Thursday, September 27, 2012

Whitehorse - Lake Laberge - Muktuk Kennels

Wednesday I got up early and ran along the Atlin road. It was another gloriously beautiful morning. After breakfast we packed up and checked out - headed for the (official) Alaska Hwy and Whitehorse.

On our way we stopped at Marsh lake and the Swan Haven. As soon as I turned off the car, two labs greeted us, so although there weren't any birds around, Mr. X still got his "wildlife" fix. Swan haven was lovely, on the edge of Marsh lake, thousands of swans come here in the spring on their way north to nest.

We then stopped in Whitehorse, but the wind was blowing, so after we took a quick tour of the library, bought some fresh groceries, and were accosted by homeless men we got back on the Klondike Hwy to Lake Laberge.

You know the place. Where Cap cremated Sam McGee according to Robert Service. We stood on the marge of lake Labarge. Mr. X and Mom took pictures while I just wanted to get back in the car. It was a beautiful drive, but man that wind was chilly.

I just about hit this doe and her sister on the road back to the highway.

Wednesday night we stayed at Muktuk Kennels; the home of Yukon Quest champion Frank Turner. We drove past our cabin thinking "surely we aren't staying there"! But we were. Beautiful accomodations. Shilo's Chalet gets two thumbs up from me.

We had a view overlooking the valley and river.

At sunset the dogs set up a racket. They probably were being fed, but it was pretty eery hearing them all howling at the sky. We were glad our cabin was not immediately adjacent to the dog yard.

In the morning we headed over to the lodge to take our self-guided tour. We managed to pet all 100 dogs and enjoyed watching the puppies run in the jumbo sized gerbil wheel.

Before breakfast this team raced by. You can tell they're loving their run.

We met Frank Turner which was fun; he's a great host. He took time to talk to us even we hadn't scheduled a tour and he had several projects he was working on (we didn't try to bug him, he just went out of his way to make us welcome.)

Many (if not all) of Frank's volunteers are German speakers - even the Irishman responded to German directions from the dog yard manager. This just added to the fun I had with the Swiss German at Little Atlin.

Muktuk is off the grid, so Mark (from Denmark) came over the cabin and started the generator with Mr. X and showed us how everything worked. We had a comfortable sofa in the living room, woodstove, fantastic gas range, lights and indoor plumbing. They had some games and many magazines. A small small fridge provided, but they don't like to plug in because it is an electricity sucker. They provided me with ice packs which was sufficient for us. I think they'd probably allow you to use the fridge if you needed to (i.e. refrigerated medicine), but you'd have to run the generator repeatedly.

The stairs here were not as steep as Little Atlin which was good. The BBQ was not as nice, nor was the kitchen as well stocked and organized. It was fine, but I couldn't find a measuring cup anywhere so our rice was quite sticky.

The front porch was perfect with nice chairs and to the side of the cabin was a large fire pit, perfect for bonfires. Mr. X had some fun splitting wood and replenishing the kindling pile.

Again, another place I would recommend for an extended trip. I think I could handle a week here.

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