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Day 20: Aug 9, Whitehorse to Lake Deese (On our own)

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

<– Day 19: Aug 8, Naps & Teslin Refugees | Day 21: Aug 10, Lake Deese to Prince George (Reunited and it feels so good) –>


Lake Deese about an hour south of Whitehorse

On Wednesday we jumped back on the road and left Whitehorse. We had a long drive in front of us. Because of the overnight delay Hugo and Fernando experienced in Teslin (only two hours south of Whitehorse), we figured we could catch up to them if we put in a long day, so we didn’t stop much.


We drove south an hour, then pulled over at Dougie and Bev’s place off of Lake Deese. We’d met them on our way north and they invited us to stop by on the way back. They invited us into their wonderfully eccentric shop, then home. Gold Nuggie Dougie is Doug’s  trademark and both are well known around Whitehorse, having owned three hotels at one point (including the one we stayed in). The wonderful couple shared all kinds of interesting stories about their place and Whitehorse and we had a great time with them. Unfortunately, we manage to lose most of our photos from their place!! Here are a few I managed to find. This unique structure is a working outhouse, just behind their shop.

2017-08-09-douggie-bev-outhouse1 2017-08-09-douggie-bev-outhouse2

The couple spend part of their time each year in the US and part in Canada. They’ve embraced both countries, flying a joint Canadian-American flag.2017-08-09-douggie-bev-3

Their backyard is an oasis. They used to have boats and cruise for days without running out of water ways. As I understand it, from Lake Deese a person can boat all the way to the Pacific Ocean. 2017-08-09-douggie-bev-4 2017-08-09-douggie-bev-5

After bid Doug and Bev goodbye and thanked them for their good will, we hadn’t traveled far before we passed a walker pushing a child stroller. This was the same guy we’d passed a week before. He is walking around the world (and making good progress it seems!).

We drove a couple more hours. The road between Whitehorse and Watson Lake had been cleaned of the tanker mess (accident was close to our turnoff south near Watson Lake), to the point that we didn’t realize we’d driven past the accident site until it we’d passed it.

Just before Watson Lake, we turned south on Hwy 37 to explore the Cassiar highway. Just following the turn, we re-entered British Columbia.


Entering BC on the Cassius Highway.

Joe had driven it a couple days before and, just as he said, it started out a little rough. The road became a little more friendly (less rough and roller coast like) after about twenty minutes or so of driving, but it had brush that encroached onto the side of the road, making it more difficult to spot animals until we were near them. Cell service was almost non existant as well; we had poor cell service for most of the remainder of the journey until we re-entered the US.


Cassius Highway.

There isn’t much along the Cassiar highway, so if you like remote drives, you’ll love this one. We did stumble upon Jade City, a place that markets jade to tourists and exports it world-wide. According to their literature, 90% of the world’s jade comes from British Columbia, a claim that’s been the same number since 2010 (according to some tourist blogs I read). I thought that seemed a little high, so I did some research. According to a recent world atlas, the largest producers are actually in southeast asia ( How each are arriving at those figures, I can’t say.


I thought the place would be selling jade at some kind of wholesale price, and maybe they were, but when I walked inside I felt like I was more in a tourist trap. The prices were higher than I’d expected, even for tiny pieces. When Ann attempted to buy a small broken piece outside, she got varying prices. The price varying more inside. She eventually bought it for $1. There was definitely some seat-of-the-pants pricing happening. Since I don’t know anything about jade, I went back to the jeep and ate some lunch.

We hopped back in the jeep and continued to Deese Lake. There was some beautiful mountain and water scenery, some bear sightings, and generally a delightful drive. We finally reached Deese Lake about 5pm. At the one hotel in town we found Fernando and Hugo. Deese Lake isn’t much of a town. There wasn’t even any cell service. The one restaurant closed at 3pm, though the store that housed the restaurant closed later at 7pm. Despite these “deprivations”, it’s a great place to get away from it all. So, if that’s your goal, I’d suggest visiting!

Tomorrow we head for Prince George.

<– Day 19: Aug 8, Naps & Teslin Refugees | Day 21: Aug 10, Lake Deese to Prince George (Reunited and it feels so good) –>


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