Yukon

Trip Start Jul 26, 2004
1
23
Trip End May 31, 2005


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Flag of Canada  , Yukon,
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Our first adventure of a long year of travelling began in the Yukon. We rented an RV with our friends Gilly and Karen and spent two weeks touring around the beautiful territory of the Yukon, and into Alaska. This is not the best way to test a friendship but we made it through as better friends despite the long hours (and Gilly's gas problems)in close quarters.

Our route took us from Whitehorse in the Yukon, to the Chilkoot Trail and Skagway in Alaska, then Haines, Haines Junction back to Canada, Beaver Creek, Dawson, Tombstone National Park, The Dempster highway, Stewart's Crossing, Tagish, Atlin B.C. and back to Whitehorse. This is a very brief overview of our trip up north.

The scenery was spectacular. The terrain, like nothing we've ever seen before. In one drive we could pass through glaciers and snow covered mountains, rolling green hills, stretches of trees and fireweed, and believe it or not, a real desert! There were so many times when you would come across scenery for which there were no words to properly describe its natural beauty. In Carcross (Yukon)the desert is the smallest desert in the world, and definitely an unexpected and pleasant addition to the drive.

Along the way we stopped many times to hike, eat, take photos, chat with the locals, catch some live shows and soak in the scenery. One of the many highlights for us was our two day stay in Dawson City, Yukon. The town is fully functional, yet maintains much of its original splendour form the days of the Klondike Goldrush. Streets remain unpaved, buildings are either in their original form or restored to it, and many of the locals are miners and fishermen.

The four of us spent our time in Dawson touring the town and other historic sites, catching a real can-can show and making friends with some of the residents of the town. We found ourselves invited to a bar where a fantastic band played soul music every Sunday night, and we grooved to the great tunes. By the time we left the bar at 2 am the sun was just going down. That's right, at this time of year the sunlight lasts for as many as 20 hours, which meant we could drive all day, arrive somewhere at 7pm and still have 6 hours to hike, play ball, sit outside and hang out.

Another major event in Dawson was the drinking of the sourtoe cocktail by Chris and Gilly. This drink is world famous, and it contains a real petrified human toe. Legend has it that Captain Dick Stevenson began the sourtoe saga in September of 1973. The idea sprang from a human toe found by Dick when he attempted to renovate his cabin, and a conversation about an Ice Worm drink in a famous Robert Service poem. From there it gained popularity and now Gilly and Chris have joined the ranks of over 18,000 other people who have done the deed. What is it you may ask? Brave drinkers need to down a shot of Yukon hooch or Yukon Jack (whisky) with the human toe in the drink. One needs to touch the toe to his/her lips, but not swallow it, or else they are warned, they are responsible for replacing it!

Towards the end of our trip we made our way down to Atlin B.C. We were fortunate enough to be able to book ourselves a glacier flight on a float plane. For an hour we soared above the mountains and saw the glaciers up close. They were spectacular. Now we are looking forward to seeing more glaciers in New Zealand and hiking them.

After 2 weeks our trip had to end. The experience was awesome and we would recommend it for all to enjoy. The RV was an amazing way to travel. It saved us from many rainy nights, and yet we were still able to park it and camp out in the wilderness.

Tomorrow we leave for another adventure, to a very different climate and culture. Our next destination is Fiji. We hope to update you soon with tales from there. As always, we would love to hear from all our friends. Please send us an email to let us know how you're doing.

Until the next time...

C and L
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