Day 24 Meeting the Yukon’ers

Farmer’s Market

We stayed at the provincial park across the river last night and I decided to move into town and stay another night so I can use the internet.  Between the library and the campground I should be able to get a few hours of work done.  The poodles might not be thrilled about staying indoors but it’s a perfect gloomy day for just that.

Our morning walk brought us to the Farmer’s Market where I found some beautiful fresh veggies.

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NO! This IS a radish… not a rutabaga or parsnip… Radish.. no really

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The biggest and smallest carrots in the world

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I love a full fridge!

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and I can’t wait for dinner …

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I’ll stay the night at a gringo camping ground so I can finish chores and work on the blog

I ran into the couple I met at Boya Lake Park a month ago. Unbeknownst to me they’d taken a picture of the poodles and me in the canoe.  Jan and his wife Machiko and their two sons, Kai and Wyn have been on a trip across Canada and Alaska.

Click the photo below to link to their website:

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Thanks Jan for this awesome picture.  I’m now using it as my Facebook pic

I ended my day being invited to a real Yukon party

at least that’s what they kept telling me…

 

Around 9pm I headed out for a quick walk with the poodles.

Dawson City is made up of a main street that borders the river and where the tourist shops resides, the historic and business district and a small residential area that spreads out behind the town.  Walking from the campground and across two streets of shops delivered us into the neighborhood.  My goal was a brisk jaunt and back to the camper for an early night.   We were only half way down the block when I heard someone calling from a window, in an oddly combined Canadian/Maine-er accent,  “He’yah little da’lan, you wanna come see what a real Yukon pardy’s like?”  I hesitated, took a step and hesitated again.  I squinted at the window, looked down at the poodles and squinted again. The front door of the house was open and soon appeared a man and his dog,  I could hear music and the din of voices issuing from inside.  He had a grizzly looking beard and a slight wall-eye.  “Come on in and hav’a be’yah.”   I did a quick calculation… I had three dogs with me and we were in the middle of a very small town where everyone knows one another.  OK.

I walked into a smoke filled drab dark living room.  Several guys were sitting by a table playing guitars and took casual note of my entrance. They told me to pull up a chair and join them, so I did.  I let the poodles off their leads and they immediately began mingling and making themselves at home.  Nickel politely greeted the little lab and then clamored into my lap. Eureka jumped onto the couch and pressed herself into the closest person and demanded pets, which were generously applied.  TinTin, as only TinTin can, moved slowly forward, like a tiny stiff legged stegosaurus, down the hallway and into the kitchen to look for any leftovers within reach.

Me? I was sitting there in my PJ’s, my blue plaid flannel bottoms with a gray T-Shirt that said “Happy 101 Birthday Gino!”  There I was,  a middle aged woman in her pajamas, drinking a can of Canadian Molson and a holding huge gray a poodle in my lap.  I looked at the guy sitting on my right, “Does this feel kind of surreal to you?”  He nodded and said, “Yeah.”

There were five men and a woman.  Two of the guys were x-hockey players and two were seasonal miners, I don’t know the host did.  The gravelly voiced woman who was sitting on my left was gaunt and her leathery tanned skin hung tight across her face and hands.  I couldn’t decided if her body and soul were weathered from a life of truck-stops and whiskey or from the tough existence of a pioneer’s subsistence living.  It seemed that all of these people had left Dawson City and traveled around the US and Canada at some point, but they always returned.

The host told me that I needed to spend a few more days in Dawson City in order to get a feel for what Yukon is really like.  He invited me to park my camper in his back yard for a few days.  I took a second glance at the woman next to me and decided that I’d better be going…..

Day 23 To Dawson City and Chores

We found a nice hidden spot to ‘bushwhack’ our last night on the Dempster

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It was a quiet spot and we got the camp set up so late there wasn’t much to do but get to bed.  The next day we woke to the sun. I let the dogs out to go potty and it was so nice outside I decided to latch the door open to let in some fresh air. .  I always make a lot of noise and take a peek around before letting them out.   Eureka and Nickel did their business and quickly came back in with the expectation of breakfast.  As I prepared their meal, I heard TinTin on the steps.  Since she occasionally has a hard time maneuvering on them, I went help her.  Oddly, despite having her two front paws on the stipes she wasn’t trying to go up but, instead,  looking over her shoulder.  I followed the path of her gaze and saw a great big Grizzly walking toward her.  It wasn’t looking menacing and, , it looked pretty calm. It still wasn’t giving off any signs of stress; not that I really know what a bear looks like when it’s stressed but the literature describes it yawn, lick their lips, etc…much like a dog.    I told TinTin to hurry up and reached around the side of the camper to get the door unlatched so I could close the door.  TinTin started to come up the stairs but decided, instead, to jump back down and face the bear.  At that point it was about 3 yards away but lumbering slowly towards us.   TinTIn gave a big bark and the bear stopped.  As soon as Eureka and Nickel heard TinTin, they too started to bark and lunged forward toward the doorway.  I blocked them with my leg while I was still reaching around to get the door with one hand and trying to haul TinTin in with the other.  The bear stood up, turned to the side and reared forward and AWAY.   It galloped off into the woods.  I wish TinTin hadn’t been out there so, maybe I could’ve watched it from the safety of the camper.  I never felt that the bear was a threat and I think it was more curious than anything.  TinTin certainly thought she was hot stuff afterward … scaring away a big brown bear!

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So enough excitement for the day.  We needed to head south and I still wanted one more hike before we were back in Dawson City (the goal for the day).

Of course We couldn’t leave without one more day of hiking.

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TinTin scaring herself

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Nickel being a goof=ball

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall colors are getting more intense

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My only chore for the day was to stop at tombstone campground and see if they found my sunglasses.  Can yo believe someone did?  It does seem ironic though, that after so many days trying to see wildlife with my myopic vision, now that we’re headed back to civilization I can see.

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Quick stop at Two Moose Lake to see migratory water fowl.  Saw two Tundra SwansIMG_3489

 

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To Dawson City

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Dirt Road…. I’ll miss you!

I picked up hitch hiker who was headed for Dawson City.  She is a young artist who spent the last 4 months at the Tombstone Campground doing some type of teaching.  She made the trip (via hitch hiking) once every 2 weeks in order to do laundry and to get groceries.  Apparently Tombstone has had more rain this year than usual and her tent has been very damp throughout the summer.  I know the feeling of a damp tent and it isn’t pleasant.  On the other hands she’s seen a great deal of wildlife and she’s done a lot of hiking.  She said it would help her art.  It was nice to have some company for a short bit.  We only have about 20 miles to get to DC.

Rain begins to come down again and I get a better understanding why there are wooden ‘side walks’ in town.  It reminds me of pictures from the old west.31c

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The library (where I can use the internet for an hour) has an elaborate ‘anti-mud’ system going….

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Those black squares are boot jacks and brushes

Lo and behold!   A Royal Mounty!!

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actually he’s just an actor for one of the tours in town

 

Chore Number ONE!…. Wash Foxy…..

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BEFORE

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AFTER

OH that felt good!!!

 Days at an end and although I hadn’t planned to stay the night I decided it was a good opportunity to get some other chores done.  It’s a nicer environment than Whitehorse and I can do my laundry and some shopping.  we take a ferry to other side of river to a provincial campground.  Sadly the one hundred campsites are packed with people.  We’re now on the Alaskan Highway that brings people to more touristed areas.  Even this time of year it seems a very popular destination.  After a quick walk along the river we call it a day… I miss the Dempster already….

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Day 9 In the land of Permafrost

 

Dawson City

Click Here To See Map

We’re finally in the land of Permafrost.  To be truly accurate, Dawson City is in an area of  “Extensive Discontinuous” permafrost.

Permafrost, or perennially frozen ground occurs when the ground remains at or below 32 degrees for a minimum of 2 years.  There is an amount of soil that thaws and freezes every spring but the lower layers remain frozen.

The permafrost is what’s (partially) responsible for the change in fauna here in Dawson (and as we continue further north).  The Black Spruce has a shallow root system and scan survive being frozen.

Permafrost is extremely sensitive to any soil disturbances.  This had lead to a lot of environmental problems due to road and building construction.  In a few of the pictures below you can see how the houses are tilting.  Despite the attempt to d construction to accommodate for permafrost… the permafrost always wins (or should I say looses because once the ground is thawed by construction the terrain is forever changed.

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One of the ways to help prevent the soil from thawing is to build off  the ground.  You can see in the first picture below that there is a ‘lattice’ covered by a faux foundation.  I’ll have more pictures to illustrate this from Inuvik.

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Fishing is a prime source of subsistence living here.

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Just a weird fly i saw…..

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From Dawson (fill up with gas and groceries) and finally……

ONTO the DEMPSTER HIGHWAY

From here on out it will be dirt road

for the next 360 something miles!

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End of pavement

 

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MOSQUITO guts

Our objective for the night is

Tombstone Territorial Park

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This is what I have to look forward to… for the next 3 weeks….

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We settle in for the wet night.  Hoping tomorrow will bring some sun for a full day of exploring the area.  I hope to spend a few days here.