Tagged with " Watson Lake"
May 18, 2009 -

Happily Moiling Away

Looks like I’ll be in Watson Lake through at least Thursday.

I did a good day’s work today and have projects lined up for tomorrow , Tuesday, as well as Wednesday. There could be more work ahead, we’re all just taking it a day at a time. Today was not nearly as boring as the following might sound: I sorted recyclables.  There was counting, hauling, and clambering around involved and the day went by quickly. I wouldn’t have wanted to do two days of that, though, so I worked a bit longer than the owners thought I would just so I could finish up. Tomorrow, I have to move some dirt around, something I’m very good at. 🙂

I’m happy to be doing a variety of chores and to be outdoors. The weather is steadily improving, the staff is friendly, and I’m getting a taste of what is entailed in operating a major spread.

Hopefully, the water will be turned on in the park tomorrow as my fresh water tank was fully emptied at lunch today. I can haul water from the restaurant for washing up and doing dishes, but I’m looking forward to a proper shower! I checked the weather and tonight should be our last night below zero. The park owners are optimistic that we’ll have running water tomorrow, as well as a functional laundromat. My holding tanks are doing well, though, at only about half full each, which is remarkable since I haven’t dumped since I left Dawson Creek!

The territorial parks will be opening shortly and I hope to start staying in them when I can’t work for rent. Soon as I can get the generator to be trustworthy, I would like to try to stay my full limit at a park, two solid weeks without hookups, just to see if I can do it.

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May 17, 2009 -

Sign Post Forest and Wye Lake

I drove into Watson Lake this afternoon to take a gander at the town, especially the famed Sign Post Forest:

A tiny sample of the more than 65,000 signs in Sign Post Forest

A tiny sample of the more than 65,000 signs in Sign Post Forest

The Sign Post Forest was started by a homesick GI building the Alaska highway in ’42:

The original sign post (reconstructed)

The original sign post

What struck me as I walked through the forest was from how far some of these signs had been hauled, including all over Europe and the Americas:

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In case that's not clear, these folks drove from Guatemala (C.A.=Central America) to Alaska. WOW!

In case that's not clear, these folks drove from Guatemala (C.A.=Central America) to Alaska. WOW!

Or not hauled, but the people still came from across the sea (and were quite creative):

A Sterilite container lid marked up by a family from Holland

A Sterilite container lid marked up by a family from Holland

I was also surprised to discover that I couldn’t stare at one section without seeing a sign that reminded me of a place I’ve lived or visited:

Mt. Baldy is the ski hill near Oliver and the first time I set foot in Virginia was to visit Arlington.

Mt. Baldy is the ski hill near Oliver and the first time I set foot in Virginia was to visit Arlington.

Fond memories of camping at Lake George (upstate New York) with my family

Fond memories of camping at Lake George (upstate New York) with my family

I lived near Bobcaygeon for nine months and enjoyed showing my dad the sights in this quaint village.

I lived near Bobcaygeon for nine months and enjoyed showing my dad the sights in this quaint village.

Menomonee Falls was one of my many stops on the Great Road Trip of '05

Menomonee Falls was one of my many stops on the Great Road Trip of '05

Nepean (green sign, bottom right above the yellow) is home of the Ottawa Municipal Campground, from whence I set off my RVing journey

Nepean (green sign, bottom right above the yellow) is home of the Ottawa Municipal Campground, from whence I set off my RVing journey

Trying to remember what brought me to Wiarton all those years ago

Trying to remember what brought me to Wiarton all those years ago

I stopped in Black Diamond when I was touring Kanaskis Country in September '08

I stopped in Black Diamond when I was touring Kanaskis Country in September '08

There were several more that stuck out at me, and this was just from random browsing without doing any in depth scanning. Visiting Sign Post Forest was a real trip down memory lane!

The Watson Lake Visitor Info Centre is located in the heart of the Forest. Staff is very friendly and helpful. I was surprised that they were open so late on a Sunday! There is a small gallery there about the building of the Alaska highway as well as a movie. Unlike the similar exhibits in Dawson Creek, these were Canadian-centric. I was surprised to learn that the U.S. did not wait for Canadian approval to start work on the highway. So, the Americans really did literally invade Canada! Thankfully, we’re pretty laid back… or Prime Minster Mackenzie King knew we couldn’t afford to go to war against the U.S. ,again, for invading us, again (even though we kicked their butts last time, but that’s another story altogether–Google the War of 1812).

I took a picture of this sign because find the sentiment to be so true:

last paragraph

You don't miss comforts if you're long enough without them.

It was getting on dinner time by this point and I had a twenty minute drive back home, so I just stopped quickly to check out Wye Lake. It’s time to point out here that you don’t actually see Watson Lake from the town, only Wye Lake! As for Wye Lake it was named because it occurs in the centre of the ‘Y’ in the roads around it.

Wye Lake

Wye Lake

The other main tourist attraction in Watson Lake is a planetarium called the Northern Lights Centre, but it won’t be open until at least Tuesday, so I’m not sure I’ll get to see it this time around. The rest of what’s to be done in the area involves being out in nature: hiking, hunting, boating, fishing, that sort of thing. Watson Lake is a full service community with a few restaurants, a bank (CIBC, yay!), a grocery store, a few gas stations, ample choice in accomodation, a good hospital, an RCMP station, etc.

While at the Visitor’s Centre, I met some gals on a long weekend road trip. When I got home, I decided to have dinner at the lodge and as I was eating the gals traipsed in in search of good grub. They asked me to join them and we had a blast talking about my travels. That’s one nice thing about being a solo traveler; you get to meet so many wonderful people!

With dinner, I continued to discover the local brews, finding the most perfect beer ever: Midnight Sun Espresso Ale by the Yukon Brewing Company. Beer and coffee together in one beverage. Perfection. 😀

Thankfully, it’s getting warmer!

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May 17, 2009 -

And a bitter Yukon wind begins to blow…

Minus ten today with windchill. That’s 14 in American degrees. Snowing. My work day is being postponed to tomorrow when we’re supposed to go to plus eight. Works for me, to be sitting here all cozy and snug in my rig!  The owner said to stay as long as I like, count the hours of work that I do, and that the former will be subtracted from the latter to determine if I owe or am owed anything when I pull out. Sounds good to me! If I have to hunker down somewhere because of weather, it’s nice to do it somewhere that my expenses are low!

Other than driving through Watson Lake I haven’t really seen any of it, so I do intend to go into town before I leave and check out what’s what. Since tomorrow is supposed to be nice, I’ll start work early (I was told what’s expected of me so I can just start whenever I want), put in a good morning’s worth of work, and then take the rest of the day to go explore in the toad. I’m also going to see how much fresh vegetables cost north of 60….

Life in the Yukon (all 48 or so hours of it so far, LOL) has been quite the adventure! Yesterday, I even ate beef (soup) and pork (ham sandwich) voluntarily for the first time in fifteen years! That unexpected snack was courtesy of the park and sure tasted good and was appreciated after two hours hard labouring. 🙂

In other news, this is my first post from the desktop computer since I left and only the second time I’ve fired up the old iMac! Loving the new laptop!

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