With almost guaranteed sore heads on the cards following yesterday’s Yukon River trip completion celebration, we all enjoyed a bit of a sleep in this morning electing to rise at 10am for an 11am check-out. Chad and Duke initially chose to beat their hangovers by soaking in the hotel hot tub, but it wasn’t long before we were all in on the act.
Food was needed in our bellies, so it was off to the River West Bistro for brunch. I scoffed down my meal and madly ran around town snapping off a few frames to document my mad 24 hours in Dawson City. With that all out of the way, I joined the lads to purchase some groceries, fuel and the odd souvenir. Being a historical gold rush town, we popped in and out of a few gold stores including one where we had the chance to hold a $16K nugget. I think there’s a photo somewhere in the gallery I’ll post where Duke has the rather pricey yellow rock in his mitt.
With a tick placed in the ‘Dawson City’ box, we hit the road again and headed for the Tombstone Interpretive Centre, an hour out of town, to get permits and bear barrels for the food we were planning to carry on our hike into the wilderness. Following, it was back to the Tombstone National Park trail head where we organised our packs for the hike ahead of us, and secured the truck with all of our un-required possessions stowed away.
Minutes before setting off, we chatted to some German fella who was coming off the trail brandishing a huge .45 calibre Magnum sidearm and claiming he was a guide. Chad questioned the guy’s story, citing that no Canadian citizen can legally carry such a weapon either concealed or unconcealed, but he stuck to his unlikely story
Around 4pm, quite a lot later than we planned, we finally got on the trail with an estimated 6-7 hour hike ahead of us to get to the proposed camp site at the base of the Tombstone Mountain Range. The opening section of the hike we managed to conquere without too much trouble. It’s a mildly tough climb into the mountains, but it’s so beautiful you kind of forget about how strenuous it is.
Reaching the approximate half-way point of the journey, we stopped at a pass between two mountains affectionately (and not surprisingly) nicknamed ‘The Saddle’. We stopped here for dinner and had our first encounter with a hiking group of Czech nationals. The Saddle was also where we witnessed some amazing occurrences weather wise. Being a hot and humid day, there were thunderstorms moving all around us including over the top of Mount Tombstone ahead of us, creating a scene not unlike something out of a ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie. There was one picture in particular that I took, nicknamed ‘Mordor’ that illustrates this spectacle fairly well. Check it out in the gallery.
Confident that the stormy weather had passed, we made our way down to Grizzly Lake at the foot of Mount Tombstone with a little light remaining and we set about pitching tents etc around 11:30pm. Not a bad day’s effort on the trail all things considered.
We headed down to the stunning lake to start making our pasta dinner, but were interrupted mid-prep by the need to run back up to the tents to make sure everything was covered as the remnants of one of the earlier storms passed over. Not exactly what 5 pairs of weary legs needed, but it was necessary just the same.
Completely zonked, we called it a night for a well-earned sleep.