Weaving through the wildlife

Fairbanks, Alaska to Toad River, British Columbia

Caribou in the Yukon

A lot of wildlife on the Alaska Highway, and all of it came in various forms of big.
Between the snow, the ice, the slick roads, and the short days that have already descended on the Far North, I had enough on my mind as I traveled the Al-Can. Luckily, Nature has a way of adding to the mixture. I came across four moose standing on the roadway, and weaved my way around three of them. Then there were the half-dozen caribou licking the roadway just past Whitehorse. My favorite group, was the ever present herd of bison just north of Muncho Lake. The first beast was past the passenger door before I realized it wasn’t a boulder. Where there is one bison along the roadway, there is usually another 30 nearby. I was not disappointed to quickly come across the rest. The shaggy thugs were not even remotely impressed by my little car; they lounged in the road, on the shoulder, and for the most part refused to even acknowledge my presence as I wove my way through their bulk. Finally, just before I stopped for the night at Toad River in British Columbia, I came across a small herd of elk out for a stroll in the fresh snow. At least they had the decency to run/jog/saunter off of the road to allow me to pass freely.

Everyone of these encounters happened after the sun went down.

YT Caribou

This stubborn fellow did show himself in the light of our short day. A very nice bull caribou who came out to lick the roadway. Like the bison, he had no interest at all in moving out of my way, and as I passed him, he gave me the look that said. “Don’t even think of taking another photo of me.” Since I didn’t want my car door antlered, I agreed to his terms.

Does the Yukon DOT put salt out on the roads? I passed a gravel dispersing truck outside of Haines Junction that was going the opposite direction, and for the next kilometer or two, I had caribou coming out onto the roadway. They appeared to want to lick the road, but these were mostly cows and calves, and they chose to head right back into the trees when I approached.

One of the few herds I saw that I didn’t have to weave my way past. The horn sounds really tough.

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

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