Tagged with " chilkoot"
Jul 22, 2009 -

Bareloon Lake to Bennett and Out

The meanest miles didn’t give up once. The final stretch of the trail is uphill through sand. Never was I so happy to see a church steeple as I did when we reached Lake Bennett, our final campground!

We stopped just before the campground to look out over the lake. There were two floatplanes there. Flying out is another option when finishing up the Chilkoot and the one chosen by a family of 8 (including two young children) who had paralleled our trip, but pushed on to Bareloon when we stopped at Lindeman. We took a moment to wave them off as they flew into the wild blue yonder. Clichéd, I know, but the pictures will prove the cliché true.

We were met just before Bennett by another Sea to Sky guide who kindly brought in our last dinner, breakfast, and lunch so we’d have less to carry. Dinner that night at Bennett was an event, with caesar salad, mini-pizzas (assembled on site), pasta, wine, and cheesecake!

There is a lot to see in the Bennett area, so I explored a bit during the evening. What struck me the most was the amount of debris, mostly glass and rusted cans, which cover the site. They are all that remain of the hotels and saloons which covered this site during the gold rush.

Bennett is a strikingly beautiful location, a turquoise lake resting against grey mountains and rimmed with purple fireweed. Lake Louise doesn’t hold a candle to it! Mark was right when he said that hikers who take the shortcut from Bareloon miss out on something extraordinary.

We had another leisurely morning the next day and the guys made us pancakes for breakfast, a real treat after almost a full week of oatmeal and breakfast bars! We then went for a walk, sans pack, to check out the Bennett cemetery and also to look over the rapids that separate Lindeman and Bennett Lakes.

Lunch was veggie quesadillas and then it was time to start getting serious about packing up as more hikers were coming off the trail and in need of our sandy tent sites.

We left Bennett at 3PM on a train headed for Skagway that would drop us off in Fraser, where we’d left our van. It was strange to move forward without effort and I actually felt a bit queasy on the hour or so ride!

En route back to Whitehorse, we stopped briefly in Carcross to pick up our trail completion certificates and to poke around the tiny community. Our day, and our journey together, ended in Whitehorse, at the High Country Inn, where we had dinner without even changing or showering first. We ate out on the patio. 😀

My journey over the Chilkoot Pass is one I will carry in my heart forever. It was a week that blended history, ecology, and exercise; one that took me from lush Alaskan rainforest to British Columbian desert in the footsteps of men and women who shaped the modern Yukon territory. It was the trip of a lifetime and one that I revisited in greater detail in my ebook ‘Echoes of ’98: hiking the Chilkoot Trail in the 21st century.’

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Jul 22, 2009 -

Lindeman to Bareloon Lake

I didn’t feel very good during our last morning of hiking, so the climb to Bareloon Lake is remembered as being very harsh. It probably wasn’t that bad, but it was a climb and a half over one ridge after another. We arrived at Bareloon at about 11 and decided to have an early lunch that stretched into a two hour break complete with a siesta.

Bareloon Lake was an incredibly beautiful spot on the only swimmable (ie. not freezing) lake on the trail. The campground is built on a granite cliff and has an open sided lunch shelter. It is the only campground without bear lockers.

Some hikers choose to go straight from Happy Camp to Bareloon and then take a shortcut from Bareloon to ‘Log Cabin’ where there is a parking lot. Others will race from Bareloon to Bennett to catch the 2PM train back to ‘civilization.’ Sea to Sky opts instead for an extra night on the trail at Bennett, meaning that there is no rush to get there, which explains our leisurely lunch at Bareloon.

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Jul 22, 2009 -

Deep Lake to Lindeman City

The afternoon’s hike was super easy. In fact, this day was the only one that I would qualify as being effortless. It was a real treat!

Shortly after leaving Deep Lake, we came upon the remains of an old canvas boat as well as a sled. It was here that we began to leave the alpine terrain behind and began to head down into boreal forest.

We arrived mid-afternoon at Lindeman City, the largest campground of the Chilkoot Trail. There are two tenting areas, we stayed at the upper near the warden’s cabin. Lindeman City is a lovely spot on a turquoise lake and it’s flat, something not very common on the Chilkoot Trail!

Lindeman City felt like ‘civilization.’ There is a warden’s cabin on site as well as a museum. Moreover, we arrived on the eve of Parks Canada Day, so we were treated to a Robert Service recital after dinner! The warden also served up treats of cookies and fruit salad. We had had fresh vegetables every day, but no fresh fruit. Canned fruit mixed with fresh apples was quite possibly the yummiest thing I have ever eaten!

After the ‘show’, several of us went for a walk to see the cemetery above Lindeman City and also to visit the lower campground. We saw a family of ptarmigans en route. They are silly birds who are not afraid of people, hence why they were such a popular food source during the gold rush.

Again, you’ll need to check out my ebook about the Chilkoot for more information about this section of the trail.

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