Sunday, July 04, 2010

Road Trip 2010: Day 25 Whitehorse to Destruction Bay

Saturday, July 03: Day 25 Whitehorse to Destruction Bay

The distance traveled today was fairly short, just 170 miles, but the scenery was the best so far.

Traveling north out of Whitehorse, we were headed for Destruction Bay—half way up the length of Kulane Lake. To get there, we first had to take Highway 2 (the Klondike Highway) north to Highway 1 (the Alaska Highway) and head northwest again.

Our path took us into Kulane Country. The Kulane National Park and Reserve covers nearly 22 thousand square kilometers. The front range of mountains shields the interior where Canada’s tallest mountain is located. Mt. Logan stands 19,545 feet tall. That interior is also where the world’s largest non-arctic ice field is located. Many glaciers radiate from this center and feed some of the largest rivers in the world.

The Front Range which hides the ice field.

The Front Range which hides the ice field.

Along the way to Destruction Bay, we came upon a short nature trail that was said to have signs discussing the damage done by the Spruce Bark Beetle. And the damage was quite extensive in the last break-out in 1993.

The perp.

Terry bundled up against the wind--and mosquitoes.

The victim: A Dying spruce tree.

In an attempt to defeat the beetle and its grubs,
the spruce exudes copious amounts of pitch.
It seldom works.

On to Destruction Bay!

Destruction Bay—which got its name from the destruction of a military tent camp that was here during the construction of the Alaskan Highway was literally blown away by 100+ mph winds—was the site of our campgrounds. Not much more than a wide spot in the road, there was a gas station, a restaurant and an RV Park. The restaurant and RV park were operated by the same gentleman who also provided the evening entertainment in the form of poetry reading (his own) and music (a mix of oldies and local compositions). His cooking was excellent and the campgrounds, while spare, were good for one night or a dedicated lake trout fisherman. (He’s won the local tournament on Kulane Lake and its $3,500 prize twice.)

The winds were howling when we arrived but they were coming out of the south so the air was not as cold as it could have been. If the wind had been off the glaciers….

In any event, the winds died down over night and we had rain by morning.

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