Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Watson Lake Yukon Territory

John and I decided to take a day off from traveling and spend a day in Watson Lake. It was Sunday and we wanted to attend services as well as get our laundry done. I had the erroneous idea that since this town was the only one for miles around, we would have a fairly good choice of churches to attend as well as places to shop. I was so wrong! But that was all right, we still enjoyed our time in this town. We attended services at Laird Evangelical Free church.  The church was built in 1942, most likely at the time of the construction of the Alaska highway. The building is also serves as a community center. It  does seem that quite often when John and I attend services in churches that are not of our faith we find some commonality in the contemporary songs, which was the case in this particular church.
The town has a population of 1,000 people. It was named for Frank Watson who settled here in 1898 with his wife of Kaska First Nation Heritage. He had come north looking for gold. Watson Lake became important during the construction of the Alaskan Highway. Watson Lake Signpost Forest, located at the north end of the town, was started by a homesick U.S. army soldier working on the highway. He erected a  mileage signpost for his hometown and through the ensuing years people have added their own names and places of origin. At the latest count there are 6,000 signs of various sorts identifying places from around the world. It is quite awesome to see. Maybe the picture below will give you an idea of what this park looks like. Of course right away we looked for our hometown.
After church we headed to a small diner for lunch and there we had the most delicious carrot lentil soup. Nearby this diner is the local department store. It really has everything that one would ever need!
 For our Sunday evening entertainment we went to the Northern Lights Centre. There we took in a movie of  the very intriguing phenomena of the aurora borealis.Those crackling lights in the night sky, in all colors of the rainbow, are quite beautiful. It would be great to see the real thing but probably will never happen for John and I as we are not going to be up here in the cold of winter when they occur.

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