Driving to Alaska Day 10: A slow day around Whitehorse

Welcome to post 10 of 18 in our Driving to Alaska series. We hope you enjoy the stories from this unforgettable 4,000 mile road trip!

Tagish, Yukon to somewhere along the Takhini River

One question hung in the air this morning.  Would the weather conditions permit us to go paragliding?  Mark and I had never been and Becca was ready to take us on a tandem flight if the stars aligned.  Between the surface wind and the strong wind illustrated by the long, smooth lenticular clouds, today would not be the day.  Moving on to the next order of business, Cade was in need of a stronger internet connection to tend to some unexpected headaches regarding their move to Alaska.  A short drive took us to the community of Carcross where we happened upon a great little coffee shop set amidst a handful of artisan shops.

After getting coffee and treats, we relocated five minutes up the road to the Carcross desert where there happened to be sand dunes in the middle of the forest.  For a few hours we explored while Cade unfortunately sat in the cab of the truck waiting on hold with the FAA.  In that time we serendipitously received a text from our friends Josh & Darci who were days away from setting off on their own trip to Alaska.  Josh suggested we hide a few treasures for their four year old daughter Hannah along our route.  His timing was impeccable as we’d be hanging out at the Carcoss desert until Cade finished his call.  I wrote a little letter for Hannah and wrapped it in a makeshift envelope while Mark dug a small hole.  He buried it and marked it with a small cairn.  We passed the coordinates on to Josh along with a handful of clues.  I hoped Hannah would be as excited to find her treasure as we were to leave it for her.  

Our next destination was Whitehorse, the largest population center in the Yukon at 25,000 people.  (Fun fact: the entire Yukon Territory is home to 45,000 people making for a population density of .2 people per square mile)  The Dirty Northern Pub came by recommendation and so we gladly made the stop for a late lunch.  It was another cold and gloomy day and so sitting in a warm, dry environment was a nice change.

By this time we’d all agreed that we would put off the next long driving day to tomorrow.  Instead, a hot spring resort just outside Whitehorse was calling our names.  When we read on the website that a “full cleansing shower in our on-site showers is required before using the amenities”, we were all sold on the $38 per person admittance fee.  Five days had passed since our last showers or change of clothes (I was wearing the same base layers all 24 hours of the day) and we were all feeling a little run down.  For two hours we rotated from pool to pool, dry sauna to steam sauna, and back again.  It was 8pm when we sauntered back to the trucks in a deep state of relaxation.

A quick and easy hour-long drive on the Alaska highway took us to a nice little campsite on the edge of the Takhini river.  A quick inspection of a nearby public outhouse delighted me with its cleanliness and like-new appearance.  It’s details like these that quickly elevate a camping trip.

When I climbed inside of the bed of the truck I realized how routine this all had become in eight short days.  I stripped down to one layer, tucked tomorrow’s clothing into the foot of my sleeping back to keep them warm, put my mask on, and dozed off to sleep.

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We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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