Friday, August 3, 2012

Aug 3 – Hiking around Haines Junction

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Yesterday we made the short move south to Haines Junction. The previous night had been very windy. We brought in the main slide and put the dish down because it couldn’t keep its self aligned on the satellite. It was still pretty windy in the morning, making for an interesting start to the drive.

We headed south along the rest of Kluane Lake and passed the huge valley, with the park visitor’s center, where we had been hiking.





After that it was just long stretches of highway with the mountains off to the right usually in the clouds.



We got a spot at Pine Lake Campground just east of Haines Junction. The lake and campground are just below the rock face in the picture below.


We can see a bit of the lake from the front window.


The view from down at the lakeshore.



There is a weather station at the top of the hill that they have to helicopter the crew in to.


After we setup we went into town to check out the main Kluane National Park Visitor’s Center. It is in a brand new building that it shares with a native cultural center and the chamber of commerce visitors center. It’s section was almost smaller that the other center farther north. I just got some info on the local hikes and we left. I guess this park really doesn’t get many visitors other than serious hikers.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the accumulation of bugs off the front of the RV and washing all of those dirt roads off of the CRV. In the evening I ever made a campfire. Yukon Government campgrounds provide free firewood.

Today we did part of a hiking trail called the Auriol Trail. The entire trail goes in 2 km and then has a 13 km loop that climbs up 1400 feet above the tree line for views of the mountains to the west. We knew we couldn’t do the whole thing but we would go as far as we could.

The view at the start of the trail.


Unfortunately that was the only time we saw the mountains. As soon as we got to the edge of the meadow and into the trees, the mountains were never seen again. 

The trail was a tunnel through a partially dead spruce forest.


As far as we went there were two lookouts where you could see back towards Haines Junction.



By now we had gone about 4 km. I looked up the hill and couldn’t see us getting out of the trees any time soon so we turned around. On the way down we met another couple that said you had to go to the end of the loop to get the mountains views. I’m glad we turned around when we did.


The bugs were also really bad on this hike. Even I had to put bug spray on.

Since this hike had just turned into a bit of exercise we rewarded ourselves by going to the local bakery for a cinnamon bun and some ice cream. They also had a WIFI hot spot so since the campground has none we managed to check our email and do some surfing.

We saw that they had a salmon BBQ every Friday evening so we reserved a spot as our anniversary dinner. It was supposed to start at 6:30 on their outdoor patio and at about 6 it started to pour rain. We drove back to check it it out anyway and they had put a huge blue tarp.

It was some of the best salmon we have had in a while and great salads and grilled vegetables. They also had a jazz trio playing so we had a very enjoyable evening.




Onwards to Haines itself tomorrow.

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