Subject: My Day 11 – Jeep expedition – Liard Hot Springs
Everyone is now at Watson Lake, Yukon Territories. Early this morning I made a run for Liard Hot Springs while most of the troops were just getting up or possibly on their last few hours of their beauty sleep (all except for John & Tommy) the other early risers.
By “run” I’m referring to jumping in the jeep and driving it like a sports car.
Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park is a provincial park in British Columbia,Canada. It is home to the second largest hot spring in Canada.
On my run to Liard I saw several signs on the road announcing hot cinnamon rolls. The temptation was too great – in I swerved directly for the hot cinnamon rolls. The only one that beat me in was Don, a now retired trucker towing a fifth wheel up from Oklahoma on his way to Wasilla – just outside of Anchorage. Don and I talked for exactly 35 minutes, that is how long it took the buns to bake!
Let me tell you folks this was the finest baked good anyone could consume. Besides coffee I took a sourdough freshly made loaf with me. All of this cost me $10.00 because Don did not want to make change on a US $20.00 bill.
Don is a 3rd generation Alaskan and while we waited he told me about his grandparents and how one day the old man told his wife that they were moving to Alaska. That’s the way it was done back then, if she didn’t like it; well he would make do with the deer and the antelopes in Alaska because there were very few women back then.
They had to depart in the dead of winter because it took something like 7 months to make it to Alaska in a Ford Model A. He paid something like $167.00 for 160 acres of land and then built a cabin from the wood on the land. In addition to coaling and two other jobs he supplied potatoes to the Army. When the Army wanted them in crates he built himself a sawmill to make the crates. Now that’s the Alaska spirit I like. No such thing as “can’t”.
On todays drive what i didn’t see – bison, bears, lynx, caribou. What I did see – a frenchman pulling what looked like an outhouse.
I stopped and offered up some snacks and he took the cornnuts and Tiger Bar but nothing else. The guy says he is on his way to a peace park in Jasper. Man is he tough. I’ve seen guys riding bicycles in all kinds of wet weather but this guy takes the cake.
When I started this blog it was 1:48 p.m. and lunch. My lunch today consisted of Canadian (Canada Dry Gingerale) and a Mountain House beef stew heated up on a whisper light backpacking stove.
Earlier I soaked in the Liard Hot springs. Honestly folks, this is the best and by far the cheapest hot springs ($5.00) anywhere. I’ve been to four others on this trip. I sat on a picnic table just outside the entrance to the board walk that leads you to the hot springs. The original boardwalk consisted of planks leading to the hot springs according to a long time Canadian visitor who has been coming here since 1966.
He said that the US Army dug out the hot springs to make it accommodating for the soldiers that needed hot baths. The boardwalk now leads you through a beautiful meadow forest that now make it possible for a variety of plants to grow year round. If you’re interested in coming here it is located at Mile 497 of the Alaska Highway, just over 300 kms (190 miles) northwest of the Town of Fort Nelson, British Columbia, and 140 kms (85 miles) from the BC-Yukon border.“
This location is just north of the intersection of the Alaska Highway with the Liard River which winds its way from Canada’s Yukon Territory through northern British Columbia before merging with the MacKenzie River at Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories.
The word “Liard” comes from the French word for the poplar trees that grow in abundance along sections of the river. They call the area not yet traveled by me the Serengeti of North America. Deer, moose, bears, and elk are supposed to be seen along the highway and roads as they forage for food.
So far I’ve seen two black bears and a young elk, moose, or caribou I don’t know what it was as it was on the opposite side of the river. I’ve also seen bison signs as they are supposed to be roaming freely as well. In addition to the bison and moose, there are sheep, mountain goats, elk, caribou, and deer.
The animals that kept them in check are the wolves, coyotes, foxes, grizzly bears, black bears, lynx and wolverines. I thought this morning I saw a lynx cross the road but am also not sure as it resembled more a monkey crossing the road.
Watson Lake is where the original wood sign posts are located.