Sunday, May 22, 2011

Epic territory is epic

Driving in the Yukon
(Click any photo to view on Flickr)

Enter Canada's Yukon Territory:


The Yukon is pretty incredible. It is larger than California, but with a population of only 35,000 (20,000 of which live in the city of Whitehorse). I would love to spend some more time there.

The 40 miles or so just across the border is the worst section of road along the Alaska Highway; the frost heaves are awful, which keeps the pavement pretty torn up. Gravel is used to fill in the cracks and crevasses in the road, but, like interior Alaska, this is a dry place, so that causes lots of dust:

'Dangerously Dusty Conditions Ahead'

Kluane Lake sits on the edge of a network of parks that makes up another World Heritage Site. Parks in the lower 48 states have tourist industries grown up around the edges, selling everything from guided tours to cheap t-shirts. Kluane is the polar opposite - there is nowhere nearby to buy gas. The sensation (which is fairly common in the far north!) is one of an unspoiled ecosystem which looks much the same as it did 10,000, or maybe even 100,000, years ago. I drove through just as the sun was low enough to be occulted by the mountains:

Kluane lake sunset Kluane lake sunset

Continuing down the road, the evening light was pretty impressive on the landscape, which is completely void of any reminders of the modern world, save the road itself:

Driving in the Yukon Driving in the Yukon

Yukon sunset

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