Wednesday, August 1, 2012

June 24, 2012 - Watson Lake, YT - Downtown Campground

We left Ft Nelson with overcast skies, but low 60’s.  More, trees, sky and road lie ahead of us. 

The road is the same as we have been on for the last several days.  It is paved, but badly washboarded in places, and some broken pavement in others.  It really isn’t “paved”, but is gravel covered with tar and packed down by the thousands of vehicles driving over it.  There were a few areas cut out and filled with gravel.  We have come to expect that, sometimes with little or no warning. 

There were several bears we saw, and one lone cub.  Mom was probably nearby.  We didn’t stop for the bear, but did stop for the buffalo and stone goats to take pictures.  There also was, of all things, a small herd of horses grazing along the road.  As with other areas, we noticed that all the rivers are running high and lakes are high too.  At one area along a river, the road was very low and we noticed that the mud line along the river was well above the road.  It appeared that within the past few weeks the road had flooded recently.  Several people had told us about horror stories regarding the rain, flooding and people getting stranded for several days.  This was the first evidence we actually saw of any flooding. 

We stopped at a small café in Coal River for a bite to eat.  We had a simple breakfast in the morning, and were a little hungry.  It is obvious that this café is in no hurry.  We waited for 20 minutes to have the lone employee come over.  Then it took her 20 minutes to fix two simple egg sandwiches.  We were in there an hour, and fortunately we were the first of eight more people.  Who knows when the last ones were served.  One couple walked out after waiting ten minutes with no visit from the waitress/cook.  The best part is we paid $20.00 for two egg sandwiches.  There was pair of riders who sat down adjacent to us.  A lone roder struck up a conversation with them.  They compared stories for maybe 5 minutes, then they all proceeded to get on their mobile devices and type for the next 20 minutes or so.  We both found it odd that they couldn't actually talk to each other.  I guess that is the modern way.

Camper Set Up in Downtown Campground - Watson Lake YT
We found a campground in downtown Watson Lake.  One doesn’t have much choice in lodging on the Alaskan Highway.  Two other campgrounds were closed and this one has it locked up.  This is maybe one of the most Spartan campgrounds I have stayed.  It is basically a gravel parking lot with hookups.  They do have very nice restrooms and showers, which are free, unlike many of the others we have found.  We were camped next to a couple we had me the night before.  We talked for awhile and compared routes, plans etc.  They were traveling in a Honda Insight, towing a teardrop trailer.  Just enough for two people to lay down side-by-side.
View Outside Our Camper - Watson Lake, YT

Another View of Campground - Watson Lake, YT

We stopped at the "Sign Post Forest" in Watson Lake.  It was started in 1942 when a construction worker put up a sign with his hometown, distance, and his name on it.  It has now grown to over 72,000 signs covering several acres.
A SMALL Portion of The Signpost Forest
A Description Of the "Signpost Forest".

An Example of One of the 72,000+ Signs
We plan to depart earlier tomorrow morning than we have been.  The GPS says that our next stop, Haines Junction, is 7 hours away.  So far the GPS time is about eighty-percent of actual drive time.  One has to take into account hills, slow vehicles, stopping for gas, pictures, etc.  Making it to Haines Junction tomorrow would be nice, but it is iffy.

No comments:

Post a Comment