October 02, 2008

Into the Taku - Part 1 of 3

I guess it can't be all roses and flowers all the time. A little manure may help the flowers grow to be more vibrant, but it seems to me that there's a limit to how much manure a garden can take take before the flowers get completely buried by it. I say this because, lately, life has been throwing an awful lot of crap at my friends and family members and I can't help but think that sometimes life just stinks.

My Pop is in intensive care.

My Granny is struggling in a care home.

My Mum is there trying to make them as comfortable as she can, all the while not being very comfortable herself.

A friend found out his spouse has been unfaithful.

Jade's still having seizures.

Fortunately, in spite of the heaping piles of manure in the garden, there are some bright patches. One of those bright patches was a trip I got to take into Taku country (Northern BC) at the beginning of September.

My trip started out with a drive, bright and early, from Whitehorse to Atlin, BC. There were a few slow, lumbering RVs who couldn't seem to get their vehicles to break 50 km/h. It was like 50 km/h was proof of a scientific theory that an RV, approaching the speed of slow, couldn't go any faster because the additional speed would create an equal amount of resistance from air friction on the front of the RV, negating any further increases in velocity.

Or maybe they were just trying to save gas.

Regardless, as the Physical Laws of the Highway state: for every inaction, there is a reaction to compensate for the inaction. When suitable passing opportunities arose, big rigs and cars doubled their speed and flew past the RVs. As did I.

Near the turnoff on the Atlin road.

It was a bright day and a beautiful morning. Near Atlin, I saw a cow moose and a young bull, who seemed to be enjoying the sun as much as me. Shortly after I saw the moose, I stopped for a small herd of horses.
Throw a single horn on the forehead of that thing and Atlin will have a sighting to rival Teslin's!

There are only a few ways to get to where I was going: foot, boat, helicopter and float plane. I went in by float plane - Atlin Air's Beaver.

Preparing for take-off on Atlin Lake.

The sky was clear (for the most part) and the scenery was stunning. I would love to go sailing on Atlin Lake for a week or two. And then I'd want to go hiking in the mountains for about a month. And canoeing on the rivers for a few weeks. Now that I think about it, it's like being starved for days and then being shown your most favourite food item - but only being allowed the smallest of tastes.

A creek flows into Atlin Lake.

It almost looks tropical...

...but it's not. Glaciers adorn the end of the lake.

A closer look at the glaciers. That's a lot of snow and ice.

Good country for rock climbing.

A meandering creek.

Atlin Lake shoreline.

Alkali flats?

A high-elevation moose meadow.

More lakes and glaciers.

Looking down over some steep walking.

Passing through some cloud cover.

Clouds hug the mountain top and steep ravines adorn the sides.

Sliding slopes.

A patch of dark rock.

More glacier.

More clouds.


Yeah, flying is just a wee bit faster than walking.

Another glacier. I wonder how deep that one is...?

The Taku River. Perfect for tracking a canoe!

A closer look at the Taku.

Looking downstream towards the Pacific.

A beautiful place for a camp.


Land of perpetual snow?

Not exactly flat.

The flight felt like it went by quickly. There was so much to see. I began to wish that I had a plane of my own - but not just any kind of plane; a plane that I could fly wherever I wanted and could land wherever I wanted. Sort of like a helicopter, I guess, but faster-moving and not as noisy and cheaper to operate. If you ever hear of such a vehicle, please let me know.

Before long, we arrived at our destination.

The Beaver comes in for a landing.

Almost landed...


Arrival at the lake.

We had arrived and I was ready to get down to the urgent business of exploring the area on foot. But that will have to wait for Part 2.


Mongoose said...

Wow, that's really spectacular. Thanks for sharing.

The plane you're looking for is a Harrier but I don't think it's any cheaper than a helicopter. Also it's extremely difficult to operate, usually they train people who have experience on both helicopters and fixed-wing to be Harrier pilots.

And I hope things improve for your family.

Anonymous said...

I need to find a different career path. The one you've chosen has a much, much better view.

Anonymous said...

Incredible country. Thank god we have manure antidotes close by - they may be temporary, but they're antidotes that most people would have to spend thousands of $$$ to access.

Meandering Michael said...

Thanks Mongoose. Ha Ha, I wonder if they make Harriers with floats...

Geof, when you get that biking blog up and running, maybe you'll be able to turn it into a popular e-zine and travel the world reporting on all the best biking spots... You never know. It COULD happen.

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...


It sure is tough when family, friends, and yourself is going through some rough patches. Just put on your seat belt and keep moving forward. And don't forget to keep your mind on the positive :)

Anonymous said...

Geof, listen to Michael - I sure wouldn't be doing the travelling that I do if I was paying rack rates.

Marian said...

Your Dad will be SOOOO jealous when he sees these photos. He can't wait to get back to Atlin.
Great photos.