Day 18! We made it to the Yukon!
We woke up to a chilly morning in Stone Mountain Provincial Park, BC, and decided to go for a short hike before putting any kilometers behind us, so we stopped at the Erosion Pillars: these strange columns of rocks that have been cemented together in a sandy matrix that somehow resisted erosion, despite how soft the material is, and Caitlyn enjoyed a chilly footbath in the nearby glacial waters, but would later enjoy a much nicer soak.
We piled back into the truck to begin the drive along the most wild part of Canada that we've seen yet! Along this stretch of road, sightings of moose, bear, mountain goats, and even entire herds of threatened wood bison become common. At one point, I was sitting on top of the truck as we simply waited for the bison to graze on past us. Despite the daunting size of this vast field of powerful, woolly giants, it was such a peaceful experience to have them so close to us, listening to them gently tear at the wild flowers as they slowly moved on to the next grazing spot.
Our next stop was the Liard River Hot Springs, a beautiful provincial park full of hundreds of species of flora that couldn't grow this far north without the warm waters flowing through the earth here. Unlike many other hot springs, which are frequently developed into stereotypical swimming pools, here they merely built a boardwalk on one side, put down some pleasant pebbles on the river bottom, and left most of the rest of the spring in its natural state, with overhangs of greenery draped along the edge of the turquoise waters, hot waters bubbling at one end, and a secret canal leading to a cold spring at the other.
After a couple relaxing hours, we sat our pruny bodies back down in the truck and headed for our final target: the Yukon!
The Alaska Highway dips back down into BC in a couple spots, so the first time you cross the border, there isn't an official welcome sign. Undeterred, a nearby lodge erected an unofficial sign! The lodge has since boarded up its windows and gone up for sale, but the sign had become a local attraction, acquiring more character as visitors have left their marks on this sticker bombed sign.
Shortly outside the town of Watson Lake, we found the official sign, where a passing couple snapped a photo for us before we checked in at the nearby campgrounds.
This truly is the land of the midnight sun. It's midnight, and there's still daylight coming through our tent.
This is it! This our first night sleeping in our new home territory, and our last night camping before we reach our new home.