Teslin – The Yukon Wild

In the Yukon, Territory there are big long lapses of time and stretches of highway with no signs of  life except for wildlife and  forests. Movement is only in the vehicles passing by and the many wildlife sightings.

Every once in awhile while exploring along the Alaska Highway you will pass RVs, large commercial trucks and people like us who are working. Although we look like tourists with our campers in tow (which we call travel pods) we are always working when out researching. Even if it is undercover like.

Many may not know that when we camp, hike, climb and paddle we are working hard. Basically, our goal is to try to explore anything we can get our hands on and make time for when reseaching Canada. It all sounds like fun.. and believe me it is a wild ride but there is so much behind the scenes grunt work.

In the Yukon Territory, on this leg of our trip, we just left Watson Lake and now Bro and I are heading for Teslin. Teslin is a wonderful place but you have to get off your ass to do it. Otherwise to continue on and not stop on the highway through town you will miss it all.

Teslin is rich in Tlingit First Nation and Alaska Highway history. There is the Tlingit Cultural Centre and the George Johnstone Museum. George was a character. The story goes that George barged in a chevy car to Teslin when there were no roads. He made his own 6 kilometre road from village to village. In The summer he ran a taxi service and in the winter he painted the sedan white and hunted wolves on the frozen, snow covered lake. Can you imagine!

The First Nation people say that the arrival of the Alaska highway changed everything. The way of life as they knew it changed. With the Alaska Highway came disease, a different lifestyle and many First Nation people payed a heavy price. George survived and finished his life as a well known Yukon photographer.

Like George we, especially I, have a love affair with the lens and with wilderness. Some of my favorite photos are when I can capture the wilderness and wildlife in their natural habitat. But, as all photographers know the subject usually does not want to stay still.

In Teslin, there is the Northern Wildlife Museum. For any traveler who would like to see some of the wildlife in the Yukon it is a worthy stop. Plus it is free admission. Although the wildlife is not alive, the exhibits are a good snapshot of the wildlife living in the Yukon.

One of my favorite exhibits is the  massive Grizzly Bear. ( main photo ).  There were  also some Bighorn Sheep, Black Bears, Beavers, Caribou, Bobcat, Moose and others.  For real life wildlife sightseeing moments you do not have to go far.  You just might want to bring or arrange for a canoe or boat ride.

Where the Nisutlin River meets Teslin Lake there is a massive wetland area named the Nisutlin River Delta. Here there are local and migrating birds. Some of the largest migrating flocks of swans arrive here in the spring every year. At low tides they feed on the exposed mud flats. Moose, bears, caribou, raptors, eagles and others feed and hunt in the reeds.  It is a canoe ride worthy of your consideration.

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