Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aug 1 – Kluane National Park

Today is our 30th wedding anniversary. As has happened in the previous years out in the RV we are nowhere near someplace to go out for a nice dinner. Two years ago we had left over pizza in the RV waiting to take the ferry back from Newfoundland. Last year we were driving to Mount Rainier. This year the nearest / only  “restaurant” is 20 miles away in a motel that advertises it’s 90 seat cafeteria. We’ll wait. I’ll help you get the tiny violins out while you feel sorry for us!

We awoke to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore in front of the RV. It’s kind of weird to walk to the front and only see water.


We first went to the Tachal Dhal (Sheep Mountain) Visitor’s center in the national park. I don’t think this section of the park gets a huge number of visitors. Here is the whole center.


That is Sheep Mountain behind it. In the spring lots of Dall Sheep come here. We didn’t see any today.


The center is in the middle of this large very flat valley. At first we thought the white sand was snow.


We spent about 5 minutes going through the displays and then got some information and a map for the hike we planned to do. To get to the trailhead you must drive 2.5 kilometers on this narrow, potholed, water holed dirt road that runs along the side of the valley. I could only drive it at about 10 kph.

Of course when we got there, there were 3 25 foot range class C rental RVs already parked. I know down south the rental companies forbid you from taking them on dirt roads. I am not sure here. We have literally seen them everywhere we have gone. I wonder how long they last before they shake themselves apart. I certainly wouldn’t buy one of these used rental units.

The trail we had decided to do was called the Sheep Creek Trail. It is 5 kilometers one way and gains 1400 feet in elevation. The description said that at 2 kilometers you got above the trees enough for a good view so we said we would go at least that far and see how we felt.

No namby-pamby zig-zags on this trail. It just goes right up the side of the mountain and follows what used to be a narrow road up to a mine. Up to the viewpoint we were climbing through a spruce forest, most of which had been killed by the spruce beetle.

The trail itself was in very good shape but it was steep. In the entire part that we walked, there was only one 30 foot section that was level. As we haven’t hiked as much this year as last, we huff and puffed our way up with lots of breaks.

We got occasional glimpses to get us to go higher.

Here we are at the viewpoint.

We could just see the top of the glacier at the end of the valley.

Of course we continued on. The trail got narrower and steeper.



After about another kilometer the trail went back in the trees and started going up and down some valleys. It didn’t look like we were going to get any more great views and we had gotten enough of a workout so we turned around.


We went back down to the viewpoint and had lunch.







Looking up in the sky all the clouds seemed to radiate from one point over the mountains across the valley.


We also saw this going by.


It sort of looked like a 747 so I wondered if Air Force 1 was headed somewhere.

Back at the RV we collapsed for a nap and then had an anniversary dinner of grilled Ling Cod and Kraft Dinner. Here’s to at least another 30 years.

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