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Published: July 31st 2016
28 Jul 2016: Today's drive up to Whitehorse, YT was not as interesting as the drive to Waton Lake but it was not without its moments. First, we saw a Black Bear early in the morning looking for it's breakfast. I didn't have enough time to pull over and get a picture.
Next, we encountered rock messages alongside the hjghway just past Nugget City. According to our Milepost guide, rock messages were first started in 1990 by a Ft Nelson swim team. One may also see inukshuks, rock cairns build by the natives as landmarks.
We crossed several rivers and the Continental Divide, which we have crossed and recrossed on our travels. There were a few old lodges which have been closed for many years.
Crossing the Nisutlin Bay Bridge, the longest span on the highway and flowing into Teslin Lake, we stopped for lunch at
The rest of the way into Whitehorse was uneventful. Despite many Caribou crossing signs, none were to be seen. As a matter of fact, we saw very little in the way of wildlife. Even the Ravens were absent. I remarked that the insects had deserted us as well. The windshield was
much cleaner than usual.
We arrived in Whitehorse at 1630. That was one of our earliest arrival times.
20 Jul 2016: It was a treat to not have to get up early this morning. We are here for two nights to get a little extra rest and to see some of the sights. Whitehorse got its name from the resemblance of the white water of the Yukon River to a horse's mane. Today the River has been dammed up to produce electricity but some whitewater remains. We drove out to the dam and inspected the fish ladder that assists the Chinook Salmon on their way upstream to spawn. A live TV feed showed a few of these courageous fish waiting in front of the opening. Fish are counted by volunteers and classified (the fish, that is) as to gender and whether they are hatchery raised or wild. Hatchery fish have a small fleshy fin called the Adipose removed before they are released. This fin has not been found to serve any purpose. The Salmon at this point have traveled over 1700 miles and have survived predation by man and beast.
Next we visited the SS Klondike, a
restored stern wheeler that used to carry freight up and down the Yukon River in the 1930s and 40s. One of the Park Rangers (It is listed as a National monument) told me similar craft plied the river as early as the 1860s. They were in service five months of the year and hauled out of the water as winter approaches. Once mining operations began it even carried 125 lb bags of ore downstream to be milled.
One day is not very much time to get to know a city. I found myself thinking how little we have actually done at each of our destinations. Still, we have seen and done many things and talked to some really interesting people. Tomorrow we are off to Dawson City, a little over three hundred miles downstream. More sights and interesting people await us there.
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