Before leaving the Dempster highway we did one more hike. We climbed on top of Pilots peak, named so because pilots would use it as a marker.
This involved crossing the Blackstone River and ice. Moose Lee carried Yukon Johann on his back. The tundra looks all lush and green and appears to be a well manacured lawn from a distance. The fact of the matter is, tundra hiking is tough. If one is not sinking 6 inches in the spongy moss, they are attempting a bale dance on the tussucks. It makes for a hard hike on the ankles and knees.
The last bit of climbing involved a 60 degree climb up some pretty nasty loose shale rock. A light thunderstorm came in and we almost turned around as a sense of deja-vu was setting in. It passed as quickly as it came and the sun came out. Once at the summit, Yukon Johann was able to capture a picture of Moose Lee doing some intense "Outdoor Research".
On the way down we came across several fresh caribou tracks where we had lunch. We scanned the slopes for them, but couldn't see them. Where had they gone? When we re-crossed the Blackstone river, we came across numerous fresh caribou tracks. Again, we saw no animals. We can only guess that our "Outdoor Research" on the summit took too long and we should've been looking down the local slopes instead of gazing in a "zen-like" state into the Blackstone uplands.
Our final night was spent in Tombstone among the spires and another sunset that spoke more than volumes of words could everr describe. The gods spoke one final word that night as we had thunder, lightening followed with alpenglow that couldn't be beat.
Before we say goodbye to the Dempster, we would like to share with you the many moods she displayed. The skies, the sun, the animals and the mountains spoke to us in a way that can't be described. The country here, left us longing for more. We vow to come back again someday. Enjoy
We finally left Dawson hoping to keep the magic of the Dempster going. We heard the Top Of The World Highway was not to bee missed. Especially since a colleague at work stated that his grandfather designed the Taylor highway.
It can't compare to the Dempster, but the road to the the US Alaska border into Boundary USA was spectacular. We drove over high tundra on ridgelines with great views.
A thunderstorm had just passed and we witnessed the most brilliant rainbow we've ever photographed.
We camped of the side of the road on the way to Eagle Alaska. We were high on the ridge with views over looking the mountains for miles around. The sky gave another spectacular show.It was unbelievable.
The next day we drove to Eagle and spent the night there. We took a tour of the museum and Fort Egbert. It was a very personal tour as we were the only ones on the tour that day.
Yukon Johann decided to hold court and take one the role of Judge Wickersham and sentence his dad (Moose Lee) to 18 year years of indentured servatued along with a fine equivalent of 4 years of college. Moose Lee wished for a hanging judge instead and motioned for a mis-trial.
Being Sunday, it was appropriate that we attend church and repent of our sins.
It was a fun tour and one of the best we had experienced on the trip.
On the way to Eagle, which is about 80 miles south on the Taylor Highway, we hiked to an old gold dredge known as the Mosquito Creek Dredge. We spent the night in Chicken because... hmmm... well, just to say that we did.
Yukon Johann took advantage of the free facilities. We always feel that leaving a donation helps promote touurism and further exploitation of the country.
One final homage to this guy named Taylor. You must be important to have a highway and a creek named after you. Anyone for naming a peak after one of us. Say, Moose Lee peak? Well, maybe not.
Next stop... who knows... we are camping in Tok Alaska at the cross roads to either Valdez and Wrangell-St Elias or drive up t Fairbanks and see Denali once again. Stay tuned...