I head south, and nearly get lost in the forest

Well, where was I?  Oh yes, I was just about to escape the Pensioner’s Paradise that is Whitehorse.  After much messing around the following morning, I finally left Whitehorse on my way to Watson Lake.  Just so you know where I am in the big scheme of things, here’s a map of my travels over the last few days.  A = Whitehorse, B = Teslin Lake, C = Watson Lake, D = Fort Nelson: 

Anyway, I escaped Whitehorse, leaving the senior citizens to continue wandering around aimlessly.  I wasn’t going to include this bit, because certain of you will tease me (and yes, you know who you are).  When I arrived at the Yukon Inn in Whitehorse the bloke behind the desk said, “Can I ask you a personal question?”  Well, you can imagine the thoughts running through my head, but consented.  He told me I could get a Senior’s Rate, 10% off, at the hotel if I’m 50 or over.  I reluctantly confessed to being 50, so from hereon in I guess I am a Senior, a first for me.  Okay, let the Teasefest begin…

It rained from Whitehorse, pretty heavily at times too.  I only got 170 kms down the road and decided to stop for the night.  It was mid-afternoon by that stage because I’d messed around in Whitehorse until lunchtime, so it was good timing I guess.  I stayed at a campground in a little place called Teslin Lake.  It’s basically two gas stations on either side of the road, one which has a motel attached, and the other which has a motel and campground attached.  As it was not raining, I chose the campground and set up the tent.  Here’s some pics of the site and the view:

View from tent

Not long after that, down she came.  It rained for the rest of the afternoon, all night, and the next morning.  I dithered about whether to stay there until (if) the rain stopped, but decided to keep going and somehow pack up in the rain.  Actually, I had to firmly speak to myself, yet again, about other people camping and packing up in the rain without whinging about it, so why can’t I. 

Got a bit of a system in place where I packed up the laptop, encasing it in the bubble wrap and adding plastic bags, then ran from the tent to the bike pannier with that.  Next was the food, shoved all that in a plastic bag and hastily stuffed it in the other pannier.  The tankbag, which contains my camera, was next.  Then the big yellow thing went onto the picnic table while I wrapped up the tent and packed it into the YT, which I then strapped onto the bike.  All this happened in the rain, but it worked, somehow.

Headed off to Watson Lake, and it rained and rained.  I wasn’t cold, thanks to the heated jacket, but visibility wasn’t that great.  I was definitely NOT camping tonight.  Finally got to Watson Lake and found a nice motel.  Here it is:

A Nice Motel


That’s it on the left, hiding behind the Petro Canada gas station.  Very nice room.  I was almost too frightened to get anything dirty.  It had a kitchenette, with a notice commanding me to do the dishes in the morning, else I would be charged 10%.  I did the dishes.

Once I settled in, the problem arose of how to get my tent dry.  I couldn’t use the towels (they were white) and the bathroom was too small to use the hairdryer.  It has stopped raining by the stage, so I took it outside and wiped it down.  It worked!

Tent Dryfest

This was also an opportunity to see if I could set the camera to take photos without me clicking the button thingy (whatever that’s called).

Anyway, got that done and went down the road to check out Watson Lake’s most famous tourist attraction, the Signpost Forest.  This thing is MASSIVE and was started in 1942 by an army bloke working on the Alaska Highway.  He put up a sign pointing the direction and mileage to his home town.  Since that time, other people have contributed signs to the point where there must be over 20,000 of them.  There are rows and rows of signs from all over the world.  I had to concentrate pretty hard to avoid getting lost.  I had visions of myself down the track, in 2032, still walking around these rows of signs trying to find the way out.  Here are a few pics.  I found some Canadian signs, but only one Aussie sign:

Never heard of this particular drop

This morning I hit the laundromat and got the clothes dry, so I was set today for the run to Fort Nelson, about 500 kms down the road.  Today I would leave the Yukon and return to British Columbia.  Almost as soon as I crossed the border the  mountains started.  Beautiful views; it was also raining, misty and foggy for some of the way.  It doesn’t sound pleasant, bit it actually was, apart from the frequent gravel patches for a good 150 kms.  Here are some photos of Muncho Lake.  This was a spectacular view; I wish my photography skills were a little better because it doesn’t capture just how lovely this spot is:

Just when I was riding along, musing about the absence of wildlife, I spotted these:

They were there on the side of the road, sitting placidly, and didn’t seem to mind be madly clicking at them.  They basically ignored me, actually, which I guess is a good thing.

Further down the road, I saw a bear.  Gold, I thought.  But… 😦  by the time I had stopped the bike, unhooked the heated jacket, put bike on sidestand, hopped off, got camera out of tankbag, removed lens cover…the bear was gone.  😦 again.  So I did the next best thing:  took a photo of where the bear HAD been standing, and the bush into which he disappeared:

He's in there somewhere, really he is!

So today was 500 kms, and tomorrow, to Dawson Creek, will be the same.  I have decided to put in some longer rides because I want to get to Edmonton in Alberta to get a tyre change done, and also check out the Edmonton Mall.  I’m told it’s the largest mall in the world, and has a roller coaster and theme parks inside.  Can’t wait!

On the road today

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18 Responses to I head south, and nearly get lost in the forest

  1. Elaine says:

    I was mistaken about the mall, it was the largest until 2004. I only check on that every 7 years so I wouldn’t have known til next year.ha. Great signage photos. Again I believe you about the bear, do you know how many wouldn’t? Would like to tease you about ‘senior discount’ but I have too much respect for my elders.

  2. Denise M says:

    The first senior’s moment really hurts and shocks cause I don’t feel like a senior!


  3. IT"S ME says:

    another SENIOR in the family, …… Welcome !!! It’s really not so bad here, so make the most of it ! You are an example to the rest of us.

  4. Rita Roach says:

    Hi Janette – Rita here from F’ton. I’ve been following your travels faithfully and can’t wait until the next posting. Having been born and raised in Edmonton, I’ve spent more than a few visits to WEM (West Edmonton Mall). The comments above about finding a place to park and marking it on your map are accurate. I always use the ice hockey rink as a base to roam from. It’s easy to find your way back. Another suggestion from a displaced Albertan… if you have time to see the badlands in Drumheller I think you will find it very interesting. Dinosaur artifacts and the museum is amazing!!! Safe travels!!! Rita.

    • Janette says:

      Thank you for the info Rita. I am hoping to get to the WEM tomorrow while the bike is getting checked out. Following your recommendation, I am also now planning to take a side trip to the Badlands, so thanks for the tips!

  5. Kimberlee says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! You’re now classed as ooold! You and Granny should join a bowls club or something. That’d be a sight to see. Now, you have to do the dishes when you get home otherwise I’ll charge you 10%. 10% of your chocolate stash will do.

    Since you’re going to the Mall, don’t walk by any Kraft Dinner without thinking of me and how lovely it would be for me to eat it. (Hint hint). =)

    Waiting for the next blog! Face….
    Love you xxox

  6. #1 Son says:

    hee hee hee ahhh my mother the “senior”……golen oldie…..its too bad you told him you were 50….he might have liked the younger types you never know.

    haha oldie!!!

  7. Denise M says:

    Not only is your blog an absolute thrilling read, but now you seem to have found yourself some worthy arm chair commentating competitors! 🙂 Their crafty little side bars have become a bit of a draw too and personally I look forward to reading them. Who knew, a bit of healthy banter could be such a fascinating read.

  8. Annette says:

    Perky – I am soooooo disappointed that you didn’t add to the signpost forest. I can see it now: “I’m Janette from Aus and I’m 50”.

    Take care on your travels.

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