderstorm.

Posted by jengelman 13:38 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel

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