Teslin is after Whitehorse, so the turbo boost problem didn't occur until today. So, up until the end of the day yesterday, we were just experiencing a rough running engine but nothing too bad. We stayed at the High Country RV Park, right off the AK Hwy at the main turn off to go into town. Very nice place. We got lucky and got a spot without reservations. YMMV.
So, our general plan today was to continue backtracking on the Alaskan Highway to Highway 37 and head south on the Cassiar Highway (37). It is 258 miles to the turn-off and is just before Watson Lake. Watson Lake is where the signpost forest is located.
We packed up and went into town to find the NAPA store. Went right to the location shown on the map, but they were nowhere to be found. With no internet, we were unable to locate the store. I remember seeing another auto parts store over by the Walmart and drove over there. I explained what I needed and the man checked the computer and said he had the fuel filter, but not the air filter. I took the fuel filter and also a short piece of rubber hose that attaches to the top of the filter as a drain hose. Mine had rotted away.
After that, we got back on the road heading for the Cassiar. This was always our plan to go back out of Canada this way down into Washington and then back home. The Cassiar is supposed to be a very scenic drive and we are looking forward to the drive.
After about 100 miles we came through Teslin, YT and crossed the bridge. After the bridge in the first really steep climb and this is where we lost the turbo boost the first time. I won't go back over all that again as I reported it as if it happened on yesterday's post.
We lost the turbo boost at some point later that day, but I can't remember where it was. I do remember that we were climbing a steep hill in the truck lane and came upon a truck pulling two 48' tankers and he was struggling to get up the hill. I pulled out to pass and immediately lost the turbo. I didn't even make it past the first trailer. The truck was moving so slowly and the truck lane was running out so I had to actually brake to get back behind the truck. Thankfully, there was nobody behind us traveling at the speed limit. That would have been messy.
At the top of the hill, I pulled into a rest area and checked the air filter again. Keep in mind that we have no internet and cannot get online to do any research. At this point, I am still thinking I have a problem with the air filter. I pull the air filter out and look it over. Still looks good, but not as good as a new one. I put it all back together again and head out. I have a normal turbo boost again. This reinforces my thinking about the air filter.
We arrive at the turnoff to the Cassiar Highway but decide to continue on into Watson Lake to see if they have any auto parts stores. It is about 15 miles into town and worth checking. Unfortunately, there are no auto parts stores at all. We head back to the turnoff to the Cassiar. Before leaving the junction, we check our maps and books to see what campgrounds are available and how far away they are. We find one called Boya Lake which is a provincial campground. We decide to make that our destination for the day.
Not a half mile from the junction we see signs for road construction from this point all the way to the BC/YT line. Great. The road is in poor shape and I am questioning this decision. Maybe we should just get back on the AK Hwy and head for the nearest big town. Fort Nelson would be the best bet at 324 miles. It is a good sized town and seemed to have most anything you'd need. We talked a little about our choices as we were driving this horrendous road. Next thing we know, we see a sign welcoming us to BC and the road changes to the best road we've seen so far! It was a really nice road. Smooth, freshly paved, a pleasure to drive.
So, we decided to stick with this route as we thought we might head into Hyder, AK tomorrow. There is a bear watching park there where you can stand up on an observation platform and watch bears fish in the river below.
So, the rest of the day was sent leisurely driving down this wonderful road with all this beauty around us. This allowed us to relax a little and enjoy the drive. No steep climbs and no more issues with the turbo for the rest of the day.
We arrived at the turnoff to the campground and were amazed at how clear the water was at the lake. We found a pullover site and set up camp. It was still raining a little, but we didn't care. We got out and walked around the campground. There was an Airstream trailer in one of the spots and we spent some time talking to them.