Day 22, 23. Dawson City


 

We woke up relatively early, prepared a quick breakfast then set out to see if we could get to the Yukon River Campground.  When we got to the ferry there was no warning of full campsite, so with that in mind we boarded the little ferry ( free and runs 24/7 5 months of the year!) and headed tp the other side of the river to the campground.

Waiting for the ferry. Very powerful engines prevent it from getting swept down river. And the “ramp” is constantly being rebuilt, almost daily because of the erosion from the current.
Ground crew reinforcing the ramp with more gravel!

We found a delightful spot where we would stay for the next couple of nights.

Great spot backing onto the Yukon River

The beauty of this campground us that you can walk the .5 km to the ferry and walk on and ride over to Dawson City where you could tour, and eat.  Today was the Sunday of the long weekend, so the “Discovery Days” ( celebrating the gold find here) as well as the Arts cultural festival was going on.  Our first stop was the visitor’s centre where we got some info on the town and recommendations for lunch.

Dawson City Visitor’s Centre. Excellent! And with free wifi! ( very very very slow, thus no blog!)

Dan and I went to Klondike Kate’s for their brunch.  I had a smoked salmon Benedict with Horseradish bernaise and it was absolutely incredible!  Dan had the grumpy bennies’ which featured a pork Schnitzel for the meat…he always thrilled when he can get schnitzel!

 

After that we headed up to Robert Service’s cabin.  Here we joined a Parks Canada interpreter who was giving some great talks about his life here in the Yukon.  The cabin was “cozy” to say the least, but as she said, it was above the flood plain and below the fire line and lasted quite well!

Robert Service’s cabin where he spent 3 years.
Our interpreter inside the Cabin. Many of Robert’s things are still there, including his typewriter. You should have heard her rendition of Molly’s Boil!

After that, dan and I toured the rest of the town on our own.  We saw a part of a competitive fastball game ( organized for the holiday) as well as visiting the festival tents by the river.  We saw a local blacksmith with a small portable forge, as well as a wood cutter and a display of local medicines and herbs.  There was also a truck selling Okanigan fruit as well as a local with handmade cheeses and ice cream.  Mmmm.

We bought a small tub of ice cream and sat on a bench overlooking the river eating our maple, roasted pecan delight!!  Beautiful views, lovely company and a delish repas. 

Yukon River views

After that we did a little more exploring and decided to go for an early dinner.  Tonight we opted for Greek…because who knew in Dawson City!  We  ordered the Mezze platter for 2 and couldn’t have been more pleased if we had been in the middle of Greek town in Toronto!  Wonderful tastes and lots of food!!!

After that we headed back to our campsite ( Dan and I on the run to catch the ferry… as we got close the attendant called out for us to relax, they would hold it!) and decided to light a fire ( Dan’s specialty), get out the crib board and the Scotch!  A great evening all round except that Dan beat me by one point!!!

Dan builds the fire, the least I can do is let him win at Crib!

Well, time to sign off.  We have booked a couple of walking tours led by Parks Canada tomorrow and wanted to head out to the ferry shortly after 8 am.  Until tomorrow, stay safe!

 

Day 23, Dawson City

Today we were up early, made a simple breakfast and struck out around 8:15 am.  Our ferry connections were excellent and we made in to the Visitor’s centre ( the muster point) well ahead of schedule.  I tested out the wifi once again and found it to be much better than that which we had in Whitehorse.  Maybe I can post!!!!  Be still my heart!

We took advantage of our early arrival and managed to call Pete and wish him a happy birthday!  So great to chat with him!

Soon after, we joined up with Faye ( our guide) and began our tour of stories and tales of Dawson.  She took us by the Undertaker’s shop where an entrepreneurial furniture maker found a better living in the funeral business.  She spoke of the year when Typhoid came through the town and how Mr Lowe would walk around town, sizing up folk he thought would succumb to an early death.  He would then sent out his crew to dig graves in the summer so that that would be ready should the folks die in the winter!  He had to build an extension onto the back of his shop to accommodate the deceased when they drastically outnumbered his speculative digging!  To be sure it was more expensive to die than to live in these parts!

 

Faye in the BNA

We visited a bank ( British North America branch) a saloon ( the Red Feather) the Post Office and the theatre where Klondike Kate was the main attraction!

 

Red Feather Saloon
Post Office
Theatre
Klondike Kate’s personal rooms at the Theatre

After the tour we grabbed a quick lunch as our next tour was to explore one of the working paddle wheelers, the Keno.  This paddle wheeler was a work horse, burning ¾ of cord of wood per hour, carrying cargoe and pushing barges up and down the Yukon river.  While many others transported people, the Keno was cargo only.  She was 140’ long, a beam of 27’ and a draft when fully loaded of 24”.  Very shallow for this size of boat.  But shallow was survival here because the silt in the Yukon River, created sand bars faster than you could blink!  Each run had the navigator documenting where the latest hazards were so the next pilot could have a chance of navigating through.

SS Keno

Once our tour was done we made another quick stop at the visitors centre ( outstanding by the way) and picked up info on the Dempster Highway as well as some interesting material on the Old Crow settlement and the Beringia area north of the Arctic circle. Here they have found a mammoths, giant beavers, and other prehistoric animals. It is also report they have found human remains in excess of 50,000 years old, which predates earlier human occupation here by about 40,000 years. We happened to meet a master’s student in Whitehorse who was doing a research stint up here…fascinating stuff.

After our touring we decided to head back to camp for a little snack and libation. We would head back to the visitor’s centre tonight to see if the wifi will really support a posting or 2!. Then we intend on making a special outing after dinner… will write all about it in our next instalment! For now, I’ll say an early goodnight… until next time!

PS… we couldn’t go to the Sourdough Saloon as it was not open this night. Their specialty is a “Sourtoe”. This is where you have a shot of your choice ( but Yukon Jack is the traditional shot) into which is inserted a dehydrated toe that had fallen off some poor soul from frostbite! Much like kissing a cod, one must let the toe touch your lips! Maybe next trip!

Categories: 2021 C2C2C Exploring Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast - a 40th Anniversary Tour

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