Our Trav­els: Yukon Gold

Find­ing true trea­sures in na­ture’s beauty

Our Canada - - Contents - by Bev­erly Lafortune, Kanata, Ont.

Rev­el­ling in the in­cred­i­ble beauty of this wild and moun­tain­ous Cana­dian ter­ri­tory.

Ihave a love of na­ture that comes from within and has al­ways been a part of me. I grew up in a small com­mu­nity in Lake­side, N.S., and had lots of friends to play with. There were no com­put­ers at the time and we’d spend most of our days out­side ex­plor­ing na­ture.

I was very ex­cited when, in the sum­mer of 2016, I trav­elled to beau­ti­ful Yukon with my hus­band, Paul, to visit his brother and fam­ily. The scenery was breath­tak­ing! Among the most spec­tac­u­lar views were those we saw while driv­ing along the South Klondike High­way, near the vil­lage of Car­cross. The royal cou­ple, Wil­liam and Kate, would be vis­it­ing Car­cross a few months later and it was very ex­cit­ing just know­ing that they, too, would be see­ing what I be­lieve to be the best part of the Yukon.

Water­ways, road­ways and the White Pass & Yukon Route rail­road all con­verge in his­toric Car­cross. This pic­turesque vil­lage is also home to the Car­cross/tag­ish First Na­tion. One site that is es­pe­cially mag­nif­i­cent to see is the nearby Car­cross Desert, cre­ated about 10,000 years

ago, as the huge sheet of ice that once cov­ered North Amer­ica be­gan to melt. Any sand and silt that was trapped in the glacier set­tled into a thick layer on the bot­tom of the many glacial lakes that formed, but that have since dried up. The Wat­son River con­tin­ues to carry sand and silt into Benett Lake, which helps to sus­tain Car­cross Desert.

When we ar­rived at the desert, we saw a per­son slowly mak­ing his way up the huge slope, which in­spired us to make the trek up to see the view from the top. What a sight to be­hold it was! We could see the vil­lage of Car­cross, Ben­nett Lake, the desert and moun­tain peaks—all in one view. I'm not sure if we had in­spired other peo­ple to make the long hike up, but we were soon en­joy­ing the scenery with many tourists who also seemed ex­cited to have made it to the top.

An­other must-see if you ever travel along the South Klondike High­way is Emer­ald Lake. It has a unique blue-green colour from the light re­flect­ing off a layer of white marl— which is sim­ply clay rich in cal­cium that set­tles on the bot­tom of the lake. Emer­ald Lake is a pop­u­lar place for tour buses. Al­though we had the lux­ury of tak­ing as much time as we needed to bask in Emer­ald Lake’s glory, we saw many buses stop and un­load their pas­sen­gers, who quickly took some self­ies be­fore jump­ing back on the buses to their next des­ti­na­tion.

Dur­ing our visit, I longed to be able to get a shot of some wildlife, es­pe­cially bears—all from a safe dis­tance, of course. I didn’t ac­tu­ally see a bear, but I did get a shot of a lynx that was just strolling along the high­way, pos­si­bly look­ing for its next meal.

An­other ad­ven­ture back to the White­horse area may be in the cards, as some­thing that is on my wish list is to watch the north­ern lights, which were no where to be seen at this time of year be­cause of the mid­night sun. Maybe the next time I will also get to see those bears.

Clock­wise from top left: S.s.klondike stern­wheeler; a woman run­ning in the desert; hub­cap totem poles in Cham­pagne, Yukon; a lynx spot­ted along the side of the high­way.

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