The Cassiar highway intersects with the Alaskan Highway not far west of Watson Lake which is a major intersection and service centre. It also has the greatest collection of sign posts from all over the world, but we will tell you more about that when we pass back through here on our way south in a couple of months.
Teslin which began as a trading post in 1903 and is now another important service centre for travellers on the Alaskan Highway. The RV Park and campground where we stayed was also the petrol station, post office, motel and restaurant and boasts a very impressive display of stuffed animals – although ‘stuffed’ animals does not nearly describe the beautiful work of the taxidermist who worked on the animals in this wildlife museum. Bears, musk ox, moose, fox, eagle, elk and many more – it was quite stunning and all for a ‘donation if you wish’!
This small community has one of the largest First Nations populations in the Yukon and there are two museums that tell wonderful stories of the history of the Tlingit people. The George Johnson Museum tells the story of an amazing Tlingit man and Elder and amazing displays of Tlingit ceremonial regalia, hunting artifacts and photographs (taken by George Johnson) of life in this area of the Yukon 60 years ago.
The Tlingit Heritage Centre is an amazing display of Tlingit culture, crafts and history. We watched demonstrations of carving and spoke to Tlingit folk who happily talked about the changes to their community and way of life and the strength of their culture as they face the future.