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Permafrost, Muskeg, A Drunken Forest & Mosquitos

Our destination today was Beaver Creek, Yukon (pop. 112), "the most westerly community in Canada." Highlights from today's drive included (1) the snow covered Wrangell-St Elias Mountains and Kluane National Park and the Icefield Mountain Range; (2) Mt Elias which stands 18,008 feet and straddles the US-Canada border (breathtaking); Kluane Lake, the largest lake in the Yukon (154 square miles); and (3) views of Mt Logan (19,545 feet), the tallest mountain in Canada. The countryside, as we traveled further, became a permafrost region. The surface of the ground is "muskeg" (half swamp and half ground.). The description "drunken forest" refers to the stunted spruce tree forest where the trees grow at different angles. This happens because shallow roots cannot support trees in windy conditions, so trees grow every which way. Muskeg areas have lots of mosquitos. Repellant and dryer sheets are working great! We are listening to the audio tape "Property of a Noblewoman" by Danielle Steel, as we travel the long stretches of highway. Even the guys are hanging on each word. We are overnighting at Buckshot Betty's, in two of their seven adorable, little cabins, surrounded by aspen (see photo). I'm sitting outside on the deck, as I write this, listening to the aspen quaking, with ravens and mew gulls flying overhead. Love it! P.S. How many more days can Richard and Benny resist the HUGE cinnamon buns that tempt them around every bend?

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