Tuesday, May 22, 2007

When The Waterfall Is Closed

What do you do when the waterfall is "CLOSED"?

This time of year, latter part of May in the Yukon, we expected most everything to be up and running. By now in Maine, where we spent much of our lives, seasonal activities are starting up no matter how grudgingly and no matter the fact that the weather can still be less than favorable. But that has certainly not been the case the further north we travel. Many if not most campgrounds are closed. Many if not most fuel stops are closed. Restaurants, closed. Gift shops, closed. Even the trapper's den was closed. But the waterfall? Yes, the waterfall near Rancheria, a 10 minute hike in from the road from the marker on the road was "closed." No idea why, but there was the sign we had seen so many times in the last couple days. Perhaps there were lavatory facilities that were inoperable. The ground is still frozen hard in places. Campgrounds that are open often do not have water and sewer operable yet, so you plan ahead as much as possible and conserve as hard as possible in between. It's not such a bad thing, just takes some thinking ahead.
The fact that the waterfall was closed brought to mind some related issues. The satellite TV we use to view our programming has been "closed" for several days now; it quite simply only works to a certain degree north...and then it's all done. But amusing ourselves with our developing northern sense of humor, we realized that, when we tried to start up the TV just in case it might work here, and the "snow" and background noise that usually accompanies a blank white screen both looked and sounded like the waterfall we hadn't been able to see en route today. We fancied the picture and sound to be the rush of the white water over the rocks and down the drop into the ravine....and then we moved on, just as we would have done had the falls been open. It's not like it's the only waterfall around, so no big deal, and we will be able to see it on the way back through in the fall.
Now a closed waterfall doesn't cost you much, but with the majority of fuel stops and eateries still closed up tighter than a drum, the cost of both food and fuel at the places that are open skyrockets. If those of you in the states are grappling with gas and diesel at 3 bucks a whack, try nearly 6 bucks a pop and see how that feels when your tank hold 150 gallons. A block of Cracker Barrel cheese that's normally in the 3 dollar range, sits on the shelves up here near 9. Still, it is what it is, and we consider those prices to be the price of admission to a show we surely do not want to miss.
Other than the waterfall thing, it was just another day in the Yukon Territory: bald eagles sitting atop a beaver dam, snow covered peaks on the Cassiar Mountains, black water glacial reflecting ponds and lakes and rivers, and caribou darting in and out of the pine cover along the side of the road.
Road Sign Of The Day: "All Those Who Hate Speeding Tickets, Lift Your Right Foot!" Personally, I don't know how it is possible to speed here. You miss too much if you go fast. You HIT too much if you go fast. And you burn way too much fuel if you go fast. Besides which, one small error in steering on any of these roads and, with almost NO guard rails and deep drops- you could be toast in a hurry if you're in too much of a hurry.
Below: Marilyn writes out post cards in our site for the night overlooking Lake Teslin. I'd like to tell you the lake is "open," but in fact it is still quite frozen in places other than right in front of us!

1 comment:

Roger said...


I am Roger Brown from Mission Viejo, CA. I am facinated that you are in Eagle. We were there in 2001 with our 5th wheel trailer. We stayed a week and helped put on a Vacation Bible school for the kids of the town in the old school house. It was great fun and the kids (and parents) were so great. Hope you have a great time there.

How long do you plan to stay in Eagle?

Roger & Joyce Brown, rogerbrown100@gmail.net