A tale of two Cassiars

Part one–the upper Cassiar HIghway

It cleared up by Thursday morning (May 15) when we left Takhini Hot Springs. After a brief stop in Whitehorse, we headed to Watson Lake. We stayed at a utilitarian (not lovely–but relatively clean) campground in the middle of town to do laundry, fill tanks, and get provisions for our next leg.

We took Zoe on an after-dinner walk to the Watson Lake sign forest down the street. On previous trips, we have always driven by it with just a glance, thinking it was just a touristy gimmick.  But it was worth a closer look.  It dates back to WWII when the Alaska Highway was built and is a maze of thousands and thousands of signs from all over the world. There is a lot of misdemeanor sign-theft represented in that grove of trees.

Sign forest

Sign forest

The next morning we headed down the Cassiar Highway.  We had hesitated on this route because rain was forecast for the area and its road conditions are supposed to be bad in the spring. When the forecast improved, we decided to go for it. I’m so glad we did. What a beautiful drive.

There were some potholes and frost heaves, but nothing compared to the mess near the border. All in all, the road the first day was in good shape. It started out in a flat and open burn area, transitioning to rolling hills and then mountains.

First part of the drive through the burn

First part of the drive through the burn

Once again, we saw lots of wildlife–three bears, including a young brown bear, a deer, and quite a few beautiful caribou. Unfortunately, they were faster than I was with the camera.

The only successful wildlife shot all day

The only successful wildlife shot all day

The highway winds by lakes and rivers,

Vivid glacial green waters

Vivid glacial green waters

all types of mountain peaks,

IMG_1547and has periodic flat stretches.

If you look carefully, you can see two caribou running into the trees on the middle left of the picture

If you look carefully, you can see two caribou running into the trees on the middle left of the picture

We ended the day at the most beautiful RV park in the world. Really.

Zoe approves

Zoe approves

We stayed in the section for large RVs because we were the only people there and the view was extraordinary. But it also has a beautiful wooded area next to a stream with large back-in spots for smaller RVs and tent campers.. The park–Mountain Shadow RV Park–is in Iskut, below Dease Lake, and it’s on 250 or so acres in a stunning valley. It’s gorgeous, immaculately kept, and I highly recommend it.  It was astonishing that no one else was there and we had the whole exquisite valley to ourselves.

We set up our chairs, poured glasses of wine, and sat in the sun (we are still Vitamin D-starved after the winter). It was in the 70’s, the birds were singing like mad, a nice breeze kept the bugs away. Sheer bliss.

Room with a view

Room with a view

 

5 thoughts on “A tale of two Cassiars

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