Dease Lake should have been only be a short overnight stop on our way to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. After quickly having parked the motorhome on the gravelled campground, paying 28 $ to the tight-lipped owner and having a quick dinner at the opposite restaurant we wanted to go to bed.
Mama Z’s Restaurant and the unbelievable offer
But there was this lady. She is the owner of Mama Z’s Restaurant. Somehow we were immediately in a kind conversation with her before entering the restaurant. For dinner I was extremely courageous and ordered Poutine, a specialty from Quebec. It consists of chips, melted cheese and gravy. Sounds horrible, looks horrible and tastes like all these horrible things – delicious! After this healthy meal we talked to the owner of the restaurant and she asked us if we are planning go to Telegraph Creek. As we denied because we already knew that it would be impossible to drive the gravel road with our motorhome she immediately offered to lend us her car. This offer was a real surprise and like I am, I can hardly take a gift from somebody I don’t know and without any reason. So we asked for a night to think about her generous offer.
Breakup to Telegraph Creek
The next morning we decided to accept this unique chance. So the car was given to us without even knowing our names. It was a 4×4 Jeep Grand Cherokee – the perfect vehicle for more than 200 km on a gravelled road. The first 70 km on the Telegraph Creek Road are not very exciting.
But than comes a big sign telling us that we are entering a steep mountain road with grades up to 20%. After a narrow curve it opens the view into a valley where we can see some buildings, the Thaltan River floating into the bigger Stikine River. The buildings are abandoned but the scenery is so peaceful and harmonious – the Paradise. We cross the Thaltan River over a one-lane bridge passing the Thaltan First Nation Village – we are in the Reserve of the Thaltan People. As it is the fishing village the Indians stay there only during the fishing season.
Reaching Telegraph Creek
A steep winding road leads up on the other shore, now following the Stikine River. We make several stops to enjoy this unique landscape. Eagles draw their circles over our bald heads – no sorry: Bald eagles draw their circles over our heads. After 20 kilometres with breathtaking views we arrive in Telegraph Creek, which is an old gold miner town surrounded by a Thaltan Village. Nowadays only a few people are still living here. The main attraction is the “Stikine River Song”. Entering this building is a step back in the late 19th century. It is a café, a lodge and a general store and also a gift shop. By the way actually it is for sale and you can buy it for 399,000 $. The paradise never was cheaper.