The Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers

drove into The Yukon Territory  and stopped at WATSON LAKE
and the World Famous Sign Post Forest
May 31, 2009
 
Yukon flag
Watson Lake is the first Yukon community encountered by the two RV Gypsies as they traveled northbound,, a day's drive from Whitehorse. Watson Lake was the accommodation and supply center for the building of this section of the Alaska Highway. It is still the communication and distribution center for the Southern Yukon.

history bookThe first white visitors to Canada's Yukon Territory were fur traders from England, who brought the Hudson's Bay Company into the country in the mid-1800's. Close behind the fur traders were the gold seekers, who began trickling into the Territory as early as 1863. By 1972, traces of gold were being found all over the Yukon. The Yukon is more than twice the size of Great Britain and larger than all the New England states put together.

Its 186,300 square miles are bordered by British Columbia on the south, Alaska on the west, the northwest Territories on the east, and the Arctic Ocean to the north. Yet, only 32,700 people live on this frontier, three-quarters of them in Whitehorse.

sign - welcome to Watson lake, Gateway to the Yukon
sign - Yukon - larger than life
sign - welcom to north of go
sign - welcome to Yukon
sign - welcome to Yukon
SIGN POST FOREST
The World Famous Sign Post Forest is Watson's Lake best known attraction. So famous, it is known and mimicked around the world. This forest was started in 1941 by a homesick U.S. Army G. I. Carl K. Lindley of Danville, Illinois, Company D, 341st Engineers. While working on the Alaska Highway, he erected a sign here pointing the way and stating the mileage to his hometown. Others followed his lead and are still doing so today. On July 20, 1990, Olsen and Anita Walker of Bryan Ohio placed the 10,000th sign. Carl K. Lindley and his wife visited the site in 1992 - 50 years after his first post was erected. Today, the Town of Watson Lake maintains the site, erecting more posts as they are needed.
Karen Duquette at the entry to Sign Post Forest
Lee and Karen Duquette at the entry to Sign Post Forest
After walking through Sign Post Forest, the two RV Gypsies went back to their RV and made a sign of their own to post.
Theme: Florida to Alaska and honoring Brian Lee Duquette because he cannot be on this earth in person, but he is always in the hearts of the two RV Gypsies. Plus a big HELLO to other family.
Karen Duquette with the sign for the two RV Gypsies
the sign for the two RV Gypsies
After returning to the RV park, a neighbor in the park told the two RV Gypsies that they saw their sign at the Sign Post Forest, and recognized the wolf eyes in the RV Window. It is amazing that the two RV Gypsies' sign they just put up was found among all those thousands of signs and that the wolf eyes were recognized. Cool!
Lee and Karen Duquette with the sign for the two RV Gypsies
the two RV Gypsies with their sign
The next few photos show where the sign of the two RV Gypsies was placed among all the other signs.
signs
signs
signs
signs
sign of the two RV Gypsies
THESE PHOTOS TRY TO SHOW HOW MANY SIGNS THERE ARE, BUT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PHOTOGRAPH THEM ALL. NOW SCROLL DOWN FOR CLOSE-UPS OF A FEW OF THE CUTE ONES.
Lee with lots of signs
Karen Duquette with lots of signs
lots of signs
Lee with lots of signs
lots of signs
 lots of signs
lots of signs
signs
signs
sign - Happy Old Women A long Way from Home
boots as a sign
a thumb as a sign
tree trunk pants as a sign
beer barrel sign
cute rv sign
precious cat sign
This one is funny to the two RV Gypsies (but not to the owners) because the cat bailed out on the Alaska Highway
Ed Kerry and Gertrude, his 1938TD 35 International tractor, came to the Yukon as a team in the 194o's during the building of the Alaska Highway. For 40 years, Gertrude could be seen at construction sites all over the Yukon, building everything from airstrips and Whitehorse city streets to portions of the Alaska Highway. "Gertie" was donated to the Yukon Government by the kerry Family in memory of Ed Kerry, a loyal and true Yukoner.
Gertrude the tractor

INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER TRACTOR TD-35, Production: 1937-1939, Length: 132', Width: 59.5", Weight: 11,245 pounds
Fuel Efficiency 15.04

Engine: IHC 4 Cylinder,
Displacement: 414, Bore 4,500,
Stroke: 6,500, RPM: 1100, Magneto: F-4, Air Cleaner: Donaldson,
Carburetor: Zenith K-5 1.25",
Pulley size: 16.75x9, Pulley RPM: 591, PTO Diameter: 1.625, PTO RPM: 560, Forward Speeds: 1.75, 2.25, 2.75, 3.25, 4. Reverse Speeds: 3, Tracks: 13"-20"

Downtown R.V. Park
sign - Downtown RV Park
the new yard of the two RV Gypsies

Downtown RV Park is within an extremely short walking distance of everything: the Sign Post Forest, grocery store (everything in the grocery store costs an arm and a leg), library, post office, Northern Lights Center with an indoor show, car wash, bank, and liquor store. There is a free do-it-yourself area to wash your RV or car, free Wi-Fi, 20-30 amp service. It appears to be a place where RVers stay mostly just for the one night while passing through Watson Lake. The sites are packed close together - if sites are full, there is no space to put out your awning, or sit outside in a lawn chair.

IMPORTANT: The two RV Gypsies had AT&T but did NOT have any cell phone service through Rogers. Rogers does NOT work in the Yukon Territory.

first WYE Lake Park
Karen Duquette at the first WYE Lake Park
A nice lake right beside the park. Lee Duquette photographed a bird flying over the lake and landing in the tree.
bird flying over the lake
bird flying over the lake
bird in the tree
bird leaving the tree
Karen Duquette by the lake
Here, the two RV Gypsies met their first RV snobs (and the only ones ever). They were heading for the "backroads" of Alaska looking for Grizzly Bears. But they said since the two RV Gypsies are from Florida of course we would not be doing that. What the h--- does that mean? And of course they saw a lot more wildlife than the two RV Gypsies did, and they have been in ALL the USA states. When the two RV Gypsies said they saw lots of buffalo, the RV snobs said, "oh buffalo." Everything they said seemed very snobbish, and that is rare in RVers. Plus the two RV Gypsies are just begriming their many years of RV travel. No matter what, the two RV Gypsies will never be RV snobs.

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go to the next page Jump ahead to 2016 when the two RV Gypsies returned to the Sign Post Forest - The photos and experience is very different from this page. There will be a link at the bottom of the 2016 page to return here.

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