Day Two in Dawson

Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
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22
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Trip End Jun 31, 2009


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Flag of Canada  , Yukon,
Friday, June 18, 2010

We drove to Dredge No 4 (not the most exciting name) a few kilometres out of town. On the way I noticed several bird houses on tall poles anchored in the rock piles beside the road. My guess was confirmed later by a tour guide (a former cook for the dredge); they were to encourage the nesting of swallows to reduce the mosquito population.

At the end of the gold rush, the gold panners were replaced by dredges; humongous floating machines that used a bucket chain to scoop up the rocks and then process them to extract the gold. The rejected rocks were then piled behind the dredge in large snake-like hills. Dredge No 4 had eighteen inch square wooden beams, and a fourteen foot gear inside. It was built in 1912, eight stories high and was 2/3 the size of a football field. It took three people to operate it. The vibration was so intense that the lights were spring mounted.

During the tour, a baby raven sat on a railing watching the tourists go by. They are not normally this tame. He posed for photographs.

After lunch in the Dawson picnic grounds we went to the Robert W Service cabin. Most Canadians like his poetry and the tour guide, (an arts student from Quebec), delighted his audience with some of Service's lesser known works. Just across the road was the Pierre Burton house, now used as a writers retreat. There must be something in the water...

That evening we went to the Diamond Tooth Girtie's show and casino. I noticed an overweight man walking around in the packed hall and eventually realized that all of the chairs had arms on them and he couldn't find a place to sit down. Perhaps the exercise will do him good. We had to stand too at first, but eventually, two people offered us their seats as they left.
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