Monday, September 11, 2017

Sunday, September 10, 2017 – Eagle Plains to Dawson City, Yukon

Burr! It is cold this morning! 34 degrees F or 1 degree Celsius. We slept in the Acadia tonight. It has rained most of the night.  While we were eating breakfast, the rain turned to snow, so you know it was down to 31 degrees!  By the time we left Eagle Plains, snow was accumulating on the vehicle. 

Sloppy road - 4 wheel drive was great

It was becoming a muddy mess! You could not walk in the parking lot without being in mud. (thanks for newspaper to put over our floor mats) Truckers were taking time for breakfast, some had slept here overnight - one of the guys was having problems which would require him to get under his truck in this muddy mess! We had a nice conversation with a few of the guys regarding life in these parts of the world! One was hauling fuel and the other had groceries. It was about 9:00 when we were leaving Eagle Plains in the snow!  

Beside the muddy mess in the parking lot, the roads were deteriorating fast.  Thank goodness, we had All Wheel Drive (AWD), or at least it made us feel better, as we were going through this horrible muddy gravel (Iowa mud in the spring)  We were hardly going 35 mph for kilometer after kilometer. If conditions did not improve it would be 6:00 tonight before we would arrive in Dawson City. 

We just kept going, at whatever speed we felt was comfortable.  Depending on the elevation it would be rain or snow.  Every once-in-a-while, the clouds would raise and you could see the beautiful fall landscape, then other times it was dense fog. Snow was accumulating among the trees in higher elevations. What horrible driving conditions, hour after hour!  I must say, we were hoping we would not have a flat tire in these conditions!! You should see the outside of our vehicle!

After about 4 hours, there was a change in the type of gravel used on the roads.  This change improved the condition of the road, so we were able to pick up our speed to about 60 mph.   At times it began to rain harder - this rain helped clean the mud off the vehicle. 

More beautiful fall Tundra color in spite of the weather

By the time we reached Tombstone Provincial Park, the clouds were raising, allowing us to temporarily see a few mountain peaks, and the beautiful fall landscape.  The alpine landscape could not have been better – such rich colors. 

We made it to Dawson! We drove the Dempster Highway to the northern end!

The first place we stopped was the Car Wash!  It took cycle after cycle to wash off the worst mud.  We did not do a perfect job, as we will be driving the “Top of the World” Highway tomorrow, which is also gravel! 

After checking in at the B & B where we stayed the other night, we cleaned-up ourselves, before hitting the laundromat again! 

Would we recommend driving the Dempster?  Yes, we would recommend the first week of September, when the colors are perfect.  If your sole purpose is to see wildlife you may be very disappointed.  If you do not have time, or are not inclined to go further than Tombstone Provincial Park, at least go that far.  If the weather is good, take plenty of photos, as you do not know what tomorrow will bring!

Tonight, we ate at the restaurant associated with the B & B, before relaxing the rest of the evening. 
Tomorrow we will restock at the grocery store and fill up with gas, before we head for the Alaska border.

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