Atlin, British Columbia – Big shy cat

Atlin town, surrounded by mountains, has natural charm. It is still attractive to boat drivers and anglers, but its touristic height is passed. After the short gold rush the railway line Skagway – Whitehorse was used for touristic purposes. In those days travellers were transported between by ship between Scotia Bay and Atlin. Nowadays Atlin seems a bit lonely, deserted, and gone to the rack. But now and then optimistic new buildings strike. Leaving town on Atlin Road, something light-brown with a dark, short, and stubby tail approaches from the right, jumps sleekly across the street in front of us, and dashes further downhill into the forest: a cougar! That’s their Canadian name; in the States they are called mountain lion. We are stopping immediately. Just one more time the big cat dares to come out between the trees to look closely at us, and then it disappears. Despite the prepared camera in my hand we can’t take a picture – it is too fast. In the end of Atlin Road we get back to Alaska Hwy to tackle the last 340 not driven kilometres.

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