In Canada, public camping areas and a good part of tourist services open only after May 20th.
That means at times I use public camping areas that are still closed and I have the place all to myself.
All alone, I walk among the grills, tables and remains of camp fires and I imagine all these places full of people. I found out that some of the camps are already fully-booked until the end of the season!
20km past Beaver Creek, (12 1/2mi), the first Canadian city, there’s a camp ground called Snag Junction.
In the image it’s possible to see the line of the Alaska/Canada border; the first little city, Beaver Creek, and the location where I slept, Snag Junction.
In the first few kilometers into Canada the landscape completely changed! The infinite horizon of Alaska was left behind and now I’m always surrounded by mountains.
“Junction” because it sits on the way to the location of the old city of Beaver Creek. The cabins and the old church are still there, empty. The place was, before the city, an indigenous village that gave rise to the city. After the Alaska Highway was constructed the city “moved” to the edge of the highway. The old city was abandoned and became a ghost town.
The lake at the camp grounds is beautiful and when I arrived the sun was still strong. The transparent and tranquil water was an invitation. I didn’t think twice: alone, without a bath for 4 days, with all this water and sun? I’m going to take a bath right now!
I parked my bike, took off my clothes and jumped in!
It was so cold it took my breath away but it was invigorating and made me forget the fact that I was so close to the old indigenous abandoned ghost village…
Water isn’t a problem on this first stretch in Canada. It’s abundant, clean and really cold! In the photo, 2 beaver dams completely change the circulation of the river.
The “saloons”, cafes and camp grounds, everything is still closed, but it’s possible to see that the season’s about to start. Everyone’s working to reopen.
The Alaska Highway still has some stretches of gravel and a lot of mud! The weather has been wonderful and that helps a lot.
Note: Every time I take a bath in lakes and rivers I use a chemically efficient mixture that doesn’t pollute the water, here’s the recipe: 1 spoonful of baking soda + 2 spoons of apple cider vinegar + ½ liter of water (1 C.) Optional: You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils (lavender, chamomile, etc.) Each batch provides 2 baths (in my case).