Day 38, Saturday, 5/26/18
Whitehorse, Alaska

We woke to beautiful day, blue sky and just a few clouds. Getting ready to leave consisted of putting the 5 gallon water container back in the van. About 35 miles from Lake Creek, after seeing nothing but trees and water, we ran into the Pine Valley Bakery and Lodge. This is a small oasis specializing in crepes. We went in and ordered coffee and cinnamon buns. While we sat there, another couple came in and we started to talk. Jim and Melanie were on their way back from a 2 week hunting trip in the Alaskan bush. They were out there so Melanie could bag her a bear. And she did. They had planned and prepared for this trip for a year! We saw pictures of the grizzly she shot.

Lynx Keeping an Eye on Us
As we left the creperie, I noticed something crossing the road in the distance. So we slowed down and pulled over. The animal turned out to be a lynx. It sat down on the edge of the road and looked at us as we looked at it. This was the first and only lynx we saw on our trip. (Notice there is still snow on the roadside here  and we're on our way back, but spring just won't start!) We loved this area, as the Wrangell-St. Elias mountains are still tall, snow covered  and beautiful here.

We drove past Kluane River on our way to Haines Junction. The Kluane was an important route and hunting ground to the First Nations in the area.

Approaching Kluane Lake, we stopped at a small visitor center just below Sheep Mountain, so named because it's the home of a small group of Dahl Sheep. Some of the ewes had lambs, though they were a bit hard to see at our distance.

Dahl Sheep
Kluane Lake has an interesting history. It's main source of water for hundreds of years was the Slims River which in turn was fed by the Kaskawulsh glacier. Over the course of 4 days in 2016, the Slims disappeared. It originally joined the Kluane which flowed north into the Yukon River emptying in the Bering Sea. Because of extreme melting, the retreat of the Kaskawulsh changed the direction of flow of its melt water into the Kaskawulsh River, flowing into the North pacific ocean. The level of the lake has dropped over a meter and may continue dropping. The ALCAN once crossed water. Now it crosses a dry lake bed.

We made our way to Haines Junction and took a left to continue on Highway 1 to Whitehorse. Along the way, we spotted a few elk.

After settling in Pam's B&B, we had dinner at Klondike Rib and Salmon, a fixture in downtown Whitehorse. Originally a tent frame structure built in 1900, it went through a few incarnations before becoming the restaurant. According to Pam, this is one of the spots the locals eat at.

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