We drove down to Atlin for the May long weekend for some family time. Atlin is one of my favourite getaway places. The town is so quiet the birds make more noise than the people.
The Saturday we arrived it was a bit cool and grey during the day. We pulled in to top up the fuel tank and the gas attendant pointed out a young bald eagle sitting atop a tree right behind Pine Tree Services. We admired the bold and enormous bird and then headed to the Brewery Bay Chalet to check in.
The view from the waterfront was spectacular. Atlin Lake had an ice-free spot right in front of the hotel which the kids thought was wonderful. They could either throw rocks from off the docks and smash the ice floes or spend their time challenging each other to see who could get their stone to skip the most.
After we had unpacked and the kids had left their mark on the ice, we went for a long waterfront walk up the beach.
The kids, true to form, all stepped in the water along the way. The sound of feet squelching in sopping wet shoes and the cries of gulls harrying the young eagle on the ice made an interesting sound track.
We finished our walk by heading to the Trading Post for an improvised dinner of hotdogs in tortilla wraps. The kids loved it, but they are poor food critics because hotdogs with anything is excellent in their books. We settled down for a family movie while we ate and relaxed the rest of the evening away.
By the kids’ bedtime, the cloud was beginning to break. By our bedtime, the sun was peeking out from among scattered islands of cloud and we knew Sunday promised to be beautiful.
Sure enough, sunlight seeping in around our curtains woke us up early the next day.
Fortified by bowls of cereal, we decided to take a jaunt out to Warm Bay and see how the spring was looking.
When we arrived, we discovered a number of other people had the same idea. There were over a dozen people enjoying the area and two basking in the sun in the pool.
I took Leonie and the boys to see the hills where the runoff courses down. There was evidence of deer recently in the area which had the boys daring each other to step on the deer poop. Boys … go figure.
We played on the hillside for a while, investigating the pools and just enjoying life. David had great fun while Brace and Denali watched the minnows dart around.
With wet and muddy children, we headed back up to the spring source where the kids began to collect frogs the size of my thumbnail. There was another boy there who had a bucket and soon they had 17 frogs hopping about.
We headed back to town for a late dinner and then Leonie and I went for a leisurely walk afterwards while David did some homework and Brace and Denali watched a show on dinosaurs.
Monday morning we packed up early and were seated in the Pine Tree Restaurant for breakfast.
As luck would have it, we were patrons on their last day of operation. With the increased mining activity in the area, the restaurant couldn’t compete against the wages offered in camp and was closing down indefinitely.
Our server was sad to see the place close and it will be missed sorely by other travellers. We all enjoyed our meals and said goodbye to the restaurant and see you later to the town as we headed back to Whitehorse.
PHOTO: LEONIE LEMPHERS