Road Trip 2013: Day 18. Telegraph Creek

Of all the experiences I had on my trip, Telegraph Creek is in the top three.  More so the road there than the actual place.  It was just so different.  The terrain and road and abandoned buildings made it feel almost like something from an old movie.  I’m pretty sure I was grinning the whole time I drove that awesome road.  Here’s the original journal entry.

Day 18: Telegraph Creek – 250 km driven
This morning was freezing cold. It had also rained for a decent chunk of the night. It looked cloudy, but the forcast still said it would be a good day, so I packed up and headed for the Telegraph Creek road. It was still a bit foggy, but that cleared up as the day went on. The beginning of the road was basically just gravel road through bush, with lots of little twists and turns in it. It was also a bit muddy, due to the rain from last night. The car of course got dirty.

Then I got to a sign that warned of Steep mountain highway ahead with grades of up to 20%. That was when things got interesting. The road started going down steeply, with a sharp corner at the bottom of the hill, with nothing to stop me from going over the edge if I missed the corner. Everything opened up, and I could see the valley/canyon of the Stikine river. The road now clung to that canyon, with one side being the hill, and the other side being a steep grade/cliff down. There were switchbacks and nice harpins that I crawled through because of the steep grade downwards. There was also the odd bridge that was just one lane, and had these few inch tall guardrails… The views as I was driving were great, and it seemed just that much more amazing with the road following the landscape the way it did. Normal roads cut through land…but this one followed the land’s every contour. I loved it. The land was hard to describe. It wasn’t really high mountains, and it wasn’t really flat Canadian Shield either. As the day went on, it started to warm up too. Apparently that’s normal in Telegraph Creek.

I arrived in Telegraph Creek, in awe of the totally different world I was entering. I parked by The River Song, which was the cafe that still operated in the old Hudson’s Bay trading post. That and a small repair shop seemed to be the only non-abandoned buildings in the town. Everything else was abandoned. Some buildings were falling down, while others stood tall, but you could see on closer inspection that they were deteriorating too. I was able to walk through a few of the old buildings, which was interesting. It was a very different atmosphere…one I have never felt before.

I then stopped by the River song and had a coffee and a piece of pie. The owner was more than happy to talk about the history of the town, and I learned a lot of interesting tid bits. It came time for me to head back, if I was going to go back to Dease Lake. I felt like the time was far too short for such an amazing place, but there was rain on the schedule, and I didn’t want to get stuck in Telegraph Creek for a few days, since I wasn’t going to drive in the mud if it was raining.

The River Song
The River Song

So I set out on the return trip. Unlike the trip in, where I was stopping every few seconds to get pictures. I decided to drive the whole way back without any real stops. I setup my camera on the tripod and attempted to capture a few movies of the really crazy sections, in hopes that I could show just how amazing this road was, in a way that the pictures just couldn’t do.

And now I’m back here at my campground near Dease Lake. There is supposedly a decent chance of rain tomorrow, so I’m not sure what to do, since I don’t really want to cross over into Yukon in the rain. On the other side of things, it is super cold here and I don’t really want to keep sleeping here. Of course the hope is that this coldness is a Dease Lake thing, and not just because I’m up north….which I have a feeling it is. I can see on the trees that this is really the beginning of fall here. Kinda crazy.

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