We started the day with a dip in the liard hot springs and a beer with breakfast given to us by some lovely Quebec travellers. It was an oatmeal stout so it fit perfectly. We then headed over to Watson lake for dinner, groceries and to check out the town. We crossed into the Yukon border and went to the sign post forest in the middle of Watson. This forest was started in 1942 by a us army solider during construction of the Alaska highway. People have just added to it since and now it’s an officially protected landmark of the Yukon. We walked through it for over an hour looking at all the homemade signs and marks that people had left. On our way back to the car we decided to take some final pano photos with the van in front of this amazing landscape when I noticed a little green 8.5x11 sign that said “Clarence New York in memory of flight 3407 feb 12, 2009”. My jaw dropped in disbelief. The sign was literally right by where we parked the van, we just hadn’t noticed it until we were about to leave. My best friend Elly had passed away in that plane crash in our hometown of Clarence. That crashed changed all of our lives. For me, it spun me around to look at life differently and to appreciate everything I can in the short time I have on this planet. Seeing this sign in a sea of signs was so incredible, so moving, so slim of a chance to notice. I had goosebumps tears and smiles all at the same time. We have a livelly sticker in our van, it’s inside because we caught it before it fell off the roof box from losing its stick. For us livelly means to live life to the fullest like Elly did. Lively with that extra L. Seeing this sign made me fully think of her and that she was with us on this trip bringing us luck and showing up in the most beautiful unexpected places. It’s like she was saying ‘hey I’m here! Think of me now! Call all of our friends and tell everyone this!’ Which is exactly what I did. Still can’t believe it. They say everyone finds a piece of themselves in the sign post forest. I found an old friend.
This was a catch up day. We woke up at Watson lake campground, quickly took down the awning and got away from the insane mosquitoes. We wanted breakfast but of course it was after 11 with our crazy sleep schedule so we quickly found breakfast ends promptly at 11 everywhere in Watson lake and shared a blt. I drew Father’s Day cards while we had a beer, j edited photos and we both caught up on blog posts. We headed north through nugget city and teslin. We stopped at teslin for gas and a 6 pack of beer. Another older dude stoked on the van stopped and talked to us about it for a while. We made it up to Whitehorse and found a free camp spot by ear lake where we split a small piece of steak with chard onions and potatoes. We saw a scraggly little fox scoping us out-nugget was amused. The sun didn’t go down and if it did it was for maybe an hour at 3am when we were snoozin.
Whitehorse mechanics juggling day! We got up early af and called mechanics around Whitehorse to try and schedule an appointment to look at bagherras torn cv boot. We had been taking it pretty easy on him since we noticed the tare in the fort Nelson visitors parking lot over 4 days ago. We didn’t want more dirt getting into the gears so we duct taped the whole thing and managed to not use 4 wheel driving for 4 days. We scheduled an appt with fountain tire as they were the ONLY ones who had any availability for over a month. The appt was for the following Monday and it was Friday. We called a few other spots with no luck, went to johns auto to pick up our delica cv boot part that we had shipped to them and then finally got some coffees at midnight sun coffee roasters. We spent the day restocking groceries, gear, checking out the ss Klondike and the town and then heading over to winterlong brewery. Their bees and homemade veg pies were outstanding-expensive but delicious. We then headed to fish lake trailhead to find a campspot, have dinner and be close to the trail for the morning. Mosquitoes were, of course terrible but we managed with our tepui netting safe zone.
Woke up and got ready to hike Fish lake trail. Cool hike; super muddy in the beginning climbing the whole time until getting into the alpine. Once in the alpine it was SO WINDY!! You basically go from trees to shrubs to rocks in a few minutes and find yourself on this amazing ridge overlooking ‘bountiful lakes’ below and surrounding peaks. The wildflowers and lichens popped like crazy against the clouds and we headed for the summit. You could literally lean into the wind and it would support your body weight. Getting to the summit was wild. We had to leash the dog so he didn’t blow away and keeping our footing was a challenge. We got up to the top, screamed into the wind feeling our cheeks flip around and then headed behind the summit mound for shelter. Nugget rolled in the snow like nothing happened and we headed back down finding some wild bog cranberries to eat along the way and taking a peek under old spruce for mushrooms.
Back in town we got lunch and coffees at baked cafe, edited some videos, listened to this incredible pianist perform outside, and went to aroma borealis shop which is an amazing herbal shop that the author Beverley gray is based out of. She is this goddess of herbal foraging who’s book has been taunting me to buy it since we got to fort Nelson. It’s literally the Bible of medicinal and edible plants. It will be mine once I feel I can responsibly blow the money on something like that during this trip. We then stopped by the laundromat before heading to the Canadian Game Center where we would grab a workout and take much needed showers. Crazy small world surprise; we saw the short bus that belonged to our Vancouver buddies who are doing the same trip!! We talked for a bit and made plans to meet the next day. What are the chances?! We headed to camp at long lake and watched the sky turn purple and the sun go behind the trees (but not set!)