Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012: The Cassier Highway, Jade City, Dease Lake

August 15, 2012: The Cassier Highway, Jade City, Dease Lake

We left Watson Lake, (well not really Watson Lake but the junction of the Cassier and the Alaskan Highway), and headed south for Jade City and Hyder. Our goal for the first day was to make it to Dease Lake, after first stopping at Jade City and hopefully adding to our jade collection.

The highway itself started out as a narrow version of the Alaskan Highway. It was really pretty good and we averaged thirty five miles per hour. It actually got a little better and the scenery is simply spectacular as the Cassier Mountains rose in their entire splendor. The road itself follows the Dease River for quite a while and so we enjoyed the river and numerous quiet lakes.

Ruffled grouse all seemed to be feeding on gravel along the route and I thought we were going to catch a few in our grill but they all flushed as we neared. We got passed by everyone but that’s ok as who knows if we will ever travel this road again and so it’s our time to smell the roses.

Seventy miles south we neared Jade City and so we stopped to look for some free jade. The road cut was full of green rocks and we actually picked up some BC jade and some emerald snowflake jade rough. When we arrived at Jade City we saw huge boulders of jade and tables filled with sliced pieces and slabs.

We were both like little children as we posed besides the mammoth rocks. Emerald greens, mutton jade layers and black speckled greens were all in abundance. Walking to the tables we started to wet pieces and soon one of the miners arrived and sprayed the blocks with water allowing us to grade the jade ourselves.

I asked her where the highest grade was and she said that it all was purchased by Chinese buyers and sure enough a buyer was inside the store. WE did manage to find and purchase some rough that will make some beautiful cabochons including some that had inclusions of bright green chromium, chromium diopside I believe).

We put our purchases in the truck and went back just to see all of the beautiful rock. One of the miners showed us some stunning, what I would call a turtleback translucent jade, and he took our card promising us he would contact us when he had sliced more.

See they have an outcrop of the jade and they can’t blast it as it will fracture so they have to slice pieces in the mine and then bring them to the store to further slice, grade and sell. All of the miners did admire Renita’s Wyoming Jade pendant and complimented us on our work.

So we left Jade City and continued our drive. The road was really good for about forty miles and then the frost heaves and gravel breaks came out to play, Slowing down again I took it easy and so it took us about five hours to travel one hundred and fifty miles to Dease Lake and the private campground.

There are lots of places to boon dock along the road, but we wanted electricity for our freezers as they are filled with salmon. We did find diesel and filled up so we are good to go for Stewart and Hyder tomorrow. Clear skies


  1. We arent going to find a sign by a pile of stones if we stop there. Im thinking the sign would say something like, Steve and Mike,I ran out of room for these stones,(note that I didnt say rocks)Can you please haul them south for me?