Day 27: to Muncho Lake (Alaska-Highway Mile 435)

Tuesday, 24. July 2007, British Columbia, Canada.

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Since we’re travelling the Alaska Highway we see a lot of US-American number plates on the road and at the campgrounds. The main question they talk about is “Are you on the way up or down?”. They seem to see travelling through Canada as the necessary evil in their way to the US state Alaska.

Seitdem wir den Alaska-Highway befahren, sehen wir auf der Strasse wie auf den Campingplätzen viele US-amerikanische Autokennzeichen. Häufig beginnen Dialoge zwischen den Fahrern mit der Frage “Are you on the way up or down?”, also ob man auf dem Hin- oder Rückweg sei. Sie sehen Kanada wohl nur als notwendiges Durchreiseübel auf dem Weg zum US-Bundesstaat Alaska.

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Fancy door knobs / Originelle Türgriffe an der Saloon-Tür

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Driving the Alaska Highway seems to be a must for every German Unimog owner…

Der Alaska-Highway scheint ein Muss in der deutschen Unimog-Fahrer-Szene zu sein…

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We saw this one from Kamenz near Dresden very often in the next days. We didn’t believe the driver when he said good-bye with the words: “For sure we’ll meet again along the Highway…”. But he was right, it’s the only way up to Alaksa and on long parts you can’t leave the Highway.

Diesen hier aus Kamenz bei Dresden sahen wir später immer wieder auf der Strecke. Zuerst glaubten wir dem Fahrer nicht, als er sich mit den Worten „wir sehen uns bestimmt noch öfter“ von uns verabschiedete. Doch er behielt recht, denn dies ist von hier aus die einzige Strasse nach Alaska und es gibt über weite Strecken keine Möglichkeit, den Highway zu verlassen.

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Headding to the Northern Rockies. This is the scenery we’ve passed in the last days.

Auf der Fahrt in die nördlichen Rocky Mountains. Seit Tagen sehen wir diese Landschaft an uns vorüberziehen.

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The black thing in the middle was a fast black bear. Much bigger than the one in Lake Louise.

Das Dunkle in der Mitte war ein schneller Schwarzbär, viel größer als der in Lake Louise.

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Typical roadside in the Northern Rockies.

Viele schroffe Felsschluchten in den Northern Rocky Mountains

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And then finally: the first moose! It rather reminded us of a dromedary than European big game, especially the way they walk.

Und dann endlich: der erste Elch! Wer wie wir glaubte, diese Tiere ähnelten europäischem Großwild, hat sich getäuscht. Elche erinnern in Größe und Fortbewegung eher an Dromedare.

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Lots of abondened motels and gas stations here. This one is in Summit Lake near the Summit Pass, the highest point of the Alaska-Highway in the Northern Rockies.

Viele verlassene Motels und Tankstellen hier. Diese war in Summit Lake nahe dem Summit Pass, dem höchsten Punkt des Alaska-Highways in den nördlichen Rocky Mountains.

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Karge Widnis hier oben / Meagre wilderness up here

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Hoary Marmot, better known as Whistler here.

Eisgraues Murmeltier, hier wegen seiner Pfeifflaute auch als „Whistler“ (Pfeiffer) bekannt.

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Mountain Goats / Bergziegen

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On closer inspection not that wild: modern mountain goats with neckband and antenna.

Bei näherer Betrachtung doch nicht ganz so wild: moderne Bergziegen mit Halsband und Funkantenne.

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Delicious these stones… might be road salt.

Hmm… lecker Steine. Oder Streusalz.

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Immer wieder taten sich riesige Täler vor uns auf…

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So many large valleys…

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… and dark lakes / …und dunkle Seen

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Entering Toad River. The usual town structure here: five houses on one side of the Highway, a small airstrip for helicopters and airplanes on the other side.

Einfahrt nach Toad River. Üblicher Ortsaufbau hier: fünf Häuser entlang des Highway auf der einen Seite, gegenüber ein Flugzeug- und Hubschrauberlandeplatz.

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Toad River Lodge. They have 7427 trucker hats here, collected since 1979.

In der Toad River Lodge. Hier werden seit 1979 an der Decke die Mützen einkehrender Truck-Fahrer gesammelt. Inzwischen sind es 7427.

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Again directly besides the highway: a female moose with it’s cub (see video).

Wieder direkt am Highway: eine Elchkuh mit ihrem Jungen (siehe Video).

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Our scary, nameless motel in Muncho Lake. Coming from south it’s the first of five buildings on 10 kilometres.

Unser unheimliches, namenloses Motel in Muncho Lake, von fünf Gebäuden auf 10 Kilometern das erste von Süden kommend.

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We felt a bit queasy when the old crabby owner told us that our room can’t be locked. The doors are always open for travellers arriving at night.

Etwas mulmig war uns schon zumute, als uns der mürrische Besitzer der Lodge erklärte, dass die Türen der Motelzimmer nicht zu verschließen seien und immer offen stünden. Falls im Winter mal jemand nachts, wenn er nicht da sei, ankäme und nicht erfrieren will.

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There was a strange atmosphere. Just this unlocked wooden door between us and the wilderness outside, camping furniture, thick carpet everywhere (even in the bathroom) and a collection of odd videos without a vcr. When we entered the room we both thought of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.

Und so trennte uns nur diese nicht abzuschließende Holztür von der hinter der Lodge beginnenden Wildnis. Innen drei Zentimeter dicker Plüschteppich (auch im Bad), Campingmöbel und eine merkwürdige Sammlung an Videos ohne Videorekorder. Schon bei Betreten des Raums fühlten wir uns an David Lynchs Twin Peaks erinnert.

The only tv channel added to the sinister ambience.

Passend zur unheimlichen Atmosphäre das einzig empfangbare Fernsehprogramm.

11 thoughts on “Day 27: to Muncho Lake (Alaska-Highway Mile 435)”

  1. Scary tv show that reminds me a bit of Nightmare on Elm Street II, where Johnny Depp has a camo-apearrance on tv in a cooking-show and is killed by freddy… Kind of a twilight-zone atmosphere…

  2. hi there,

    I see you stopped at our place along the highway. First of all, we are NOT a nameless motel. The sign clearly says Double G Services when you first arrive. Second of all, that ‘crabby old owner’ is my FATHER! Sure he can be grumpy at times, but isn’t everyone? Lastly, that stupid kid channel ISN’T the only channel, as the receiver is a 100 channel bell expressvu receiver. Nobody likes a liar.

  3. Hi Dave, don’t worry about it… to me the description of your motel doesn’t sound too bad. It’s just the uncensored record of an impression and if I ever come around your place, I’d rather like to experience the Twin Peaks atmosphere and wouldn’t worry about your grumpy father, he might be an important part of this atmosphere ;-)
    friendly greetings from Germany, Juergen

  4. again I live two more notes,

    It just occurred to me that maybe for some odd reason, neither of you two know how to use a TV remote control. The + on the one channel button means up. The – on the other button directly below it means down a channel. Typical tourists.

  5. JJCK,

    Thank you, that made me feel better about these two that are making this blog. Anyway, my father isn’t always grumpy, he’s usually in a good mood.

  6. Dave, you really needn’t worry. If you knew our travelers and their friends, you’d know that “strange” is something desirable and “Twin Peaks” is a cultural reference held in highest regard. And open doors and carpet in the bathroom qualify as strange, even if there are perfectly good reasons for them. Also in the German version the “old crabby owner” is just a “grumpy owner”.

    As for the TV: Don’t know why they couldn’t switch to the other channels, but they are both technically proficient and most definitely capable of handling a remote. I understand that after finding the comments on your motel you are currently somewhat “grumpy”, but it would only be fair to ask your customers why they had problems instead of just assuming they’re stupid. Might give you the chance to improve something that might not have been noticed yet. Maybe the remote didn’t work, maybe they couldn’t find it. It’s very unlikely they didn’t try the +/- buttons.

  7. If I may, the ethical tourist attempts to learn as much as they can when visiting. Our differences should be embraced. Although you are absolutely entitled to your own opinion, blogging inaccurate information benefits no one.
    Those aren’t mountain goats, they are Stone’s sheep. You have some good photos of our radio-collared sheep. If you wish to submit any more photos and the dates they were taken, please visit our website to learn more about our research project and how to contact us. http://www.synergyecology.ca/S8Msheep.
    Regards.

  8. I spent two summers on Muncho Lake and it is absolutely beyond me why anybody would need to watch TV in such a beautiful area.
    Greetings from the Valley of the Sun, Arizona
    Josef

    1. Josef,

      on earth we have something called night time. It comes with darkness and then you can’t see anything of a beautiful area, no matter where you are on this planet. The darkness is one reason why you might not want to go outside in such woods. You surely didn’t know that in your valley of the sun.

      1. Thank you for reading it. I think people just need to learn better sometimes. Unutntfraoely, it doesn’t get through to some but if it made one person think or maybe speak up to someone else, I’d say it’s done what it needs to do.

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