We left Dease Lake just after 7:00AM. We had to cover 622 kilometres and also take breaks in between. Our plan was to find a good restaurant for breakfast on the highway. Starting from Dease Lake to the Alaska high way, our first stop was at Jade City. This is a very small village with a population of only 50 people. Jade city is famous for Jade stones. We stopped at the Cassiar Mountain Jade store and bought some souvenirs. Statues carved out of Jade are fairly expensive. The young lady who runs the business is initially from Prince George. We saw another Jade store on the other side of the road. It was the first Jade store in the area. The owners sold it and moved out. The owners of the Cassiar Mountain Jade Store bought it, but will not open it again. There is not enough business for two Jade Stores.
Mala outside the Jade Store
We continued our journey along the Cassier highway, till we reached the junction falling on to the world famous Alaska highway. All the gas stations from Dease Lake up to the Alaska Highway were closed. Travellers should be aware of this fact and have enough petrol to reach this point. The Alaska highway junction is also known as the Junction 37. The gas station at Junction 37 was open and we filled up the vehicle with petrol. The restaurant next to the gas station is called 37 Junction services. This restaurant is run by two ladies. We had a full breakfast for the first time after leaving Vancouver. I ordered a three egg-omelette with wild mushroom, cheddar cheese, spring onion and hash brown. Mala and Malisha had eggs, hash and corned beef.
Junction 37 Services Restaurant
From Cassier Highway, we turned left towards Whitehorse. The road signs clearly show the direction. But for some reason, the GPS device kept on asking us to go in the opposite direction. We ignored it and followed the signs.
The Alaska highway is in very good condition, the road marked with clear road signs. We expected the road to be busy, but there were hardly any vehicles. During the first hour, we passed less than twenty vehicles going in the opposite direction.
Driving along Alaska Highway
After driving for about 30 minutes on the Alaska Highway, we saw a lighter colour bear on the side of the road for the first time. We stopped the car and spent a few minutes looking at the bear. He was not concerned about our presence and kept on scratching itself using his hind paws…he also had a large patch of fur rubbed off on the side of his body, possibly from scratching himself on the side of trees.
We passed the small villages Teslin, Johnson’s Crossing and Jake’s Corner before reaching Whitehorse. It was a long drive, but we were able to maintain a good speed throughout the journey. We arrived at Whitehorse around 4:00PM. The SKKY hotel which we booked well in advance, is on the Alaska highway, near the airport. Whitehorse town centre is about three kilometres from the hotel. We have three days in Whitehorse.
One reason is to take a long break after driving long distances each day. Second reason is to use Whitehorse as a base and do a one day trip to Skagway. Whitehorse is a big city with more than 24,000 people. While coming to Whitehorse, we crossed British Columbia and entered Yukon Territoy. Whitehorse is considered to be the capitol of Yukon Territory. The city adjoins the Yukon river on one side. It has all the services including several big shopping centres. The downtown Whitehorse has several good restaurants.
Dinner at Klondike Rib & Salmon BBQ:
We checked in at SKKY hotel and then went to the city centre for dinner. Malisha checked the Internet on her phone and found a good restaurant called Klondike Rib & Salmon BBQ. We went there hoping to have an early dinner, but the place was already full. There was a long waiting queue. The restaurant is in a very old building. It is supposed to be one of the two oldest buildings in Whitehorse. The owners have tried to keep that old look. The girls who serve food are also dressed in old fashioned country style clothes.
The tables are more like long benches and the three of us were given seats on six sitter bench where another couple were already seated. This restaurant specialises in serving wild animal meat. We decided to order new items which we have never tried before.
I ordered a Bison Rribeye steak (Bison looks like a big buffalo). Malisha ordered a
Wild Elk Stroganoff while Mala ordered a Reindeer Stew. The idea was to share the food among the three and each one to taste all three plates. I also ordered a jug of Yukon Gold beer to go with the food.
Bison Ribeye Steak
The lady sitting next to me told us that they are new to this area and this is her first visit to this restaurant. They have come to Whitehorse as part of their cruise. Cruises come to the port city Skagway and from there they are taken to inner cities like Whitehorse in coaches. They are from Phoenix, Arizona in USA. They have been to Australia and New Zealand as tourists and have fond memories of both countries.
My Bison Steak was quite tasty, but I did not like the reindeer stew and the Wild Elk stroganoff. I felt they were overcooked and the meat too soft. Mala and Malisha liked their plates and enjoyed the food. Our visit to Skagway will be described in our next entry.