An unverified report of Long-toed Salamander eggs (Houwers 2000) was made further north near Atlin Lake
A DECADE AGO, I WAS CAMPING ON THE shores of Atlin Lake
, tucked in the northwestern corner of British Columbia, just outside the sleepy, eponymous town that was founded after gold was discovered in Pine Creek in 1898.
Until the 1940's, no roads led to Atlin, so 20,000 hardy gold rushers came from Skagway on paddlewheel boats up Tagish Lake and through Graham inlet to the Atlintoo River, which flows out of Atlin Lake
, the largest freshwater lake in Canada.
We are nearing Atlin Lake's Warm Bay in remote northwest British Columbia, just south of the Yukon border.
North of the 59th parallel, the park encompasses the southern portion of Atlin Lake, taking in four biogeoclimatic zones: alpine tundra, boreal white and black spruce, spruce-willow-birch, and sub-boreal spruce.
Arriving at Warm Bay on Atlin Lake's east shore, we stir up a curtain of road dust that slowly parts to reveal real estate suitable for Norse gods.
My first taste of Atlin Lake is a literal one as a rogue wave sprays my face.
Those who capsize in these waters risk hypothermia and death; BC Parks advises Atlin Lake paddlers venture no more than 30 metres from the shore.
Luxury travellers cruised Atlin Lake aboard the 35-metre, 80-passenger MV Tarahne, a deluxe sternwheeler launched in 1917, now beached on Atlin's waterfront.
Six sites were chosen: three were located along the Klondike highway south of Carmacks, one on the Alaska Highway west of Whitehorse near the Takhini River, one at the north end of Little Atlin Lake
, and one just outside of Carcross at Nares Lake.
From coastal Vancouver's English Bay--where a few crazy Canucks took their first winter dip in 1920--to Silverton on Slocan Lake in the Kootenays, and way up north in Atlin--where they first cut a hole in Atlin Lake
's thick ice--the hardiest souls gather to ring in the New Year with a communal plunge into frigid lake and ocean waters.