Yellowknife or Bust!!

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Don
Posts: 1569
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:42 am

Yellowknife or Bust!!

Post by Don » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:00 pm

WNTS/ENTS-
The AlCan Highway (Alaska-Canadian route scratched out of the wilderness by the US Corps of Engineers as an all-weather road to provide military access to Alaska from the US, in defense of an anticipated Japanese attack. Legendary tales of the construction, then the years of challenging access are part and parcel of the epic nature of this now fine road. If I'm successful at reducing image file size without diminishing image quality, and the transmission of it from my computer to our BBS, you'll next see an image of the ALCAN Highway, about two hours East of Anchorage, as it passes through the Chugach National Forest.
The ALCAN Highway, Chugach National Forest, Susitna River
The ALCAN Highway, Chugach National Forest, Susitna River
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So far, so good! The following image is a view of the Susitna River drainage...
Susitna River drainage0
Susitna River drainage0
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Traveling a few more miles up the road, the view expands a little to include the Susitna Glacier, and a peek at some of the snow-covered peaks of the Wrangel-St. Elias National Park. Further south on the Alaska side, they rise to Mt. St. Elias's 18,008' and on the Yukon Territory (Canada) side, Mt. Logan at, as Bob might say, a lofty 19,850'.
Susitna Glacier, Distant View of the Wrangle St. Elias National Park
Susitna Glacier, Distant View of the Wrangle St. Elias National Park
Up close and personal, I should introduce ourselves, firstly my better half Rhonda and then myself, having driven for a brutal three hours, in an obviously celebratory mode (at the Tundra Rose Cabins, one of our favorite road stops), reveling in the anticipated adventures lying ahead! Our third passenger and my second most favorite blonde is Lacey, our Golden Lab (or is she a Yellow Retriever?), in the 'wayback', HER territory!
Our "Yellowknife or Bust" Toasts
Our "Yellowknife or Bust" Toasts
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Lacey!
Lacey!
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To finish off the Alaska Segment of the ALCAN HIGHWAY portion of this Anchorage to Yellowknife trip report, I offer two more images taken after crossing low pass, and heading across the tundra/taiga country that typifies the area around Glenallen, the next community East. The images are taken to the south, looking first to the Southwest at the Eastern edge of the Chugach Mountains, and then to the Southeast towards Glenallen country.
Thus begins the boreal forest...
Thus begins the boreal forest...
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The next segment of the ALCAN Highway begins across the Alaska-Yukon border, as we come along the Kluane National Park (lots to be said about this Park and those contiguous to it!), and follows within a few days.
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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dbhguru
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Re: Yellowknife or Bust!!

Post by dbhguru » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:34 pm

Don,

Super images! Gosh, I've always wanted to see St. Elias. The country is spectacular and seeing your images make it all the more interesting. Keep 'um coming. Please!

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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edfrank
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:46 pm

Re: Yellowknife or Bust!!

Post by edfrank » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:04 pm

Don,

Nice post to start off your trip report. Really though the dog should have been holding a glass of wine as well to make everything balanced.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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James Parton
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Re: Yellowknife or Bust!!

Post by James Parton » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:37 am

Don,

Dan Davis, who I work with at GE, has told me much of the beauty surrounding the ALCAN highway. I can see from your images he is right. I would love to visit the Taiga Boreal forests you have photographed there.

James
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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Don
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:42 am

Re: Yellowknife or Bust!! or ALCAN II or Yukon I...

Post by Don » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:01 pm

James/ENTS/WNTS-
Seeings how you enjoyed the first few hundred miles of the ALCAN Highway, I'll continue the narrative on to White Horse, Yukon Territories, Canada. And if I have you pegged right, you'll appreciate the map I'm loading up front (oops, I see that the BBS takes the PDF file down to the bottom!)! It's available as a *.pdf and/or *.html file, depending on your preference (it's hefty as a .pdf file (3.5Megs)).

http://mappery.com/map-of/Wrangell-St-E ... l-Park-Map

One more graphic, and we'll be on our way...it's a roadside interpretive sign, explaining to Bob Leverett that Colorado has no corner on the sand market!
This and subsequent images have been reduced in size with the Microsoft Picture Manager software. Originals available on request.
This and subsequent images have been reduced in size with the Microsoft Picture Manager software. Originals available on request.
For the next several hundred miles the ALCAN skirts the mountain ranges to the south and west, traversing relatively flat ground with waterbodies ranging from small boggy ponds to Kluane Lake. Several images taken in route follow as we sought our nights lodging, often an adventure in itself, with towns often several hundred miles apart, and not big towns at that!
While fireweed flowers throughout Alaska, we would see it doing well across the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta and Northwest Territories. Nice, not insignificant peaks in the background!
While fireweed flowers throughout Alaska, we would see it doing well across the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta and Northwest Territories. Nice, not insignificant peaks in the background!
Though we weren't aware at the time, British Columbia and Alberta had many wildfires going on, and while it's faintly detectable here and around the corner going along Kluane Lake, it did significantly 'flavor' our experience from there on, all the way to Yellowknife. But the winds were variable, and we'd get intermittent clear skies. The next images provide a sense of the land features that one would encounter in the section between Glenallen and Tok.
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Note beaver lodge in following image!
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Coming up on Kluane Lake...
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And closer...
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Close enough that we decided that we should find a campsite, and take in some of this magnificent scenery, from a more stationary vantage! The following image provides the same input we obtained from the first three campgrounds we investigated...
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Having identified the soapberry plant in our northern plants book, we saw that they were in deed, ripe for the picking, although not that palatable for humans. Not that eager to practice my best bear encounter behavior, we decided to consider options. One that looked promising soon offered itself up, curiously located near Destruction Point. In addition to campsites offered, there were also several cabins available. While just recently completed (2008), they were 'off the grid', with neither power nor water. Utility-wise the only concession was a propane powered furnace. That said, the furnishings were topnotch, if not elegant for a log cabin. WIth the sleeping comfort of relatively bear-proof logs (as opposed to the nylon of our backpacking tent), we were happy to call it a day and have a leisurely afternoon. A few of the images here follow, a view from the shoreline looking east, then looking west, and from the inside, looking north (and south by reflection...
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And finally, from the porch, our evening sunset (because of the high peaks so near behind us, it was only 8:00PM, with a lengthy dusk following that we captured visually from a 'horizontal perspective. Thus ends the ALCAN segment to Whitehorse, where the next segment starts.
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Well, almost finally, as I've just discovered a wonderful website (courtesy of Mario Vaden) that has among THOUSANDS of 360 degree images available, one of Kluane Lake! I'm going to try and place a URL immediately below, and recommend that you check it out. With my two year old laptop, the image takes about 20-30 seconds to load. Then all you have to do is place the cursor on the image, press and hold the mouse button, moving cursor to right to pan to the right in the image, and so on, for left. If you're amazed by the website, try other places in the West (or the world) like Yosemite Valley and you'll find that many of the images allow significant exploring up and down! Anyway, here goes!
http://virtualguidebooks.com/YukonNWT/S ... uane_F.php

We'll travel tomorrow north on a section of the Klondike Highway to Carmack. Turning east, we'll traverse a section of the Campbell Highway to Ross River, half of this segment being of graded gravel construction. Taking the Canol Road (Canadian Oil road, built in the 1950s) south, we'll try to make it to our evenings reserved lodging at Johnson Crossing, the full length (150 miles) of which is one-third primitive (SUV, pickup recommended) and the remainder much like the Forest Service roads throughout the West). This was to be our longest day. But from my perspective, and that of the camera, our most imagery productive...absolutely gorgeous country, that is pretty much unrivaled in my experience...with intermittent rain, thunder, lightning, rainbows, and lighting like that which led Ansel Adams to see the Sierra Nevadas, as "the range of light".
Attachments
Wrangell-St-Elias-National-Park-and-Preserve-Official-Park-Map.pdf
Features both Alaska and Yukon portions...
(3.49 MiB) Downloaded 132 times
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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