Leaving Watson Lake Thursday morning – the sun was shining and the sky was clear. The smoke haze that we had been traveling with the day before had lifted.
We stopped in Teslin at the George Johnston Museum. (Thanks Becky for the suggestion : ) George Johnston was a Tlingit Native who lived in Teslin in the early 1900’s. George developed an interest in photography and took it upon himself to document the Native ways of his people at that time. He was, also, rather progressive in that he owned the first automobile in Teslin – before there were any roads! The car had to be brought in by barge. George had the townspeople help construct 3 miles of road in exchange for rides in his car. George Johnston’s photos were amazing! So moving….so personal….. Then came the US Army building the Alaska Hwy in 1942. The Army took over their town, and the Native way of life changed – for the worse. First was disease. The Native populations had no immunity to the diseases like measles, chicken pox, etc. and many people died in epidemic outbreaks. Then, as WWII ended, the fur trade, by which the Tlingit people made their living, decreased, and jobs, or trapping as a way of life, was no more. Then the priests came in to “convert” the Natives and took the children off to boarding schools. The Native population became depressed and turned to alcohol and despair. It sure makes one think……….
The “Milepost” book has been invaluable in pointing out attractions that we might have other wised missed. This is Miles Canyon, just outside of Whitehorse. That is a narrow suspension bridge for pedestrians over the river.
The view was so fantastic, that I forgot to be afraid of the bridge. It helped that no one else was on it trying to make it swing. - Fred! …………
We stopped in downtown Whitehorse, a much more developed town of about 24,000, and the capital of the Yukon Territories. We stopped in the visitors center, walked across to the library to use their Wi-Fi, then followed our noses to the Starbucks down the street. So, I guess the sweet smell of civilization smells like coffee to me! : )
Then we spent a very relaxing evening at Takhini Hot Springs, a campground and resort just past Whitehorse. The springs here are contained in a swimming pool like setting where you could swim or just relax in the hot springs water. One family that was here lived in Whitehorse and they come regularly, though they prefer it in the Winter when there is snow on the ground. Sounds neat!
The mineral water of the springs is supposed to have a healing or healthful effect. We sure found it to be very nice……
After a long soak, then a shower, we had dinner in the cafe and crawled back into our camper, in a rather nice,quiet site among a stand of small silver birch trees.