Leaving Whitehorse, we drove west until arriving at Haines Junction.
There is an actual choice of routes here as "1" turns 90 degrees north and the other continues west, both crossing the border and heading into different areas of Alaska.
The Milepost prints this warning in red:
"This junction can be confusing; choose your route carefully! "
(Come on now, really??????)
Turning north, the up-until-now-wonderful scenery became
We now paralleled the Kluane National Park and had our first panoramic view of the
Kluane Ranges, a nearly unbroken chain of mountains to 8,000 feet and their ice fields.
We climbed up and up to the second highest summit between Whitehorse and Fairbanks.
The amazing view of Kluane Lake, the largest in Yukon Territory, spread before us.
Between 300-400 years ago, the Kaskawulsh Glacier advanced across the river that drained this huge lake. The water level rose more than 30 feet and the lake's drainage actually reversed. Water that had flowed south to the Gulf of alaska carved out a new channel at the northeast end of the lake to connect with the Yukon River System.
Instead of travelling 140 miles south to the Pacific Ocean, Kluane Lake waters now journey 10 times longer, north to the Bering Sea. There are beaches from the former lake levels to be seen on the grassy slopes up to 40 feet above the present shoreline.
We realized that we were now only about 150 miles from the Alaska border and the foot tended to get a bit heavier on the gas pedal. But a sudden and quite unexpected image came into view at the entrance of a tiny little community.
The brake immediately was stomped until we drew a bit closer.
This car is a wooden, life-sized cut out.
Boy, is it effective as a heart-stopper!
And good for laughs that lingered into miles ahead.