Goodbye Alaska - Hello Canada!

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
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Trip End Jun 12, 2007


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Flag of Canada  , Yukon,
Monday, June 26, 2006

Dean: Crossed over the border today - my first land border crossing ever! Will provide further details soon!

Alex: We are in Canada now, eh. Staying at a Rustic HI Hostel (their classification) and that is certainly what it is. It is just across the Yukon River from Dawson City and has to be accessed via ferry, its pretty much just huts and a consequence of being across the Yukon is it has no electricity or running water! As it is pretty much 24hr daylight the electricity isn't too much of a problem it just means you have to cook out doors over wood burning stoves and the running water isn't too much of a problem because, in the girl running the hostels words, "this is the Yukon, people don't wash too much!" If you really did want to wash they had a couple of bath houses, where you had to stoke up the wood burning stove, heat up your creek water, mix it with cold creek water in buckets to the correct temperature and pour it over yourself with jugs - great fun (Dean and I are going to build one in our back garden when we get home). If you were heating up the water from cold the whole process took about 1hr but it wasn't a problem because "this is the Yukon, people don't wash too much!"

Dawson City is nice but city is pushing it. It was the centre of the 1989 Klondike Gold Rush and gold can still be found and is still mined in the area. It went into disrepair after the gold rush as people left but a film by an author (Pierre B???) called the City of Gold brought it to the public eye and the Canadian Goverment restored it, although some buildings have been left in their tumbledown state. Anyway it looks like all those wild-west films with dirt streets, wooden pavements (boardwalks I guess) and fancy wooden buildings. One place is famous for its "sour toe cocktail" and the famous ingredient is a real human toe, we went in (the bar had proper swing saloon doors and everything) but we didn't do the toe. The first toe was randomly found in a cabin pickled and no-one knows how it got there (we didn't asked who decided to put it in a cocktail) but now they have a selection of toes which have been donated either by frostbite victims (it's still only about 100 miles south of the arctic circle so gets cold in the winter) or people will them to the bar to become part of the toe legacy! We just really mooched around town and the hostel, went to the local museum, climbed a big hill to get a good view of the town that kind of thing.

Dean: As mentioned above, today (Sunday) we travelled over to Dawson City in Canada. We went through a number of places on the way over here but the best place was Chicken, which has a population of about 20-30 in the summer (and about 15 in the winter). The reason it is called Chicken is that when the settlers first got here they couldn't spell Ptarmigan!!!
Dawson City is nice, as Alex says, it's like one of the old western towns. I really like the hostel, it takes me back to the camping trips we did when we were kids (and the toilets smell the same too!).
Monday we spent in Dawson, looking around.
Tuesday we tried to hitch a ride to Whitehorse, as it is really expensive on the bus. I think we left it a bit late in the day (we started at midday) and had no luck - the only offer we had was to Stewart Crossing which was only halfway to Whitehorse. We gave up at 14:30 as there was not much traffic and went and got some food instead!

PS Weed is legal to own in Alaska (up to 4 oz in your private residence) but illegal to buy or sell!!! I think I know a few people who might want to move out over here!!!
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