Day 2 Larger than life and emptier than most places on earth

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North America » Canada » Yukon » Whitehorse
May 31st 2015
Published: May 31st 2015
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Distance driven today: 273 miles / 439 km

Cumulative distance driven: 592 miles / 953 km

Today’s trip: Beaver Creek, Yukon, Canada to Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Yukon spruce trees along the road: 237 million (give or take a few)

Crushed bugs detected on the windshield: 3,568

Potholes on the first leg of the Alaska Highway: 873

The first leg of the Alaska Highway after Beaver Creek Yukon was in pretty bad shape. About 80 or so miles of the road were gravel, and some of the paved sections had lots of potholes. Apparently, the constant freezing and thawing of the ground, year after year, takes a heavy toll on the road.

I asked the owner of lodge that I stay at in Beaver Creek, whether last winter had been cold or not. She replied that it had been unusually mild. When I asked how many degrees that meant, she stoically replied “it was above 30”. Was that in Celsius or Fahrenheit below zero, I wondered? “Oh, when it gets as cold as it gets here in the winter, it doesn’t really matter what scale you use to measure the temperature in…” In other words, anything above minus 30 degrees, whatever the unit of measurement used, is “mild”. Go figure!

Apart from the myriad of potholes on the road, the rest of the day progressed pretty uneventfully. By 5pm I arrived at Whitehorse, which is the capital of the Yukon Territory. Incidentally, the motto of the territory is “Larger than life”. Driving though the magnificent and majestic scenery of this north-western Canadian territory makes it very easy to understand why the founders of this remote corner of the north American continent choose that expression. Wild and grand nature is everywhere you look. To get a sense of the vastness, and the low population density of Yukon, it is best done by comparing to California, which is the 3rd largest state in the US by area. Though Yukon is 15%!l(MISSING)arger than California, it only has 33,000 in *total* population. Out of that, the capital Whitehorse has 24,000 inhabitants! This in a territory that measures 187,000 square miles in total area! I guess the correct motto for Yukon should read: “Larger than life, and emptier than most places on earth.”

I do not plan to stop at any more schools with donated Kindle e-readers for a few days, in order to make good progress along the mighty Alaska highway. Next stop at a school will be St Mary’s Catholic school in Prince George. I should be there in about 3-4 days.


Tot: 2.232s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 10; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0426s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.3mb