North To Whitehorse

In May we took a 10 day one way RV trip to Whitehorse.  I’ve always wanted to go north and this is the furthest that I’ve been.

It was a painting trip for both of us.  RV’s are fabulous for painting since you can stop anywhere and you can paint inside or out but you also have your home right with you so there is no rush to finish. Of all the sights we saw I would have to say that the most surprising to me were in Jasper National Park.  I’ve never been to this park before but it has excellent painting subjects.  This scene was at a roadside turnout about 45 minutes north of Lake Louise.

Rex Beanland, Mountain In Jasper & My Painting

Mountain In Jasper & My Painting












This view was 10 minutes further up the highway.  I loved the colour of these mountains.  They seemed to be drenched in violets and blues my favourite colour combination.

Rex Beanland, Another Mountain In Jasper

Another Mountain In Jasper











Just before getting to the town of Jasper we stopped at Athabaska Falls.  I don’t know how I had missed hearing of this place.  It’s a powerful and dramatic location not only with the falls but the many fascinating trails through the rocks.

Rex Beanland, Athabaska Falls

Athabaska Falls
















Rex Beanland, Susan & Me At Athabaska Falls

Susan & Me At Athabaska Falls













The next surprise for me was Grande Prairie.  Partially because it’s the largest city in the north and partially because we stayed at a RV park right beside the reservoir which offered this stunning view early the next morning.


Rex Beanland, Sunrise, Grande Prairie

Sunrise, Grande Prairie












We enjoyed being there so much that we set up and painted all morning.

Rex Beanland, Painting in Grande Prairie

Painting in Grande Prairie












From there we got on the Alaska Highway and at the northern tip of BC we came across another unexpected treat.  In the middle of nowhere is the Liard Hotsprings, a beautiful, natural hotspring.  Due to it’s popularity they have a provincial park campground right there.  The water bubbles up from the ground at one end of this pool (you can just see the rocks that surround it on the right) and as you get closer to the source the water gets VERY, VERY, dangerously hot but there are also some small cool streams that make the water warm but lovely.  It was so neat to have the dirt banks and the vegetation right on the water.

Rex Beanland, Laird Hotsprings

Laird Hotsprings














We saw signs on the highway saying watch out for wild buffalo but we mocked them thinking that there are no wild buffalo.  We discovered that there are many of them and they love the side of the highway.  We were calling them bison but have been informed that they are actuallly Wood Buffalo.

Rex Beanland, Wood Buffalo Herd

Wood Buffalo Herd












Rex Beanland, Wood Buffalo & Me

Wood Buffalo & Me












I’ve never seen buffalo play before but this 30 second video clip shows that they have a lot of fun.


Wood Bison At Play from Rex Beanland on Vimeo.



Finally into the Yukon.

Rex Beanland, Welcome to Yukon Rex & Susan

Welcome to Yukon














There are about 38,000 people in the entire Yukon and 28,000 live in Whitehorse so there are really no other large towns and people are very spread out.  One of the larger places is Watson Lake (pop about 1000).  It’s famous for it’s sign forest.

Rex Beanland, Watson Lake Sign Forest

Watson Lake Sign Forest












Finally we reached Whitehorse which is a lovely town.  In many ways it seems like any other small town but there is this neat feeling that you are very far north.

Rex Beanland, Painting In Downtown Whitehorse

Painting In Downtown Whitehorse



Rex Beanland, SS Klondike

SS Klondike, Whitehorse





















My new friend Charlene holding my painting.

Rex Beanland, Charlene & My Painting

Charlene & My Painting












It was a great trip. It was very interesting to me because whenever I have heard people talk about going to the arctic circle or beyond they always say there is something special, almost spiritual about it and I must admit that I felt something being in Whitehorse.  It affected me so much that I have become somewhat obsessed with the idea of returning to go all the way to Tuktoyaktuk.  Susan has no interest in that trip but who knows it may happen.

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