Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some time in Whitehorse…staying at the High Country Inn

Some time in Whitehorse…staying at the High Country Inn

I spent 2 evenings in Whitehorse, both at the High Country Inn. This hotel has a very interesting history – it started out as a YMCA. When the YMCA failed, it was converted to a hotel and what a well done conversion it was.

The first thing that strikes you about this hotel is the staff. It is like the League of Nations! German, Filipino, Austrian and many more nationalities are represented … and they all have one thing in common, great customer service skills. Oh and something else…they have all fallen in love with the Yukon.

Gian checked me in to my room, he was so helpful and kind and I was blown away when I had the occasion to deal with other staff members because their service and genuine caring was similar to Gian’s. Then I met John, the general manager and I understood that this man encourages and celebrates good customer service.

Like every rider I was concerned about the safety of my motorcycle and was not disappointed to find out that the hotel has a great security camera system and that Whitehorse has a very low crime rate. I was able to look down on my bike from my room and was grateful for the assurance from the staff that they too would keep an eye out.

When I got to my room I was also surprised by the size of the room and the amenities. I was given a Jacuzzi room the first night and a room with a jet tub the second night. Both rooms were clean and comfortable. The beds were really comfortable and I slept well both nights.

I was also glad to find out they had a visitor’s laundry on the 3rd and 4th floors and took advantage of that!

The hotel also has the city’s only conference center which can hold 700 people and the only hiccup I experienced during my stay was trying to access the internet during my first visit. It appeared that a conference being held had many people taking part in a webinar and using the internet and they knocked out the internet on my floor. Other than that this hotel has everything a visitor could hope for.

The food was good and plentiful, the service top drawer and the hotel is clean.

John took me through the hotel which boasts a wheel chair lift to ensure the hotel is accessible to all. There is a beautiful baby grand piano in the entry way to the small conference rooms and a wonderful bistro but probably one of the most unique features of the hotel is the bar. Housed in a canvass tent that joins the hotel – the canvass walls can be rolled up in the summer and are closed up with insulated wall panels. There is a large deck with an out door bar too.

John and I spoke about the Rider Friendly Business Association and I am proud to announce that this hotel has joined our network. If you are riding into the Whitehorse area, give this hotel a try – you will be pleasantly surprised with the hospitality, of that I am certain.

Rooms at the High Country Inn will run you between $145 and $185 a night in the summer, winter rates are lower. Meals are affordable and the portions are a good size.

High Country Inn
4051-4th Avenue
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 1H1
Phone: (867) 667-4471
Toll-Free Reservations: 1-800-554-4471 (within
Canada & U.S.) 
Fax: (867) 667-6457

While in Whitehorse I had the opportunity to meet Richard at Yukon Harley-Davidson and take a look at their small but very well appointed shop. 

While there I ran in to the first lady riders I had seen and guess what – it was none other than Marlene and Wanda from the Edmonton Chapter of Women in the Wind and they were with Kathleen, a member of WITW from Oregon

After a chat with Richard who signed Yukon Harley-Davidson up for the Rider Friendly Business Association and a tour of the work shop, we gals went to Tim Horton’s for a bite to eat and to share some stories of the road. We were joined by a local rider and our bikes were ogled by many a local all of whom commented on the dirt we were all packing! Lori – a Yukon WITW member was not riding had joined us at the Harley shop and ensured we easily found the Timmie’s. She is planning on joining the other three ladies at some point during their trip but work would interfere for another week or so.

We had a great visit, took some photos and all headed out together – they to turn right and head for Anchorage, me to turn left and head back to my hotel.

Visit Yukon Harley-Davidson at
21 Waterfront Pl, 
Whitehorse, YT Y1A6V1
(867) 633-1903 
Fax (867) 633-5883

I also got to meet the gang over at Yukon Yamaha! What a gorgeous shop and a busy one!

This shop does it all, bikes, sleds, boats – they have ALL of the toys. Their parts department it well stocked as is their show room. Note the wooden – carved motorcycle above the over head door!

The staff is very accommodating and friendly; as a matter of fact, that seems to be a pretty common thread with all of the businesses I visited in the Yukon save for the odd gas station and restaurant – friendly and efficient service. I was a rather refreshing experience I must say!

Yukon Yamaha can assist riders of many brands – they can help you with gear, tires, oil changes and will do so with a smile and they are conveniently located just off the highway and close to gas! So…whether you ride a Yamaha or not, stop in and say hi.

Yukon Yamaha 
91311B Alaska Highway.
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 6E4
Phone: (867) 668-2101
Fax (867) 633-5883

One other wonderful experience I had while in Whitehorse was the opportunity to meet Jim Kemshead of Yukon Tourism. We went for a fabulous meal at Giorgio’s Cuccina.

This fine dining restaurant will give you a break from the every day fare available at many truck stops and fast food chains. They have a great wine list and an extensive menu filled with too many delectable choices!  Jim and I shared some appetizers – the crab dip was phenomenal and the shrimp were done to perfection. I had a bison steak and it was tender and delicious.

The restaurant is very busy and the staff is a part of the reason this place is so busy. They are friendly, efficient and gracious.

If you find yourself tired of the regular day to day fare of being on the road, get off the highway in Whitehorse and stop in to Giorgio’s – your taste buds will thank you.

Giorgio’s Cuccina is not a member of the rider friendly Business Association but their food is still magnificent.

Giorgio’s Cuccina
206 Jarvis St
Whitehorse YT Y1A 2H1
Ph: 867-668-4050
Fax: 867-668-5005

I want to thank Jim for the tour of Whitehorse, the hospitality and guidance I was shown. I can not wait to come back and spend at least 2 weeks – more if I can swing it - here in the Yukon. There is something very special here, but in order to experience it, to truly let it invade your soul, you need to get off your bike, take the side road, hook up with some locals and get some advice…the generosity of spirit of these people is what I remember as the norm when I was a young girl on the farm. There is here a sense of community, connectedness; and yet an independent; dependence. You are simply accepted here in the Yukon. No one looks down their nose at you, or judges you. The hustle and bustle attitude of the big cities doesn’t exist. After spending a week there I realize just how ’citified" I had become, how impatient and demanding. With all of the deadlines I have – sometimes I feel overwhelmed and then I remember, I asked for this by starting a community paper with the sole mission of fostering a sense of community among riders, right across Canada and really – North America.

I have experienced the best and the worst of the Yukon from the challenges of perma frost and the destruction it wreaks on some road ways to the lack of staff that can at times make customer service a challenge to deliver and save for a few of the businesses I attended, most were welcoming, non nonsense, practical people who just do what has to be done. The thing that amazes me is that they all love doing what they are doing where they are doing it. They love the Yukon, they are proud to be known as Yukoners.

These are amazing people from the man I flagged down when I was running perilously close to running out of fuel close to Whitehorse who offered to assist me by following me in case I needed to get a ride to get gas to the people I met on the side of the road, the flaggers and equipment operators, these are amazing people who have a spirit that is as indomitable as the mountains they call home. When they say Yukon - Larger than Life – they mean it, there is a magic here and I for one want to experience that again but in a deeper and even more meaningful way by touring the entire region and meeting as many of these fabulous people as I can…great segue to my next little tid bit from the road…

Rancheria owned by Linda & Dennis Bouchard is a property that was originally built in the 1940’s, like all grand dames of a certain age, she has become a wee bit shabby and taken on the air of a museum, until that is you smell the smells from the kitchen.

The Yukon is a tough mistress for small businesses. Truly, the bulk of their income comes from the three to four months of the year that we call tourist season. It is tough finding seasonal employees, it is tough getting maintenance done – painting, yah – some time soon, right now we are busy and in the winter, there are only certain things you can do in – 30 and - 40 weather…it’s a catch 22 situation for many, many business owners, so what do you do?

You get creative and you work with what you have and you focus on your strengths that allow you to have a business that can sustain you. The economy has hurt many businesses, the cost of fuel has slowed the motor home traffic and more and more vacationers are choosing to explore Alaska by motorcycle, bringing in the newest form of tourism – the dual sport rider, three to one bikes up here is a dual sport – as they are well suited to the roads they need to traverse. Don’t get me wrong you can do this ride on a Harley or a touring/cruising bike of any breed – but the dual sports seem to fare particularity well.

That and transport trucks – for restaurants like the ones at Rancheria, appealing to the trucker is good business sense and many tourists know that where there are semis, you will generally find good food. The dishes that come out of the Rancheria’s kitchen are enormous – everything here is hand made. The extreme costs of buying pre made goods and the storage of those goods make home made the answer to the challenge – BONUS for we – the traveller! 

Rancheria has other amenities to offer like a lounge and a motel and camping – this place is comfortable, you know; that favourite jeans or shoes kind of comfortable – where you feel like you walked into a different time kind of comfortable.

I sat back and listened to the customers and their comments as they ate and I gotta tell you, this place is special. If you find yourself on the Alaska Highway around kilometre 710, You NEED to stop in at Rancheria – if you don’t you are cheating yourself of a great rider friendly experience, and again – incredible food and wonderful service.

(I got to meet a buddy of mine who drives semi to Whitehorse once a week for Canadian Tire and he extols the virtues of the kitchen at the Rancheria as does Dewey in Watson Lake…now I do too!)

RV PARK – CAMPGROUND, Restaurant, bar, full service fuel 24 hours.

Mile 710, Alaska Highway, Y0A 1A0
Linda Bouchard

Phone: 867-851-6456 FAX: 867-851-6255
Email: relmestra@msn.com
Web Site: http://www.karo-ent.com/rancheria.htm

I encourage you, no I challenge you – to Ride the Yukon, it is an experience you will not soon forget…

To everyone from Jim Kemshead of Yukon Tourism to the owners and staff of the various businesses I have visited, to those true Yukoner’s, that showed me little glimpses of their lives and why the Yukon is special – thank you.

Rancheria & Yukon Harley-Davidson, I welcome you to the Rider Friendly Business Association® family – we are grateful to all of these fabulous businesses who have chosen to be rider friendly!

Come ride the Yukon and discover for yourself why I say this place is magical but be prepared to loose a little of your soul in the process cause I can attest that something about this place makes you start planning your return trip before you even finish your first!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 5 – Beaver Creek to Haines Junction

Towards Haines Junction
Towards Haines Junction
After saying good byes at Buck Shot Betty’s I headed back to Haines Junction. The road between Beaver Creek and Destruction Bay is under construction and has frost heaves, pot holes and many gravel stretches to contend with. It makes the 185 Kilometres seem very long and in fact instead of about 2 – 2.5 hours you are looking at more like 3.5 – 4.
I met up with some boys from Texas pulling trailers and followed them around Kluane
Lake for a while and soon waved good bye to them…

Hello Haines Junction
Haines Junction
Reached To Haines

I was booked in at the Raven Hotel in Haines Junction. I was also booked with Sifton Air to take a glacier tour in a Cessna airplane. I got in at about 4 and went straight to the airport, the gent at he front desk expressed that one plane was down for some repairs and maintenance and would I be available at 7 pm?
So, 7pm it was and with that arranged off to the hotel I went to check in.

The hotel is very simple and bare of the usual trappings.
With stark white walls and silk flowers and plants the plain decor draws your eyes to the fabulous photography on simple black frames. When I checked in I had to change my dinner reservation from 7 to 5:45, the switch was easily accomplished and off to find my room I went. The room was large, very clean and similar to the lobby, very stark.
Hotel View from Outside
The Lobby of the  Hotel

Satellite TV and internet were available but the room had no coffee pot, no microwave or fridge. In fact, the owners live in town but not at the hotel so at night, the front desk is not manned. There is a local number to call in the case of emergencies.

The parking was reasonably close to the room although not right out front of it.

A continental breakfast is served in the morning but not until 7:30 AM and I know me, I would need coffee long before that so I asked if it was possible to somehow have some coffee for the early morning and was told not a problem, when we close the dining room we can bring you a thermos carafe of coffee (Which was still nice and hot in the morning!).

Every place has its attraction, something that makes it special and sets it apart and I was soon to find out why the Raven Hotel had a 4 star rating for their restaurant.

The dining room is located on the second floor and as such is not wheel chair accessible.
When you hit the top of the stairs you are greeted by pristine linens, perfectly set tables and again an atmosphere that does not detract or distract. From the windows of the dining room you can see the mountains of Kluane National Park, and there is a deck off of the dining room where many choose to eat or have their dessert and enjoy the scenery.

I was seated and served up some water given a menu that I was informed changes weekly and a liquor list. I ordered a glass of merlot and a bowl of Smoked Salmon Chowder, jumbo prawns wrapped with prosciutto served on a bed of tomato pasta and the bison tenderloin served with baby potatoes.

When the soup arrived I was wishing I had brought my camera into the dining room – it was almost to pretty to eat – with small purple flowers for a garnish that made the colors of the peppers , corn and salmon seem somehow more vibrant. The fresh breads that were served were a standard white bread and a multi grain – hot, fresh and delicious, they were the perfect accompaniment to the soup. When the prawns arrived again the presentation was such that you almost hated to eat them. I wished there was some way to adequately describe the taste – it was slightly salty and spicy but not the kind of spicy that hits the stomach hard – it was the kind that wakens your taste buds and it was absolutely perfection. The prawns were perfectly cooked and the pasta was again cooked to perfection.

I sipped on the merlot and gazed out at the mountains wondering what a flight over the glaciers would be like. My day dreaming was interrupted by my waitress (one of the hotel owners) as she brought out the bison tenderloin. Again the presentation was stunningly perfect. Served with Yukon Gold baby potatoes done in butter and dill, carrots, bok choy, and beets the bison itself in a blueberry sauce with blueberries all around the outside of the plate again I found myself wishing I had a camera. The colors, the smells – my mouth was watering.

As I cut into the steak I knew, before it ever hit my tongue that I was in for a treat and I was not disappointed. Tender, flavourful, this steak was cooked to perfection. After dinner I ordered a crème brulee for desert with coffee. When it arrived I was taken aback, there were three flavours in a partitioned dish; strawberry, vanilla and chocolate – I have only ever had traditional crème brulee – vanilla, so these other two were new

to me and quite unexpected, none the less with the fabulous dinner I had just had, I was eager to break from the traditional and give it a whirl. After eating the fresh strawberry that adorned the dish I started in on the strawberry first – no disappointment here – the strawberry flavour was just like the fresh strawberry I had just eaten, the chocolate one was rich and creamy and garnished with chocolate covered raisins…what a way to end a perfect meal – the coffee they served with dessert was equally impressive; full bodied and rich with no bitter after taste. Their coffee is blended and roasted for them right here in the Yukon!

I asked my hostess if I could meet the chef and thank him for the wonderful meal I had just had and was introduced to Victor Bongo. This man cooks all of the meals by himself – his kitchen was pristine and so very under control. I would have thought that he would have had at least one prep cook working with him but no – he is a one man show which made me appreciate the perfection of the meals even more. For those of you who have watched Chef Ramsey on TV, well this chef was one that Ramsey would love.

When I was done thanking my hosts and the chef it was off to Sifton Air and a flight over the glaciers.

I was met by two other guests that would be flying and our pilot, Clint Sargent. Clint went over all of the safety features of the plane, told us all about what to expect and soon we were taxing down the gravel run way.

As we lifted off, Clint explained that we would be hitting some turbulence as the wind came off the mountains and we sure did. It wasn’t awful though, more like riding in a roller coaster. As we flew, Clint explained the various glaciers, pointed out the mountains – his New Zealand Accent did not hinder his vivid descriptions of the sights we were seeing. There are no words that adequately describe what I saw – it was amazing, incredible, awe inspiring. I felt so small when presented with the majesty and the visible signs of Mother Nature’s brute force and splendour.

At one point the wind was so strong that it felt like we were suspended in mid air, it was scary and yet I felt quite comfortable with Clint at the controls. My flight mates had a set of binoculars which they offered to me and as I looked down in the crevasses and tried to wrap my head around the size of them, Clint explained that some of the crevasses were big enough to swallow up homes and small towns.

The View from PlaneThe color of the snow and the ice water was something else that I found amazing.
The water was an icy blue green – so pretty – I was amazed that when snow is that compressed it actually has a blue tint to it.

In amongst the craggy, jagged mountains we flew and then we came to the wet lands.
Kluane Lake had flooded at one point and consumed the entire valley and then receded as fast as it had flooded. No one can explain the phenomenon that happened many, many years ago, but it left some land locked lakes that have amazing fishing so I am told.

the marshy muskeg landscape We were able to see Trumpeter swans with their babies in the little lakes and ponds below us – the marshy muskeg landscape looking from the air like a soft blanket.

As we headed back to the terminal I was sad the flight ended so fast but the hour in the air will be forever etched in my mind. Mother Nature at her most incredible best!

Once we landed – a very smooth landing I might add, Clint went to turn the plane around to head into the fuel station, with the force of the wind attempting to prevent the plane from turning, Clint kept working his controls and we did this slow motion turn that reminded me of an old video tape playing at super slow motion speed!

I thanked Clint, got some pictures of the couple I flew with, had a wee discussion about what we just experienced and headed back to the hotel.

At 10:15pm, a carafe of black coffee arrived and I went off to slumber land.

When I got up in the morning it was to another bright sunshine filled day, hot coffee and settled in front of the computer to get some writing done and edit some pictures and video.

At 7:30 I went for the continental breakfast – the home made muffins were phenomenal, fresh fruit, juice and coffee rounded out the offerings.

I want to thank Yukon Tourism for ensuring that I had this fabulous experience.

The room cost was just shy of $160 taxes in.
The meal breaks down like this:
$12 for the soup
$17 for the Prawns
$38 for the Steak
Coffee and dessert came to about $14.00

Was it expensive – to some perhaps, but truly – this is the best meal I have eaten in a very long time – not since the days when I was a head waitress at the Mayfair Golf and Country Club have I had a meal that was this satisfying! This is what food is meant to taste like and look like – it was an utterly amazing thing to discover such fine dining in the middle of the Yukon – and I want Chef Bongo to know I will be back, and I hope it is sooner than later!

The flight with Sifton Air was $159 plus taxes and again worth every single penny of it.
Not only was Clint our pilot a great tour guide and pilot but a very genuine nice man.

Haines Junction has so much to offer and I encourage you to get off your motorcycle, get off the highway and explore – remember it’s about the journey NOT the destination!

On to Whitehorse next…until then, ride safe and have a fabulous day.

Raven Hotel
email: kluaneraven@yknet.ca
phone: 867.634.2500
fax: 867.634.2517
P.O. Box 5470
Haines Junction, Yukon Y0B 1L0

Sifton Air
Kluane Glacier Tours
(867)634-2916 Phone
(867)634-2034 Fax
Box 2165
Haines Junction, Yukon Y0B 1L0

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 4 - Whitehorse to Beaver Creek and the home of the Famous Buckshot Betty

I stayed at the High Country Inn in Whitehorse and I will be doing a hotel review for Day 6 - for now though I want to take you on to Beaver Creek where I finally met the infamous/famous Buck Shot Betty

The road from Whitehorse to Beaver Creek is really good until you hit Destruction Bay.

There are lots of fuel stops along the way but I will advise you to pack some octane boost in your saddle bags as most only have regular fuel.

Talbot Arms at Destruction Bay has premium fuel and many riders stop there for that reason, but…DO NOT EAT HERE. The food is awful and exceedingly over priced for what you get!

After Destruction Bay, the road becomes full of frost heaves and pot holes and lots of construction. So what is the key to making these 160 or so kilometres more pleasant to ride? Well – patience, slow down and ride – this is a road you HAVE to have your wits about you on. And if you are riding solo and have floor boards, stand up on them to ride, it give you better visibility, protects your suspension and makes tourist look at you in a very strange way!

The countryside is stunning and there are many places for photo opportunities along the way – take your time and enjoy them!
When I arrived at Buckshot Betty’s I was unsure what to expect. I have known Carmen over the phone and internet for 9 years but had never met her.

Was I ever in for a surprise – this tiny, diminutive little gal that stood before me was not at all what I expected.

me and Carmen
Me and Carmen
You see Carmen has carved a life for herself here in Beaver Creek. She has done so through determination and hard work and other than for staff has done so all by herself.
She is well known and well respected – her cooking and baking is famous as is her work ethic. Up at 5 am and falling into bed most nights at 2 am, this one woman dynamo has rightly earned the song that is written about her.

Not only is she a fabulous baker and cook (Her cinnamon buns are touted as the “Best Buns on the Highway”) but she did most of the artwork and photography that graces the walls, she built the tables and chairs – the lamp covers and is just utterly amazing in her talents.

I felt like I found a sister in Buck Shot Betty – watching this lady work made me tired!
She just never stops.

The cool touches
The cool touches in the bar Carmen made
Another One Made by Buck Shot
Notice the tables - they have cards buried in them - again - made by Buck Shot herself!
When she first decided to start Buck Shot Betty’s she had purchased the old visitors centre for her kitchen – last year she was finally able to build a new facility that is wheel chair friendly, has a laundry room, showers for the tenters and truckers that are wheel chair accessible, has a full service bar, a gift shop and the restaurant.
The camp ground
Stage one of the motorcycle only camp ground
Her baked goods are famous up and down this highway and dollar for dollar – the value she provides in the meals she serves is one of the best on the highway.

Buck Shot Betty’s owner, Carmen Hinsen rides a 1994 sporty that was in Whitehorse being serviced and she tells me that although she doesn’t get to ride as often as likes to, she often heads out at the end of a day if only to ride 10-15 kms to clear her brain. Her Motorcycle Camp Ground is almost done, she still wants to add more tenting boxes – designed to drain well in case of rain.

When I got there she was embarrasses because she had not had time to weed eat and mow – it had been raining steadily until the day before I arrived.  As I was to find out – Carmen is one lady who takes great pride – fierce pride in her independence and the tidiness and cleanliness of her place.

Lady Making LaughThe lady has an infectious sense of humour and when she comes out of the kitchen in her buns shorts – she cracks her patrons up with this deep giggle and says “Any one call for a cinnamon bun? I been sweating my ass off making them!”  Out come cameras – laughter is heard from EVERYONE and she has this smile that makes everyone love her.

 Her cabins are clean and have showers with oodles of hot water – the beds are sooo comfy. I watched satellite TV for about 10 minutes before fatigue saw me slumber off.
The two Cabins with Satellite TV
Just two of the 5 cabins that all have wireless, satellite TV, showers AND great beds!
The Sun in the next morning
The next morning – the sun was out and the smells coming from the kitchen were calling.
This is with out a doubt, one of the busiest places on the Alaska Highway – the food is great, abundant and very much appreciated by travellers and locals alike.

After spending a couple of hours doing some commercials and PSA filming it was time to say good bye but I know this much – I WILL be back – I fell in love with this place and the people and well as I said earlier – I feel like I found a sister!

Buckshot Bettys
General Delivery
Beaver Creek
 YT Y0B 1A0

Latitude: 62.383753
Longitude: -140.875303
PH: (867) 862-7111
Fax: (867) 862-7117
Web Site: http://www.buckshotbettys.ca/

Day three - Watson Lake to Whitehorse

Day three dawned again with beautiful bright sunlight and I was eager to get on the road and meet some of our business partners and discover what it is about the Yukon that the people who live here love so much.

After breakfast with Dewey at Kathy's - a cafeteria style restaurant with decent food, I saddled up and off I went.

The first stop was 20 minutes out side of Watson Lake at Nugget City...WOW
What a place! It is enormous - and sooooo clean!

Northern Beaver Post
The Northern Beaver Post - the Gift shop at Nugget City
Dewey standing beside my bike
Dewey standing beside my bike - it is ALWAYS good to see old friends!

The Resturant at Nugget City
The Restaurant - at one time Ride Yukon had a Motorcycle Friendly Program and Nugget City and many businesses here were a part of that program.
Linda and Scott gave me the tour of the place and I was so impressed. These people are only the second owners of Nugget City - they have expanded it over the last number of years and have added many cabins - some of them with jacuzzi and jet tubs, all with covered decks and boards for your bike's kickstand.

Hotel's Room
Clean, bright and well appointed rooms

Jacuzzi Cabin
 Jacuzzi Cabin - the perfect room after a long day in the saddle!
They even have camp style rooms for the rider on a budget - you can rent a room with no bathroom, TV or shower - there is a wash room and shower shack right across the alley way - so if all you want is to get off the ground from camping as a change of pace or get out of the weather - you can do that here easily!
Camping Rooms
Camping Rooms
Wash Shack with bath rooms and showers

The RV Park has both a dry camping area and  full service hook ups, a church on site and gas but one of the biggest features is their chef - man can this guy cook!

Church near RV Park
Church on the hill above the RV Park
Dry RV area
The Dry RV area complete with was station
Some of the other amenities that they offer are a motorcycle trailer to rescue you with - they are in the process of overhauling their tow truck - they have a big shop and a mechanic - so some basic repairs to your motorcycle can be done should the need arise. They also have a great laundry facility.
The Work Shop
The Work Shop

The Trailer for hauling your bike if the need arises
laundry facilities at Hotel
The laundry facilities
Linda and Scott have a ton of future plans for Nugget City that they are working on - the have a huge area that they are cleaning up to provide motorcycle camping and are working on becoming the U-Haul dealer for the region.

These people have worked so hard to make their dream come true. I asked Linda why the Yukon - what was it about this place that made them stay here and her answer was simple - the land and the connection they feel to it. Linda and Scott have a home in Summerland BC that they winter in. Linda told me that the Yukon is in her blood and that she can not imagine not being connected to this land.

Linda's parents had deep roots in the Yukon having been prospectors and although as she grew up she moved away - this land keeps tugging at her heart and making her come back.

If you find yourself anywhere near Watson Lake and want a great meal, a clean comfortable room no matter the budget - this is the place to stop!

Next stop - Rancheria for fuel and then Dawson Peaks Resort just outside of Teslin

Dawson Peaks Resort
Rancheria is an institution on this highway, old and shabby but warm and inviting all at the same time

Dawson Peaks Resort –
Teslin YT at Km 1232,
Mile 797 Alaska Highway
Owned by Riders Dave and Carolyn Hett – Dawson Peaks Resort is one of two properties that is owned by the same people who started the business on the Alcan (Alaska) Highway – many on this highway have trade hands, some several times over.

Carved out of a dream, Dave and Carolyn have built the most amazing resort and all of the cabins have lake views. The motel style rooms at the top of the hill also have a view of the lake. Dave is a carpenter and was a school teacher & principle – he built all of the cabins, the lodge and the motel style rooms. When they first started out to build this resort, they had raw land and a dream. Their cook house was a 14” x 32” canvas tent and is still part of the resort as it is housed in the gist shop; they cleared the land and built some cabins.
The cabin at Dawson Resort
The Cabin
Inside the cabin
Inside the Cabin
The restaurant is Carolyn’s domain and my word is that woman a great cook. I had the chilli and bumble berry pie for lunch, all I can say is MMMMM Good! The prices were very affordable too – that is not always the case along the Alaska Highway.

Everywhere you look in the restaurant there are antiques of all kinds. It sure brought back some great childhood memories looking at the old commercial wood stove – my grand mother had one of these and I can still remember the smell of flap jacks and bread being made at the same time.  The camera collection was very cool as were the old irons – I remember ironing cloths with those!

The big deck off the restaurant affords you a fabulous mountain and lake view.
The place is peaceful – serene and utterly wonderful.

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Again I asked Dave and Carolyn, why the Yukon, the answer – “It’s in our souls, its part of our roots.” Carolyn’s great – great – great grand father is none other than Robert Campbell of the Hudson’s Bay – the man they named the Campbell highway for.
Dave has lived in Teslin for 38 years.

Dave and Carolyn have built a business – yes – but more than that, they built a lifestyle – they would rather have 5 really, really happy customers who enjoy what their resort has to offer than be the busiest resort on the highway. Their customers often tend to become their friends as a result of their customer service philosophy! And as a result – they are a very busy destination. As Dave said to me – “When money is not the driving reason that you do what you do – people know. We care for them, we want them to enjoy, relax, unwind and THAT is the most important part of what we do here – give people a place to unburden, unwind and find them selves again. It’s very gratifying and we have many repeat visitors as a result.”

Daves Dinner
The original cooking tent from the early days
As world travellers themselves – Dave and Carolyn have looked carefully at what other places in the world offer travellers and have taken the best ideas and philosophies and implemented many of them in the running of their lodge.
Teslin Lake
fishing in Teslin Lake

The fishing in Teslin Lake is amazing from what I am told

Tenting will run you $14/night
Cabins start at $104
$40 for the camping rooms – bring your own bedding
Motel rooms start at $74
RV sites start at $16 for the dry sites – with water and electricity $27

Rent a boat, a canoe, go on a river trip – this is truly a resort that offers so much for the visitor do – and if none of those appeal – just kick back and unwind and let the Yukon seep into your soul!

The resort is clean, and the owners are friendly and I recommend that you check this place out for yourself – I know I would love to spend some time away from computers and the world and just hang out here!

Dawson Peaks Resort and RV Park
KM 1232 Alaska Hwy. on Morley Bay
Teslin YT Y0A 1B0
Latitude: 60.168088
Longitude: -132.710132
PH: (867) 390-2244
Alternate Phone: (867) 390-2310
Toll Free: 1-866-402-2244
Web Site: http://www.dawsonpeaks.ca/