The Cassiar HWY Then Back To Michigan

A: Skagway B: Whitehorse C: Teslin D: Boya Lake E: Kinaskan Lake F: Meziadin Lake G: Smithers

A: Skagway B: Whitehorse C: Teslin D: Boya Lake E: Kinaskan Lake F: Meziadin Lake G: Smithers

This is the final posting for our journey to Canada and Alaska for the summer of 2013. All I can say is the trip was awe-inspiring. The trip fuels the flame for more travel adventures. It was sad that it did end abruptly on a sour note. So now we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get on with life. Medical issues aside, life is good, we are bouncing back with updated priorities but have a new set of “marching orders”, at least for the next few months.

Looks like "smelling the roses" is over for this year!

Looks like “smelling the roses” is over for this year!

Along the road we noted summer is coming to an end as there were no more roses to stop and smell as the locals are now harvesting the rose hips. The final leg was from Skagway (South Klondike Highway), back tracking along the Alaska Highway and then heading south on the Cassiar Highway. These highways are spectacular as well as fun to drive. It was easy to find impressive places to stay. The Provincial Parks along the Cassiar are exceptional. Our pace slowed to take advantage of that place at that point in time.

South Klondike but south of Skagway

South Klondike but south of Skagway

Lots of folks make Emerald Lake a destination (Also called Rainbow Lake)

Lots of folks make Emerald Lake a destination (Also called Rainbow Lake)

You climb many hills on the South Klondike Highway...but it was worth it!

You climb many hills on the South Klondike Highway…but it was worth it!

South Klondike Highway - The Fireweed nearing the end of the summer

South Klondike Highway – The Fireweed nearing the end of the summer

The South Klondike Highway had a number of steep grades however the views are spectacular. There are many turnouts to get that “one more” Photo. We kept meeting the same folks along the way. Many of them were from the Skagway Tour Ships in rental cars out exploring. One destination for many was Emerald Lake…very colorful as well as beautiful.

Whitehorse - USS Klondike

Whitehorse – USS Klondike

Whitehorse MacBride Museum - Sam Magee's Cottage

Whitehorse MacBride Museum – Sam Magee’s Cottage

Heading into Alaska in June we run out of time in Whitehorse, YT. We took a couple of more days to finish up what we had missed. Back in the day in this part of the world the mode of transportation was the steamboat. Parks Canada has done an excellent job restoring the S.S. Klondike an icon from the past. It is worth a stop. Although a bit eclectic, the locally run MacBride Museum was interesting. Sam Magee’s cabin is housed there. Sam Magee was made famous by Robert Service, poet who wrote the “Cremation of Sam Magee”. Whitehorse is “the” city in the Yukon with a unique personality of its own.

Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre

Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre

We heard some nice things about the Teslin Tlingit Heritage Center. We planned an overnight at Teslin. The Provincial Park on Teslin Lake ended up being the highlight of the stop as the Heritage Center was ok but overrated. Over the course of the trip we did many native Heritage Centers and found that the price of admission had nothing to do with the depth and breadth of the materials presented.

Cassiar Highway

Cassiar Highway

Cassiar Highway

Cassiar Highway

Cassiar Highway

Cassiar Highway

Along the way we had heard a lot about the Cassiar Highway both good and bad. It is 450 miles south from the Alaskan Highway to the Yellowhead Highway. The Yellowhead extends from Prince Rupert to Edmonton and is a main route. The Cassiar is narrow with no shoulder on the north and widens as you head south and was an easy driving experience (at least we had experienced much worse). Once again the views are terrific and the grades were not as bad as expected. By the way there is a side trip from Dease Lake to Telegraph Creek (a native village) which is outstanding, if you can take driving the narrow road along very high cliffs. Those who have done it said it is over the top in the way of an experience. We did not take the time to do it but wished we had!

Kayaking Boya Lake was fun

Kayaking Boya Lake was fun

Boya Lake is colorful but no fish

Boya Lake is colorful but no fish

Lots of Beaver action to check out around Boya

Lots of Beaver action to check out around Boya

Boya Lake sunrise over the mountains

Boya Lake sunrise over the mountains

Boya Lake and Provincial Park

Boya Lake and Provincial Park

The first stop was Boya Lake. It is big rig friendly. The park and the lake are outstanding. We got the Kayaks in the water. The color of the lake is breathtaking. However there are no fish in the lake.

Kinaskan Lake from the RV park

Kinaskan Lake from the RV park

Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park - nice beach

Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park – nice beach

The next stop was Kinaskan Lake. There we had another great spot on the water. This is a great fishing lake and a destination for many.

Meziadian is a huge lake with lots of small islands plus great fishing

Meziadian is a huge lake with lots of small islands plus great fishing

Great weather and views at the Meziadian Provincial Park

Great weather and views at the Meziadian Provincial Park

It is a great drive to Hyder, Alaska from the Cassiar

It is a great drive to Hyder, Alaska from the Cassiar

The final stop on the Cassiar was Meziadian Lake. This is a very nice park where we planned to spend some time. This is where the trip took that unexpected turn. The plan was to use the park as a base camp. The attraction was Hyder, Alaska about 45 miles west which is where the bears hang out feeding on Salmon this time of the year. This was highlighted as a must see by those who had been there. We ended up spending only one night before heading off to Smither’s to find me some medical help with my ailing leg.

Smithers, BC to Traverse City, MI 2.500 miles

Smithers, BC to Traverse City, MI 2.500 miles

Found more glaciers in the Canadian Rockies...

Found more glaciers in the Canadian Rockies…

The Canadian Rockies have great view too!

The Canadian Rockies have great view too!

Of course we have to make a stop in Wakefield Michigan where they make the best Pasties.  The City RV park over looks Sunday Lake.

Of course we have to make a stop in Wakefield Michigan where they make the best Pasties. The City RV park over looks Sunday Lake.

Seven Mile Beach a favorite stop in the Upper Peninsula

Seven Mile Beach a favorite stop in the Upper Peninsula

Good to see the Mackinaw Bridge only 100 miles from home!

Good to see the Mackinaw Bridge only 100 miles from home!

We spent about a week in Smithers. Once I was given medical clearance to drive home we took on the 2,500 mile journey. It took eight days to make the trip. The route was through the Canadian Rockies to US 2. US 2 is the northern East/West route across the US. It is mostly two lanes and much of it through the Plains. Lots of small towns to keep you entertained along the way. It was good to see the Mackinaw Bridge and knowing that we were only 100 miles from home.

Back Home In Traverse City

Back Home In Traverse City

It has been a little over a week since we got back. Our world is transitioning from life on the road to one of being home bound. The current read is we will be grounded here for at least the next six months. The fact that the house did not sell we now see as divine intervention. This gives us a nice place to hang out for the near-term. Although our winter plans have to change we are already starting the planning for next summer’s trip to Utah. Stay tuned to find out what comes next with the Traverse City Snyder’s.

For those of you who are planning a trip to Alaska we are always looking for opportunities to share our experience.

God Bless,

Larry and Jan

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