Thursday, January 14, 2016

Rancheria Falls - Teslin, Yukon - Alaska Highway

We follow the Alaska Highway from Rancheria Falls to Teslin, Yukon

Scenic Alaska Highway

There were times that we drove for hours on quiet highways with little traffic and nothing but grand views to enjoy.  We would take a break every couple of hours then stop for lunch, often on a pull out that offered a mountain view.  This was a nice warm summer day that was fairly light in smoke from area fires during this busy fire season.
Rancheria Falls
We made a mid-morning stop at the Rancheria Falls Recreation Site, walking along a boardwalk through the boreal or Northern forest, which lies just south of the tree line across Canada.  It takes at least three times longer for a forest to reach maturity in the North so the black and white spruce seen in this area are almost 100 years old but not yet fully mature.

Fishing in the river
We made a lunch stop at a big open space at the side of the road next to this pretty spot on the river.  We didn’t get to have any fresh fish for lunch but the effort was made and enjoyed.  As a BC resident, we had checked the fishing regulations.  A visitor’s Yukon fishing license is required and can be purchased at Visitor Centers.

Nisutlin Bay
We overlooked Taslin Lake as we approached Taslin for a fuel stop and crossed this bridge over Nisutlin Bay.  The delta is a National Wildlife Area, which is designated by the federal government and used to protect important habitat for wildlife.

Wildlife monument
The community of Teslin is not large but offers several opportunities to see history at museums and heritage centers.  The Yukon Motel Lakeshore Resort displays these fairly realistic animals out front but those in the Wildlife Gallery were very real. 

Wildlife Gallery
These incredible animals were on display behind glass in the Wildlife Gallery with settings that included painted and real props.  I do appreciate the calibre of taxidermy this would involve and can enjoy the beauty of these animals from afar.

George Johnston Museum
George Johnston was a fascinating man who with a brownie box camera photographed the life of his Tlingit people and left his collection for us all to see in this museum named after him.  He was a self- taught photographer and developed his photos in a rustic dark room in a cabin.  His photography is displayed in the museum that also has a large collection of Tlingit artifacts.  A great place to visit.

Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre
Just a few kilometres north of town is the Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre.  These five traditional Clan poles were carved by local artists and depict the clans of the Teslin Tlingit Council.  While we were there, we enjoyed learning the method used for tanning moose hides from one of the teachers who are passing their skills down to the younger generations.  It is wonderful to see that these old traditions will not be forgotten.
Teslin Lake
Our evening hours were spent walking the sunny beaches of Teslin Lake, right below our campground. We watched the small waves of this large lake while the setting sun slowly ends our day at the little town of Teslin that offers a whole lot of wonderful Native culture.  A great way to end a great day.

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