Liard Hot Springs to Watson Lake, Yukon :)

I was up surprisingly early this morning, before seven, and decided to take a closer look at my genset problem. I had initially thought that the problem was that my house battery was too depleted to start it, but the generator wouldn’t fire up with the truck battery running either. This, and the fact that my house battery hasn’t been charging while driving, lead me to conclude that the installation of the new truck battery could have something to do with my problem. I spent about a half hour under the hood with a flashlight trying to see if the techs had missed a wire, but could not see anything loose. My RV manual pointed me in direction of a solenoid switch, but I couldn’t find anything that looked like the picture in the book, so that was a dead end for me, but could be a starting point for whomever will be lucky enough to take a look at my dead generator. 🙂 At the very least, I know that my house battery and converter are working fine. I’ve also relearned that my true battery voltage is a couple of points higher than the inverter says it is.

I pulled out by, oh, eightish at the very latest, and drove the 9km that separated me from the fabled Liard Hot Springs. I had serious misgivings about stopping here, expecting a tourist trap, but nope! There is a lodge with a restaurant across from the park, but that’s the extent of the commercialism. I parked in the day use lot, across from the campground entrance, and hoofed it the rest of the way (about 1km total to the springs). I paid my 5$ day use fee and received instructions on how to get to the springs.

You have to follow a long wooden boardwalk through muskeg:

Liard Hot Springs boardwalk

Liard Hot Springs boardwalk

The first stop is Alpha Pool, which you smell before you see:

Alpha Pool

Alpha Pool

This is a shallow pool with a wading area for children.

I pushed on and passed the hanging gardens:

'hanging gardens'

'hanging gardens'

I then came to Beta Pool, which is deeper and slightly hotter:

Beta Pool

Beta Pool

I had this pool all to myself for the time being, so I changed into my bathing suit and waded in.

Have you ever had a moment when you feel completely at peace and as one with the world? That’s how I felt as I took my first strokes in Beta Pool, looking at the last patches of snow as steam rose around me. The water was hot and rich with mineral, making me even more buoyant than I normally am. I have no idea how long I floated in that hot blue-green water staring at the bluest sky I have ever seen.

Eventually, I heard voices coming up the boardwalk and the mood was broken. I climbed out, wrapped myself in my towel, grabbed my things, and headed barefoot back down to Alpha pool. It wasn’t nearly as cold as I would have expected (just… chilly 😀 ). One lady stopped to say that I was ‘very brave’ to be walking down in my bathing suit, there was no way she was going swimming ‘in this weather.’ To my horror, I heard myself reply “Oh, it’s not so bad, really, to be walking here with no clothes on.” *dies*

Alpha Pool wasn’t quite as satisfactory, being rather crowded and noticeably cooler. I didn’t stay long. I changed and headed back to the rig, enjoying the peaceful stroll.

boardwalk heading back towards the parking area

boardwalk heading back towards the parking area

There were buffalo a short ways south of the day use area when I got back to Miranda!

I pulled out around 9:30 and soon thereafter saw this little guy:

black bear

black bear

I had a pleasant drive, passing through thick spruce forest. I was eager to reach the Yukon, but knew that the arrival would not be dramatic. The Alaska highway takes a serpentine route through BC and Yukon for a stretch, to the point that it is not officially decided if a segment of route is one side of the border or the other. So, I take this to be my first official glimpse of the Yukon since I was coming up to what was obviously a ‘welcome to BC’ sign in the opposing direction:

the Yukon, at last!!!

the Yukon, at last!!!

And, then:


And then:


*big grin*

I wasn’t too set on where I would stay for a least two nights in Watson Lake. I had been warned that there was a lot of theft going on at the Downtown RV Park and that the RCMP was recommending people stay at the parks west of town. I stopped in a the eastmost ‘Campground Services’, but it was just opening up and didn’t feel very secure, so I pushed on to 20 minutes(ish) west of Watson Lake to the RCMP recommended ‘Baby Nugget’ RV park. I believe I’m the first customer of the season, although there are three of us here now! The park doesn’t have running water at the moment (frozen underground pipes), but I have 30A power and excellent internet for 21$ per night, including taxes. I won’t get too comfortable since I will need to move out and get water (and dump too, at some point!), but I’m happy with the cost vs. service ratio.

So, a lifetime’s yearning has come to fruition. I am in the Yukon. Now, comes the challenge: finding work. *wry grin* I really hope to find a week or two’s worth of work then push on to a new location, all the way to Inuvik in August, but I have learned to stop making plans. Tonight, I am taking the time to breathe. Tomorrow, I will explore Watson Lake and get the word out that I want work. It will all sort itself out in time and I will savour every moment of this summer, no matter where it takes me.

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  • Hi Rae… I have not forgotten you !! We have been so busy. For the past 3 months, we had our house up for sale, with no luck. We even had the laptop put away…the house was mint, but no reasonable offers. We thought it would be easier to leave on our RV adventures from an apartment, but I guess we will try to sell the house in a couple of years, and skip the apartment entirely.
    Anyway, congrats on your trip. I hope it is everything you dreamed of. Good luck with finding your temp jobs, with your experience it should be easy !
    We lived in Ft.St John for a couple of years in the late 80’s, so it was fun to follow along with you.
    We are wishing you a safe and fulfilling summer of ’09 !!
    Take care, Sincerely, Trent and Teresa

  • Hi Trent and Teresa! Good to read from you! Sorry to hear that the house selling isn’t going so well. 🙁 When the time is right, it will all fall together.

    Looks like I’ll be staying in Watson Lake longer than I thought since the RV park owner needs some manual labour done. I’ll know for sure once we’ve discussed terms tomorrow.

    I was surprised that Fort St John is bigger than Dawson Creek. All I saw of it was along the Alaska Highway and I kept going “Oh, there’s such and such big box store!”

    Thank you for your good thoughts, and for reading the blog of course. 🙂

  • Now this chapter of adventures begins!! I know it will go well for you. Our next adventure starts Monday. It’s not too much, but after all, it is our first stepping out with full gear in 7 months! You know the anticipation cross with nervousness, It seems so close, and yet so unreal.

    Safe journeys my friend

  • Donna, you will be shocked by how quickly you get back into the groove! Oh, there will be a RElearning curve, but you will soon forget what it was like to be ‘settled.’

    As for ‘this chapter’, it means work. 😀 If tonight is any indication of the summer ahead, I will be able to work from place to place as I had dreamt of doing, but I will keep taking it one precious day at a time.

  • Hi Rae, You have made very good time on the Alaska Highway! Good luck in your job search but as someone else said, you should have little trouble finding something.

    I am no expert on generators but hopefully someone who is will chime in. In the meantime it would be helpful to list the symptoms.

    The first obvious thing is that they are designed not to start if your fuel is below 1/4 but I am sure you know that.

    – Does anything happen when you push the start button?
    – Does it crank but not start?
    – Does it sound like it is “trying” to start?
    -Is there a place where you can check the voltage at the starter while someone else presses the start button?
    – Anything else you can think of that might help diagnose?

  • Hi Croft, absolutely nothing happens when I hit the start switch, either in the house or directly on the machine itself. It’s completely dead, as though it was not getting any power. I say this because I remember the time that I completely depleted my house battery; the generator acted the same way.

    The house battery is behaving normally and the converter is doing its job. Meanwhile, no juice is getting from the truck battery to the house system, as evidenced by the fact that the house battery is not charging when I drive.

    I have no idea how to check the voltage at the starter. Where do I stick the probes?!

  • We have hit the limits of my expertise! It is likely that the two problems are linked but that is about all I can suggest. Maybe an email to Les Doll might get you some specific suggestions.

  • OK, now this just shows what a small world we live in. Donna, who comments here sent me an email asking about selling a MH to Canadians. The Canadians who are looking at it are Trent and Teresa who also comment here (and on my Blog). This is just weird!

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