Scenic Day – Dot Lake School to Tok (81k/342k)


25 May 2017

(written by Dave)

Yesterday was about the people.  Today was about the scenery.  We were on a part of the Alcan that crosses closet to the Alaskan Mountain Range.  It seemed like every corner we rounded the views got better and better.

But before that, we should talk about the morning.  We were up early, sharing the bathroom in the motor home with Chris before the school opened.  He seemed pretty cosy snuggled up in the back bunk.  We did not hear him snoring through the walls of the motor home.  After grabbing a quick oatmeal breakfast, Nancy and I did a short presentation on Australia – one that we’ve done for my sister’s class a few times.  It went well and I think the students and teachers enjoyed it.  The sum total audience was 10 people – but we still had lots of questions.  After finishing, everyone came outside to help Nancy and I load up the last of our bikes and to see us off.  The kids were very enthusiastic, as was Julie their teacher.  What a great stop that turned out to be.

Based on Julie’s advice, we rolled through town on the way back to the Alcan.  Dot Lake is not much of a town, mostly just a few residences, but we saw what looked like a new duplex going in so there is some hope that at least one more family move in, bringing more kids with them – and helping keep the school open.  We wish them well.

We did not see any caribou

We did not see caribou

Back on the main highway, we had a stream of corner after corner photo opportunities.  In fact, I got close to drawing the wrath of the senior editor at one point (maybe two) for stopping too many times for pictures.  The boys were ok stopping as they were doing the same.  Below is a small sampling of the day (I may have gone overboard here – sorry).

The gangRoad view 2Road view 1River view 2Mountains and bikersMountain view (2)Three amigosNancy and Chris on the road

Somewhere along the way we passed the last of lakes named after women – there was Dot, Lisa, Donna and a few I can’t remember.  The last of the lakes was called Jan Lake (it was Jan, Nancy mom’s birthday this week – so happy late B-day Jan!).

Jan Lake

We made good time in spite of my doddering.  We had one sort of formal stop right in the middle of the mountains.  They had some nice Alcan Highway information, including the story of Slim Williams who in 1933 mushed his dogsled from Alaska to Chicago as a way of telling the world about Alaska and promoting the possibility of a road.  It didn’t really stick as an idea until it became needed for national security in WWII.

Nancy thinking

Nancy thinking about the Alcan

We rolled into Tok around 2PM and went straight to the information centre.  We ran into a fellow south bound rider from Finland who it turns out had been trying to catch us for 2 days.  He met Austin (the guy we met) two days ago, only about 5 minutes after we did.  Somehow at our dinosaur pace he didn’t catch us.  He slept in the woods at Dot Lake and then chased us all day today.  I hope that we didn’t disappoint him when we finally met up!  He was off to go camp in the woods so we didn’t have much time to talk to him.  He is headed to Whitehorse as well, so maybe we will run into him again on the way.


High fire danger already

Mukluk Land - closed

Mukluk Land was closed – darn

For sale

For Sale – only $159k – hmmm

We had another roadhouse meal at the only joint in town – the ‘famous’ Fast Eddy’s.  We were all stuffed afterwards and rolled over to the Tok RV Village just a couple of blocks away and have now set up camp.  It is a nice park, with good warm showers, laundry and good water.  We are easy walking distance to the one store here, the Three Bears Grocery – we have already made one visit and I am sure we will be back there tomorrow.  That is, if we have any room left after our breakfast at Fast Eddy’s!  We are taking the day off to do some chores, rest and recoup to get ready for a 7 day stretch into Whitehorse.

Home for the night

Our camp

Chris and his new bowl

Chris got a new bowl in Tok and was happy!

It is supposed to be cold tonight – maybe down to 27f– so it may be a chilly night in the tents.  We may be up early to get over to breakfast just to get warm!

17 thoughts on “Scenic Day – Dot Lake School to Tok (81k/342k)

  1. Beautiful! My favorite photo is the sixth one down with road rising and the mountains in the background! Did you get any pictures of the school or the kids? This is the second time it has been difficult to leave you a comment. I type and the letters show up a minute or two later.

  2. Let’s see if this is still slow. Nope, it is much better. I’m not sure what the difference is, but it also took a long time for the comment to post the first time.

  3. The scenery is beautiful!! I am loving the updates. What a wonderful way to see the world… Although I must say sleeping in a tent when it`s so cold, mmmm not to sure about that. We come into winter in Sydney next week and we are still getting 25 degree celcius days!!! I hope the kids liked your Aussie stories..

    • Thanks Sue, glad you are enjoying it. We are having a blast so far – though being in the tent in the cold isn’t always fun! Actually, it’s not too bad once we put all of our woolies on! And yes, the kids did love the Aussie stories – a lot better than they liked the Vegemite!!

  4. Beautiful pictures. I must drive too fast because I don’t notice how beautiful it is. Next time I drive the 50 miles into Tok for the mail I will have to take more time and enjoy the scenery.

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