August 17, 2015 Top of the World Highway, Yukon

Bull Caribou Posing
Bull Caribou Posing

Caribou of the Forty Mile Herd

Rained all day yesterday here on the Top of the World Highway, but I decided to stay put and wait for some nice weather to go back up to the border and hunt for more caribou. Plus I really hate to drive the rest of this incredibly grand ridge running highway when I can’t enjoy the spectacular views. In addition, when I see the vehicles pass by that are just covered in mud, it seems it may well be worth my while to wait for a dry day to continue on.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Low Hanging Clouds
Low Hanging Clouds

So this morning I was up and out as soon as I could tell there was some sun and blue sky above the fog that enshrouded my roadside campsite.

View From Top of the World
View From Top of the World

As I climbed back west towards the border, I kept running into and out of the fog/clouds, making for some wonderful photo opps.

Low Hanging Clouds
Low Hanging Clouds
View From Top of the World
View From Top of the World
View From Top of the World
View From Top of the World

I have spent the past week up here on the Boundary Spur Road and now the Top of the World Highway and I have been able to observe the tundra vegetation turning color right before m eyes.

Ground Color Along the Top of the World Highway
Ground Color Along the Top of the World Highway
Top of the World Boondocking Campsite
Top of the World Boondocking Campsite

It really is starting to get quite colorful and I assume it will become more so before much longer, sort of reminds me of autumn in New England, just a lower version. And yes, that is my rig in the image above, one of the nicer spots I have been parked on this trip … a pretty nice view, plus with the border shutting down at 8 PM and not reopening until 8 AM, there is absolutely no road noise at night so the silence up here is deafening.

Top of the World Boondocking Campsite
Top of the World Boondocking Campsite
Top of the World Boondocking Campsite
Top of the World Boondocking Campsite

A couple more shots of my campsite.

Bull Caribou Backlit
Bull Caribou Backlit

A Successful Caribou Hunt

I ran into my first small herd of caribou bulls around KMM 90 on the Top of the World Highway as I made my way back up to the border.

Bull Caribou Backlit
Bull Caribou Backlit
Caribou Bull
Caribou Bull

They weren’t very cooperative as far as providing me with any good lighting, staying between me and the rising sun, but they did come in fairly close …

Curious Caribou
Curious Caribou

and at one point, their curiosity about what I was doing kind of got the best of them.

Caribou on the Ridge
Caribou on the Ridge
Caribou on the Ridge
Caribou on the Ridge

A little farther up the road I ran into another small group of bulls as they made their way up a ridge and disappeared into the valley below.

Bull Caribou Posing
Bull Caribou Posing
Bull Caribou Posing
Bull Caribou Posing

My good fortunes continued when I turned off the highway and investigated one of the few side roads, very rough and muddy, but I discovered yet another small herd of bulls gathered in this area.

Caribou Grazing
Caribou Grazing
Caribou Feeding
Caribou Feeding
Caribou Bulls
Caribou Bulls

This is one of my favorite shots of this group when they all turned to see exactly what that strange five legged creature was that was so obviously stalking them.

Caribou Bulls
Caribou Bulls
Caribou Bulls
Caribou Bulls
Caribou
Bedding Down
Caribou Bedding Down
Caribou Bedding Down

Around noon the group finally stopped moving and settled down for a siesta.

Father and Son?
Father and Son?
Father and Son?
Father and Son?

I wonder if these two are related. The younger bull followed this mature bull very closely all the while I was following the group.

This turned out to be one of the most exciting, rewarding, and physically exhausting days of this entire Alaska adventure! Following these guys, walking on the spongy tundra carrying my tripod and camera mounted with the 600mm lens, had me wondering at times if i was going to have a heart attack. But well worth the effort, just a great day at the Top of the World!

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


 

6 thoughts on “August 17, 2015 Top of the World Highway, Yukon”

  1. When you get back to the states it is time for you to get a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor System) to monitor all the tires you have on the ground, including the two tires on your tow dolly. It is also a very good idea to carry a 150 PSI air compressor.

    I use the Pressure Pro system: http://www.vulcantire.com/pressurepro_rv_tpms.htm but there are other brands which many RV’ers like. They are not cheap, but could have prevented the damage to your car.

    1. I thank you for the great advice, and you are very much correct, this could have been prevented with what I used to think was just too expensive an investment of six or seven hundred dollars ( I was looking at the $ of the various systems online yesterday ). Doesn’t seem so expensive now!

      I am leaning toward the Pressure Pro system. I assume yoy have been happy with yours? Any problems installing ?

  2. How exciting! I love reading ALL your posts and seeing ALL your photos!! Thank you for all your sharing! I’m still eager to hear what happened to the Prius.

    1. Repair shop here in Dawson City located a complete rear axle and is having it shipped . They say they may have me going in a week or so, but we shall see. What happened to the Prius is that the tire must have blown, dropping the wheel to the road ( gravel, not a paved road ) and then the wheel and brake drum were ground down to about a half moon shape dropping the rear end corner of the car to the ground. I should have taken a pisture of it as I first saw it, but I guess I was in shock at seeing the extent of the damage and didn’t even think to photograph it.

  3. So sorry to hear of all your challenges of late. But DAMN! these shots are amazing. As always thank you so much for sharing them and letting us come along. Hang in there regarding the mechanical stuff.

    1. Thanks. I am just now heading over to check on whether the Prius’ can be salvaged. Worst part of all this is that I now am apt to miss the bears in Hyder as they gather for the last salmon run of the season there, something I have REALLY been looking forward to all summer as the last part of this great adventure..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *