Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rivers, Museums, and Cinnamon Buns

We got away from Whitehorse this morning even though there was some talk of taking a zero day.  I’m glad we left; it was a beautiful day for driving.

We didn’t go very far, only about 189 miles, but we made several stops along the way so it took us most of the day.  Our first stop was at the bridge over the Yukon River a few miles south of Whitehorse.  I don’t think there’s anything too special about the bridge, but its blue color over the clear waters of the Yukon and Marsh Lake make it something special to look at.  Just as we were walking toward the bridge we spotted an eagle flying low over the river with wings spread and head and tail gleaming in the sunlight.  What a magnificent bird.

The Yukon River is 2000 miles long beginning at the Yukon/British Columbia border and flows Northwest through Alaska to eventually empty into the Bering Sea.

Wouldn’t you know, right about lunch time, we were at Johnson’s Crossing.  This is the place we stopped as we were inbound to sample the cinnamon bun.  I was thinking Johnson’s Crossing won the contest with the best cinnamon bun.  Gene says it tied for first place.  I don’t know; all I know is we stopped to get another one today.  While Gene went in to purchase said bun, I prepared our lunch sandwiches.  We shared the bun for dessert and it was very fine indeed and right from the oven.  Yummy.

Teslin River at Johnson's Crossing

Johnson’s Crossing, the name the locals use when speaking of the bridge over the Teslin River, is the location of one of the original lodges on the Alaska Highway.  Before the highway was built, all goods and supplies for Teslin traveled this river from Whitehorse.

On down the road at the town of Teslin, we stopped to visit the George Johnston Museum.  Actually, Gene went in and I sat this one out.  He gave me a good report when he got back to the motor home.  The museum is basically a Tlingit Heritage museum with George Johnston as the main attraction.  

George was a Tlingit living near Teslin.  He was a trapper and maybe a little eccentric.  He was the first person in the community to buy a car which he used for winter trapping on the frozen river.  He painted the car white to blend in with the snow and ice.  It was so cold he had to drain the water from the radiator and he kept the water in a pan on the stove.  When he saw an animal walking on or near the river, he poured the water back in the radiator and off to the river he went.

Swift River

Other items in the museum included traditional Tlingit household items and ceremonial clothing, animal hides, stuffed animals, and a replica of a trapper’s cabin.  This is not an art gallery and the items displayed were made for home use and well worn--precisely the kind of museum Gene likes.  He felt it was well worth the $4 admission.

We stopped for the night at a pullout near Rancheria Falls.

CRITTER COUNT:  Just after we crossed the bridge over the Teslin River at Johnson’s Crossing we spotted two black bear cubs.  I’m sure mom was somewhere close by, but we didn’t see her.  Even though we’ve seen many eagles, so many that I’ve quit counting, I’m going to count the one we saw today because his low flight across the river was breathtaking.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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