Day 49 – July 24, 2001 – We saw a bear today! Or, I guess I should say that Bruce saw a bear today and the rest of us got to see his bear. Our day was pretty uneventful. We made the decision two days ago to drive beyond Whitehorse to Teslin, YT, tonight. Our scheduled day to Whitehorse was slightly over 100 miles and the next day, to Watson Lake, would be nearly 300 miles. The Mileposts guide indicated a motel almost in the middle that would split the trip up into two almost even days so we changed it. We did stop in Whitehorse at an auto parts store (of course) and to have lunch. Whitehorse is a gold rush town and they play up their history. We drove around a little downtown and had a great lunch (Klondike Ribs and Salmon – worth a stop) before we headed on into the wilderness. Lots of road construction and some pretty scenery later, we got a call over the radio that “We’ve stopped for a bear!” Ben and I turned around and went back and, snacking her way down the side of the highway, was a big black bear. A black bear isn’t as big or as vicious as a grizzly but they are certainly no teddy bear. Ben, Ross, and Bruce were all trying to get pictures without getting eaten when she finally turned and went into the woods. (Actually, I think black bears are vegetarian but we weren’t certain that she was also a pacifist.) Bruce Lilleker, who has only been with us for a few days, was the first to see this bear so she is Bruce’s bear.
Our stopover turned out to be a lovely place (with a bathroom in the room, a feature we no longer take for granted) and no phone. This is our fourth night without a phone so it is a challenge to find a place to download this journal. If you are looking for info and the page is blank, just hold on. We’ll get to it as soon as we can find a phone jack somewhere. Unfortunately, the staff at this lovely and very middle-of-nowhere place were not interested in helping us download or much of anything else. So, we’ll get this to you as soon as we can.