Whitehorse, Carcross & Skagway
24.11.2013 - 02.12.2013 -25 °C
TERENCE'S AMAZING RACE ACROSS CANADA CONTINUES:
===THE GREAT WHITE NORTH, LAND OF THE ETERNAL SUN & SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES.===
PIT STOP: YUKON TERRITORY
Found a spot to sleep in Calgary Airport, after having arrived after midnight from my long trip from the Dominican - Toronto - Calgary and having to overnight before my next connecting flight mid-day to Whitehorse.
Before I left Calgary I quickly sent an email to the people I would be staying with up North to confirm my arrival time. I was going to be staying with some family of a former colleague/friend of mine that I worked with at the Ski hill on Vancouver Island. Oceana had put me in touch with her uncle in May already when I was going to initially come up to the Yukon before starting work in Alberta. However, this did not happen in the end. I landed up touching base with Erik again and he said I could come up for a few days and stay which was great.
After departing Calgary on Air North at 13h30 we took a short flight to Edmonton to drop off passengers before continuing onward to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory.
The flight along the way was just amazing. I had a window seat and all you could see was endless wide open land that was completely flat. It is almost barren looking and covered in white, as far as the eye can see. It is amazing that once you have left the Rocky Mountains in the west of Alberta it is pretty much flat out east leading into the Prairies and North before you hit the mountains heading into the Yukon again.
As we approached the city of Edmonton all you could see were farms covered under snow and a city that was blanketed in white. It all looked so cold and not very inviting but the landscape as seen from the air was simply out of this world.
Air North is such a fantastic low cost airline.
We were served a lunch sandwich, beverages a few times and dessert as well and the cabin crew and staff are ever so friendly. Given you generally have to pay for everything separately when selecting a low cost airline, it was really refreshing to have it all included for once.
After we had left Alberta and started flying further north over the mountains in the far North of British Columbia that lead into the Yukon Territory, you are left completely mesmerised by the endless jagged mountains that lie before you. They seemed to go on forever as we flew. It is amazing how much terrain in Canada there is, that is virtually untouched and uninhabitable.
We arrived into Whitehorse just after 16h00 on Sunday 24th November.
Flying into Whitehorse is also pretty spectacular. As you approach you fly over endless forest and mountain terrain and lakes frozen over. The sun was setting already at 4pm over the mountains and coming into land at the airport was a little scary as the entire runway at the small airport is covered in snow and it looks as though you are about to land on a frozen lake. It was an interesting landing.
BIENVENUE A YUKON
Whitehorse is the capital city for the Yukon Territory and the largest city in the Yukon. The city was incorporated in the 1950’s and was formed during the Klondike gold rush. It is situated just off the Alaska Highway alongside the Yukon River, which for the local natives meant “Great River”. Three main mountains surround the town – Grey Mountain, Haeckel Hill & Golden Horn Mountain. The city was named after the White Horse Rapids for their resemblance to the mane of a white horse, near Miles Canyon, before the river was dammed. The town became popular and was developed in and around the gold rush period when prospectors and people searching for their fortunes were heading up towards Dawson and Whitehorse became an important stop off point.
The great Alaska Highway passes through the town and this was an important highway system. It stretches for over 2450km from Dawson Creek in British Columbia to Fairbanks, Alaska. 925 km of the highway passes through the Yukon. The highway was built and paid for by the Americans.
During the war and when Japan bombed Pearl Harbour in 1941 the US was concerned about losing control of its territory in Alaska and as a result of the Alaskan state being separate from mainland USA decided to build a highway route that would enable them to maintain their forces and military garrisons in Alaska and so in 1942 started work on the highway. Parts of the highway were then handed over to the Canadians however the Canadian government never had to pay for part of the highway stretching through their territory.
Whitehorse is often referred to as the City of the Midnight sun as it has around 20 hrs of daylight in the summer months. In the winter though it is a different story with only a short day of 6-7 hours of Daylight, providing it is not snowing or fogged over.
Whitehorse is a small town that is geared towards outdoor activities and is a place of outstanding beauty in both the summer and winter. The summer offers fantastic hiking into the wilderness, lake exploration and the perfect place to do road trips on the Alaska Highway. The winter offers back country skiing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snow shoeing and a chance to see the famed Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, which most people flock to the Yukon for, in the hope of witnessing this magical phenomenon.
As I exited the plane into the terminal I could feel the drop in temperature immediately. I think the temperature was at around – 15 degrees Celsius.
I quickly put on my beanie and gloves.
After landing, I grabbed my bags and was on the look out for Erik and his daughter. Erik had offered to pick me up at the airport which was near his house and that was very nice. He was at the airport with his daughter to collect me. His daughter, Canyon is only 6. Such a beautiful name I think. He had named her after one of the mountains in the area.
Both Erik and Canyon are ever so friendly and hospitable.
After leaving the airport, Erik did a short drive around Downtown Whitehorse to give me an orientation of the small town and then we headed out for dinner at Boston Pizza.
Afterwards we returned to their home, were I took it easy for the night, chatted and worked out some plans for sight seeing for the week.
The sun sets here pretty early so by 6h30 pm you already feel as though it is 10pm at night. The Yukon is known as the land of the eternal sun or land of the midnight sun due to its proximity to the Arctic Circle. In the summer it never gets dark up here in the North. I cannot imagine what that must be like to get used to. Then in the winter season the opposite occurs with the sun only fully coming up closer to 10am and then setting around 4pm. From one extreme to another.
I landed up going to bed by 9pm as I was totally exhausted after the long travels from the Dominican.
Today I woke up around 8am.
I had such a fantastic sleep after 2 days of having slept in planes and airports and been on the run. I felt like a new person.
Erik had to take his daughter to school, so I had breakfast and left with them as I was going to be dropped off downtown after that.
It was still pretty dark at 8h30 and the sun only really comes out solidly closer to 10h00, which is a very strange feeling.
I layered up and put on my thermals which I have not worn since the ski hill and it was so cold outside this morning. The suburbs and neighbourhood and the sidewalks and gardens are all covered in snow and you can hardly see the payment and road.
It really is interesting to see where people choose to live in the world
Arriving at Canyon’s school downtown – Ecole Whitehorse Elementary, the kids were all out on this white snowy play ground doing morning exercises. Apparently all the kids do what is called “Active Living”, which is morning exercises & walks around the sports field to warm up before going inside to start the school day. It is funny as the spot lights are on and you can still see the moon somewhat visible in the sky.
I went with them into the school building and all the kids have to remove their winter boots and then put on their inside shoes. Outside each class there are racks for all their winter gear. It was funny to see such a mass off winter coats, ski jackets, boots and apparel outside each class. I can only imagine what a mission that must be.
After saying goodbye, I headed to Main Street with Erik and we had coffee at a trendy café downtown called Baked. Afterwards, Erik went to work and I headed out on foot to explore the small historic town.
There are a number of old colourful historic buildings done up in architecture from the old Klondike Gold era. It is a very unique and different town and has its own character. Most of downtown is covered in snow and the sidewalks and road are all pretty much ice. It is super cold to walk around and even though I was layered found it difficult to walk around much without ducking into a shop to evade the persistent cold that eats into your bones.
I headed down main street to see the SS Klondike, which is a sternwheeler paddle ship that sits on the banks of the Yukon River. The ship was used to transport freight between Whitehorse and Dawson City further up North however when the highway to Dawson was completed there was little need for the ship and it later became a cruise ship before being decommissioned and donated to Parks Canada as a tourist historical site. The ship is literally on the edge of the freezing Yukon River and in cased in white snow. It is pretty amazing to see however I could not hang about very long as the cold from the wind and the river was absolutely killing me. I could barely take my camera out for some pics as my hands outside of gloves were painfully cold.
I had to actually go into a random office and use the washroom to run my hands under hot water, as I could not feel my fingers and my hands were totally numb with the worst feeling of pins and needles. It was awful. Hours later I could still not fully feel the tips of my fingers properly.
From here I wandered down the promenade alongside the river taking some pics. The landscape is all so silent and serene and almost feels like it is literally frozen in time.
There are a few first nations totem poles dotted around town as well as some rather interesting and colourful murals and paintings on the walls of buildings too.
I headed down 2nd and 4th Avenue having a look at the buildings and shops in town and then decided to head in doors again to warm myself up as I was really not coping to well with the frigid cold. I came across a great little café and restaurant called Burnt Toast Café which I ducked into. The name rang a bell as I think I had at one point applied for a server position here. It is a great little restaurant. I had a much needed coffee and a fantastic potatoe and bacon soup. I was after anything that was hot and would warm my core body temperature up.
I headed back to Canyon’s school afterwards as Erik was going to collect us from there to take us home.
Staying in the division of Hillcrest:
That evening I spent at the house, doing some travel research and updating my journal in front of the fireplace. I did not have much interest in heading back downtown in the cold.
On Tuesday I went for a walk with Eric and Romeo (the dog) around the neighbourhood. The sun was out and it was such a beautiful day despite still being extremely cold. A walk in the snow is always so refreshing. The neighborhood is all dressed in white.
I then stopped in at the Yukon Transportation Museum next to the airport to have a look but this was closed. They still had a number of pieces outside the museum including the world’s largest weather vane which is a giant DC-3 aircraft. The airport is really intersting to view just because of the fact that it is totally under snow.
I headed back downtown to carry on with some site seeing in and around the town.
I decided to walk from the house I was staying at on the trail around the airport and then down the cliff into town.
This trail usually takes around 30 to 40 minutes.
The airport sits on a plateau on a hill above the town and from here you have fantastic views. It is also pretty impressive seeing the airport completely covered under snow and planes having to land in such conditions. There is a groomer that has to go out and clear up the runway before each plane lands. It is a pretty spectacular setting for the airport with the mountains in the background, the town of Whitehorse below in the valley and everything completely in white.
From atop the hill you had a perfect view of the downtown quadrant, the suburbs extending all the way back to the Yukon River and the mountains which rise in the distance. It is so strange not seeing black pavement and roads in the town and everything is dressed in white. The sun generally starts coming up around 8h30 and by 10h00 it is fully out. It is amusing watching the people from the lounge window in the morning running around in the dark; walking dogs, getting onto the school bus and people de-icing their car windows and clearing snow from driveways before they even depart for work. Not such an easy task. There is no such thing as just jumping in your car and hitting the road. You always need to factor in extra time for scraping snow off the car windows, warming up the vehicle etc etc.
I visited a few other museums in town today.
First was the Kwanun Dun Cultural Centre which houses a few artworks, crafts and relics by the indigenous First Nations People, which was interesting.
Next, I visited the MacBride Museum of Modern History which showcased life in the Yukon cities of Whitehorse and Dawson City during the Klondike Goldrush in the 1890’s. The museum also had replica shops and period pieces from the era as well as an extensive display off animals and wildlife from the North.
I had lunch at a local Asian restaurant which had a buffet special on the go. So I tucked into that before making my way back home before the sun starting going down around 4pm.
Headed back to the house and waited for Eric to come back from work. We cooked up some steaks on the BBQ.
Quite funny given the entire backyard is under snow.
Today I was up very early.
I had decided to rent a car for a day, which I booked last minute the day before.
I figured it was time to see more of the Yukon and get out of the main town of Whitehorse.
I had decided to do the famed drive on the Yukon White Pass, which is a route from Whitehorse all the way to the border of Alaska through the mountains and the winding mountain passes. This journey generally takes around 2.5 – 3 hrs depending on the weather and road conditions. I was going to head out all the way over the border into the US State of Alaska and the port town of Skagway. I had cancelled and changed my mind about going to Alaska as heading into the Dominican for a week was better logistically but since I was so close to the town of Skagway it made sense to at least hop over the border and to check out this town while I could.
Eric had called the emergency highway patrol number to get the latest forecast and update on the South Klondike Highway and other than snow pack on the highway and ice the road was not closed for any reason.
DETOUR: Whitehorse, Yukon - Skagway, Alaska USA
The drive would be a little ambitious given the winter weather conditions and that I would be driving on endless snow and ice covered roads through fog and snow but it is something that one certainly has to experience when up North. Many people also chose to ride the well-know White Pass train which covers this journey, however this stops operating at the end of the fall season.
I was collected by the rental car company (Driving Force) at 8am and taken to their downtown office to pickup the car and sign the paperwork. I received a white Chevy Sonic. These are really nice cars to drive and I have driven two of them before along my travels in Canada. The cars here are all pretty much automatic which I actually now prefer.
By the time I had jumped in the car the sun was half way up. I was a little apprehensive at first about making this drive as the last time I had driven on snow was back on Vancouver Island last winter. I was just going to take it really slow.
I had packed some extra supplies, snacks, water and had some additional warm clothes and a sleeping bag (good for -30 degrees) in the event that the car should break down, go off the road into a ditch or be stuck somewhere due to avalanches and road blocks which is only to common in these parts. At least I would be good to survive in the car for a few more days. Better to be safe than sorry. Temperatures here have been around – 15 but before I got here they were around – 30 and can go into – 40 degrees which is no laughing matter.
I departed Whitehorse for the historic town of Carcross which is around 40 minutes drive West of Whitehorse. The journey takes you off the Alaska Highway onto the South Klondike Highway.
I stopped a few times along the way to take photos of the breathtaking scenery.
I passed more frozen lakes – Emerald Lake and Spirit Lake.
The valley’s and mountains were again all covered in white and most of the road trip out west you felt as though you were driving in an abyss and cloud of white as you could hardly distinguish the road from the landscape. It is nothing but a bright white landscape before you for 3hrs.
I stopped off at this amazing little “Klondike era” village and farm (which was closed for the winter – of course) but had great old buildings all done up in the whole gold rush period look and feel. The farm had many huskies which were barking and the ominous sounds of the dogs echoed forever across the barren land. It was rather ominous but at the same time so nice to hear.
Next I stopped at the Carcross Desert.
This has been described as the World’s smallest desert and is basically made up of shifting dunes. Due to the humidity in the area, the dunes cannot fully be classed as a desert as it is not dry enough. The desert was completely covered in snow and you would never have imagined that what I was standing on is in fact “desert”.
This town was originally called Caribou Crossing. Caribou Crossing was named after the migration of huge numbers of caribou across the natural land bridge between Lake Bennett and Nares Lake. That caribou herd was wiped out during the Klondike Gold Rush. This town was renamed to Carcross as there is another town with the same name elsewhere in British Columbia and mail was always being sent to the wrong location.
This town sits of Lake Bennet and Nares Lake and is home to the local First Nations People – The Carcross/Tagish Nation. The town was a popular stopping destination for gold prospectors heading north towards Dawson City.
You first come across a small gas station and diner to the right and a native government building on the left overlooking the lake. There are a few totem poles situated in and around the snow which just looks so spectacular as the bright colours of the totem poles contrast against the bleak white landscape.
I stopped off at the diner to grab a quick lunch and coffee before turning off the Klondike Highway into the old Historic downtown part of Carcross.
This town is not just a tourist town and many locals live here in the small suburbs off the downtown, however, it had a complete ghost town vibe to it, as I must have been the only one their (in winter) checking it out. Most of the shops, art galleries and first nation’s buildings were closed and business’s shut down due to the lack of tourism.
I had such an awesome time running around here checking it out that I must have been there for over an hour. It literally felt like it could have been the perfect movie set with all the old historical buildings and period piece facades in the town. The downtown sits along the icy Nares Lake which was iced up along the banks. A few native first nations’ homes sit alongside the river, smoke billowing from the chimneys. It looks ever so cold and uninviting but at the same time so serene and still.
It started to snow so I jumped in the car and tried to make up for lost time out to the border. The drive from Carcross to the Canada Border Post is around 1.5 Hrs as you have to leave the Yukon and drive through parts of Northern British Columbia before arriving at the Canada border Post, then another 30 Minutes onward to the USA Border post before going through and driving 20 minutes into Skagway.
The drive was really the hardest drive I have ever had to do.
The mere fact that I had to drive for the time I did on endless snow and ice covered roads and constantly be on the look out for problems on the roads, ice and rocks, wild animals and try and keep the car from not sliding was quite the task. At one point I hit some soft snow near the shoulder of the road and the car slid out for a bit but I came right in the end. In the end I landed up driving in the middle of the highway unless of course I saw other headlights coming. I was driving the highway very slowly to be on the safe side. I only saw two other cars the entire period I was driving on the highway. That also is a little unsettling because if something goes wrong, who knows when you are likely to have someone help or assist you. There is also no mobile reception and my Alberta # doesn’t work out here, as they have some special telecoms company up here, so you really are in a pickle if you land your car in a ditch. The road snakes its way along a cliff with a lake to the left of it and steep Rocky Mountains to the right. You pass numerous Avalanche warning signs as you head through the pass and are advised not to stop at any point. The snow was blowing horizontally against the wind shield and the fog was so thick you really had to go slow to be able to keep track of where the road was.
The scenery along the way though and the “White Pass” certainly lived up to its name though and I was glad I did the road trip.
I passed through the small Canadian Immigration Post and then the last winding drive onward to the USA Border post which is separated from the Canadian one by a 12 mile gap.
Once I arrived at the USA Border post you have to hand over your passport, then park and exit your car and then come inside and wait.
Now, I always find it a pain dealing with the USA border officials as they are just so pedantic or plain paranoid it is always a frustration. So not like the Canadians who are always friendly, cheery and helpful. I was kept waiting for well over half an hour as they had to check and verify a few things and then went on about why I was in the Dominican for a short trip and then suddenly up in the North and what I was now doing as I had finished work and why I was coming into Alaska etc etc. Now I remember why I avoided this whole drama initially when I decided to have a break down South instead. Transiting through the US is always such a pain. Anyways the eventually stamped me through and said I have 3 months to stay before leaving. I said, well I will only be a few hours and then perhaps a week at the end when I head home out of New York State.
I drove onward into Skagway after having lost almost an hour and since you have less daylight up here that was a little frustrating.
Made it to ALASKA after all. Haha
I was contemplating also taking a 1 hr ferry from Skagway to Haines further down the inlet however as it is winter and the American Thanksgiving coming up there were no ferry’s running until Friday.
Skagway has such an amazing small town feel to it and I loved it straight away after having only driven 10 minutes through the small suburbs of it.
Skagway is a borough situated on the Alaska Panhandle in a glaciated valley at the top of the Taiya Inlet which leads off from the Lynn Canal.
The town is a mega tourist town and has lots of hustle and bustle when all the big cruise liners and ships doc in the summer. However, in the winter time, Skagway too is somewhat of a ghost town with hardly any tourists and only a few locals who live there and have stayed behind.
The White Pass train ride onto Whitehorse is a popular activity in the summer but the train is also on lock down at the rail station in the winter.
The historic downtown area near the port is very cute and has loads of brightly coloured wooden old fashioned buildings and like Carcross, the facades are all in a similar style reflecting the Klondike and Gold Rush era. Each shop has wooden signs hanging above their doors and it too feels like the set of a movie.
I came across a few quaint coffee shops, a restaurant and diner or 2 and a handful of random local shops or souvenir outfitter type shops that were open but as for the rest all the shops were closed, bordered up with signs “see you in the spring” or abandoned.
I walked around town exploring a bit and then headed down to the port on the far end of town which looks out into the waters of the Lynn Canal. The inlet leading in towards Skagway is a narrow waterway which bypasses many other inlets and waterways. The fog was sitting in between the bay and it was totally quite, only the sound of seagulls filling the air.
I headed back into the town and had a bite to eat at the Got Wood Pizza Station which had a few Americans and fisherman type local sitting around.
I dropped by a few stores to grab a souvenir and then the Lemon Rose Bakery for a cookie and coffee to go before heading back.
I did not want to leave to late as I had already lost track of time given there is another time change between the Yukon & Alaska and I would now have to do the road trip back partially in the dark which I was not looking forward too.
I will definitely be back to do a proper trip in Alaska someday as the scenery and small towns are simply fantastic and it would make for a really great summer road trip.
Today I had a rather slow day.
Returned the rental car and then took Eric for breakfast at the Burnt Toast Café (my new favourite little spot) to say thank you for letting me stay.
Sunrise around 9h40:
I also stopped by the toy store to buy Canyon a thank you gift for letting me take over her room, while she was at her mom’s.
We then stopped by the school over her lunch break to give it to her. She was very happy.
Afterwards Eric took me to a local art gallery called YAA (Yukon Artists Association) which had some nice artwork.
I then headed off to the Canada Games Centre which is a giant community and sports centre where I got a cheap day pass for the swimming pools, sauna and hot tub and spent some time chilling and then rented skates and attempted to skate for my 3rd time ever. It is not the most easy thing to do and I would much rather strap on some ski’s and race downhill instead. There were some young kids whizzing around me and boy did I feel out of place trying to find my feel on the ice. I was so worried I would land up with a broken ankle or wrist. It was fun to try it again.
I will be doing some skating on frozen lakes when out near Quebec too.
I woke up early as I was being picked up for a day tour. I had been referred to this tour company “Who What Where Tours”. The owner Teena was fantastic in helping with information and putting together a trip that would encompass everything I wanted to do in one day. I was the only one on the trip. She basically picked me up in Whitehorse and we headed off North on the North Klondike Highway which heads in the direction of Dawson. She was such an amazing guide and had loads of stories and insight to give me on the area.
My first stop was Equinox, where I had booked an excursion to do Ice Climbing, which is something I thought would be pretty neat to try out, especially up here. Again, I was the only one at the place which was great. Chris, the guide was also fantastic. He took me through a quick briefing and breakdown on how ice climbing works and the equipment used, as I had no experience or knowledge on the sport of climbing.
You get kitted up in a harness, helmet and visor, with thick boots, crampon (spikes) and your ice axes and then head off to these man made ice columns and spires which extend high into the sky. They have a structure which they slowly release water over from the start off November and then weeks later they have these amazing columns and ice pillars which you can climb.
At first I was a little nervous as I don't enjoy heights and the though of having to traverse the ice with a pick axe seemed a little complicated.
In the end I had a fantastic time and did a few climbs. There are only so many climbs a person can do before the body is exhausted and your hands and arms are numb due to the blood draining away from your upper body while climbing.
Getting to grips with using your toe spikes and wielding an axe to grapple it into the different layers and types of ice was also something to get used to. There are so many icicles that with each thrust you send shards of solid ice flying everywhere.
After this we ended with a run on the Zip Line which stretches out over a frozen lake. Again, not something that I would usually do but it was fantastic and the view over the frozen landscape and forests was simply breathtaking.
Next, Chris dropped me off at the Bean North Coffee Roasting Company which sits just down from the climbing company on another property. They have fantastic coffee which is distinct with their cute and quirky Moose labels. The coffee shop was just as cosy and totally needed after spending the morning on the ice. Had some good coffee and soup to warm up.
Then I walked about 1km onto the next property where the Yukon Wildlife Preserve is located. This is definitely a must see when up North as it gives you a really good opportunity to witness and experience all the wildlife native to these parts of the country and territory.
The temperatures had dropped when I arrived. You can take a guided tour in a bus. There were a handful of tourists from Japan and 2 from New Zealand. I decided rather to walk the 5km trail around the preserve and do it at my own pace. It was super chilly but so great. The preserve is a fantastic facility and feels so natural with massive enclosures and fields. I got to see Wapiti (Elk), herds of Mule Deer and Caribou, Moose, Bison, Musk ox, Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goats and the rare arctic fox and lynx.
Lastly, I headed to the last property on this strip where the Thakini Hot Springs are located. These are thermal hot springs and were the perfect way to round off the day. The water was nice and warm while the edges and surrounds of the hot springs were covered in snow and fog.
Teena then came to collect me at 4h30pm and the sun had already gone down.
When I got back to Erik’s house, he was getting ready for work but suggested he drop me off at this book signing in town. The council was launching its first book on the history of Whitehorse and though I might be interested to check it out. They had good snacks and it was a cool event. Afterwards I checked out some of the nightlife in downtown Whitehorse and also dropped by a local hotel to checkout a singer and band that was playing. Eriks neighbour was singing and had invited us to see her perform which was nice to get another local experience.
Today I had a cheat day and was rather lazy.
I slept in and hung about the house until mid day before even thinking of venturing out. The weather dipped over night and I think it was around – 20 Degree today.
I decided to head to the Cross Country Ski Centre at Mount Macintyre and rent some equipment to do some cross country skiing.
I prefer downhill skiing instead but it was a nice way to get out for a bit on the trails in the woods. It is a really hard workout.
It got so chilly my eye lashes starting freezing and little icicles formed on them.
Afterwards I headed to the Canada games centre to use the indoor poles, steam room and hot tub.
Got back and headed out for some dinner with Erik.
Eric invited me to tag along to an event one of the neighbours were having in the next division. A French lady was having a snacks and hockey night, so decided to join for that. When we arrived it was a little awkward as all the guests were French Quebecois and from the French Community that resides up here. I could only muster up un pertit per francais with them.
The weather had dropped to around – 25 degrees and I could not really believe they wanted to head outdoors and play hockey but anyways we went (about 10 people) and had to still clear the rink of snow and do some shovelling to make it playable. This was hilarious as I was already frozen to the bone.
We then played and I had a quick crash course into Hockey. They were all in the 40’s-late 50’s and ever so competitive I could not believe how they were running around out there on the snow and in the frigid weather. It was a fun night and again, another local experience I would not get elsewhere.
Today was another slow day as i was feeling pretty tired after such a week full of activities and site seeing.
I slept in, did some much needed laundry before heading off on my next leg.
Erik came home from work and then took me out to Muk Tuk on the North Klondike Highway.
This is where i was going to work last January however was not able to get off Vancouver Island quick enough and so could not accept.
Anyway i decided to head out there and meet the people and see the operation and all the dogs they have on site.
It was really impressive to see. They have around 50 huskies on site which live on the front of the property. Really spectacular to see all these dogs running around with so much energy in the frigid weather.
I did a self guided tour while there and got to see the dogs and the puppies.
The weather out here was so insanely cold i felt like my hand was going to freeze and succumb to frost bite.
On the dog sled - this is how you roll in style up North
The husky puppies are just so cute, i wanted to take one in my backpack.
Afterwards we headed on home where i packed up and Erik made us paste and meat sauce.
Got to try Moose Meat Sauce too!
It has been so fantastic staying with Erik and Canyon and they have been super hospitable and really showed me a great time out here in Whitehorse.
I love it when I leave a place having really got the local feel for it rather than just feeling like a tourist running around ticking off sites.
I am definitely glad I made the effort to get up here as I would totally have regretted it. The vast openness and stillness of the North, the scenery, the never ending snow, the well below freezing temperatures which I have never been exposed to before and the general feel for the town of Whitehorse and the surrounds has been well and truly amazing. I got to do everything i wanted to do and hopefully the Northern Lights will show themselves before i finally leave.
This draws the end to my week long stay in the Great North and the Yukon Territory.
That was a chilling experience (Literally) and about as far North as i got possibly get given the distance and how far South i am from. Polar Opposites.
Getting ready for the next stop …
People along my Journey:
Lenka (Czech Republic) & Kim (Vietnam) from the hotel i was at:
Sarah (Prince Edward Island, Canada) who worked at the lodge and hotel with me:
Erik (Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada) who played host while i visited: