Alaska 2008 – Day 16, July 19

Day 16, July 19

Whitehorse YT to Laird Hot Springs BC

404 miles

We get up the next morning and have a great breakfast at the hotel restaurant. It’s on the road again by 9:30am, and by 4pm we stop in Watson Lake for a room, they’re full up. Not really a big deal, but I was hoping for a sort of early night. We keep riding, thinking there’s got to be something up the road.

Miles go by of rolling hillsides and dense forests, cut back 100 yards on either side of the road. Bears, bears and more bears! Little yearling black bears are everywhere by the side of the road, eating soft green grass, shoots and berries. They’re so cute! We stop for photos at the first few, then just wave and ride by the next dozen or so.

We finally pull in to a small lodge that has gas (in an above-ground container). They’re booked for the night, but the campground is nice and wooded. We get a tent site for $8 and Laird Hot Springs is right across the road. After setting up camp (the RV’ers think were crazy because of all the bears) we head over to the hot springs. The path to the springs is a boardwalk through native marshland, it’s beautiful, but were happy to have our mosquito shirts or Mike would be eaten alive!

We’ve got our swimsuits with us, but I’m not usually a hot spring person, until we see this place. They’ve got changing rooms, a dock with stairs, and the best part is there’s hot and cold water running in to the pools. I can dial up the heat by staying closer to the hot end, and Mike can keep from being a lobster by moving closer to the cold inlet.

Its intensely pleasurable to soak in the softly flowing hot water. I could stay here for weeks, except my fingers look like raisins, and I do feel like all I need are a few herbs and spices to finish the soup!

It’s after 11pm when we wander back to camp, and the sun is just beginning to set. We are treated to a beautiful deep red and orange sunset before bedtime. Climbing in the tent, we snuggle up with our bear mace and marine air horn and fall asleep.


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