Up the Klondike Hwy
We gradually make our way up north driving through the boreal forests. We come across a place selling honey made of the bush fireweed. We decide to sample this and while chatting to the owner we find out that having hives in the Yukon has its own challenges and not only due to the extreme winter conditions of keeping the hive alive and warm through winter. The local bear population is quite interested in the tasty snack and just the previous day she had to chase off a big grizzly bear from the hives when he stumbled across them while chasing a moose. She thought that if he comes back he will risk turning into a rug!! We also got some freshly smoked arctic char which is a fish that populates this neck of the woods , it was scrumptious.
We get to see how devastating fires can be around here, things are very dry and due to the long months of winter it takes many years for the forests to start regrowing, often with a different composition of trees than originally. We drive through a massive area that covers 45000 hectares where a fire was started by a camp fire incompletely extinguished in 1998. Now 11 years later there are a few small shrubs starting to cover the area. The trees will take much longer to reappear.
We camp as the only ones in a secluded park camp ground next to Taucun Lake. We hear loons as they cruise across the lake and the trees are starting to change colour. It is berry season and so the bears are out trying to get their fill before the start of winter. We see lots of signs warning about the bears but so far no encounters. as we drive north following the Yukon River we read about the history of the gold rush and how 20 000-30 000 people made their way up to this extreme wilderness in search of gold.
We arrive at the north end of te Klondike Hwy and turn off east on the gravel Dempster Hwy. This goes all the way to Inuvik and past the arctic circle. There is not much between here and the arctic circle apart from Tombstone National Park. Our little van gets us to the campground without a hitch it is simply magical!!!