Tagged with " Dawson City"
Aug 22, 2010 -

Driving the Dempster: The Road Back Home Again

Being so sore from climbing out of the ice house, I was glad to have a comfy bed Thursday night! I slept well and late, figuring that I was in no rush since I was only heading to Eagle Plains and didn’t want to get there too early. But soon as I stepped out onto the deck with my coffee Friday morning to see a heavy, dark cloud cover I realised that I might have to change my plans.

I headed back into town to the visitors’ centre to get a road report. I found out that it had rained heavily at Eagle Plains a few days prior, but had since been dry, and that it would be raining from Friday night onward for at least three or four days. There was only one thing to do: squeeze through this window of good weather and decent road conditions and head straight home!!! I knew that a best case scenario would get me home in 12 hours. I bought some snacks and hit the road at 11AM. I’d bought gas the morning before, at 1.49!!!

My attitude on Friday was that I was going to get where I was going to get in the amount of time it was going to take and I wasn’t going to rush, stress out, or otherwise set myself up for an accident. Yes, I would be tired, but it was better to be fatigued in good circumstances than it would be to have a poor night at Eagle Plains and then be tired in bad circumstances.

To my surprise, the time passed quickly even if the kilometres didn’t and I took the time to make a few stops, stretch my legs, and talk to people. Every single person I spoke to was worried about my car making it through a stretch past Eagle Plains, but was also in agreement with me that my making a run to Dawson was a good idea.

At Eagle Plains, I took the time to get fuel, have a coffee, and be warned, yet again, about a bad stretch of road upcoming. I was getting pretty stressed out by this point, but had definitely reached the point of no return.

It didn’t take long for the gravel to turn to a muddy track. I slowed to a crawl and tried as best as I could to stay in the ruts laid by other vehicles. When I couldn’t, the car just slid around and I used my winter driving skills to stay in control. It wasn’t an awful experience, though, not like that one stretch of construction on the way in that had me driving over rocks just a bit taller than my car’s ground clearance (thunk, scraaaaaaaape, THUNK!). When I was pretty sure that stretch was done, I pulled over for a snack and then pushed on. Buying those new tires in Whitehorse really paid off on this drive!

Until this point, I’d literally been outracing storm clouds to the point that if I stopped for a second, I’d start to get rain splatters. Finally, the sky cleared and the sun came out in full force. The final stretch home, in familiar territory starting at Two Moose Lake, was easy. I emerged triumphant at the Dempster corner, tired, but not excessively so, and thrilled to have made such a difficult drive without incident. I pulled into home at 10PM, bang on 12 hours from my departure in Inuvik (remember the time zone change!).

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Canada, Northwest Territories, Travel, Yukon    4 Comments
Aug 10, 2010 -

The Klondike Valley Nursery & Market Garden

This afternoon, I was finally able to follow the manager, Sarah, to her homestead, known as the Klondike Valley Nursery & Market Garden.

To get there, we had to drive twenty minutes south of Dawson, park, walk two minutes, get in a canoe, paddle across half the Klondike River, walk across an island, get into another canoe, paddle across the other half of the Klondike to a stream, and then paddle up the stream to the house. She does this morning and night!

Sarah’s husband, John, carved his little empire out of the bush and the result is a little piece of Yukon paradise where he grows things one would never imagine could survive up here. He’s a scientist and an artist, creating new stock from grafts in an attempt to create plants that can thrive in the Yukon. Do check out their website for more details about his apple tree and dwarf conifer projects!

It’s quite a spread they have on their 44 acres, only 4 of which have been cleared, with several green houses in addition to an off-grid home. I had a fun time exploring and playing with the four dogs. Oz is much smaller than are his siblings!

In order to get all the work done on the property, they welcome WWOOFers–Willing Workers of (or World Wide Opportunities on) Organic Farms–every summer. I am going to explore WWOOFing as an alternative to camphosting.

I had a wonderful time exploring ‘the farm’ today, after having heard about it for so long!

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Canada, Finances, Nice Folks, Social, Travel, Work, Yukon    4 Comments
Aug 8, 2010 -

A Cinematic Treat

The only thing missing to make Dawson a perfect homebase for me (falafel and injara notwithstanding) is a movie theatre. Well, a group decided to remedy that this year, to a point, and launched the Dawson City Museum Cinema. The venue, a conference room in the Dawson City Museum, is probably the best choice in this town. The image quality isn’t even remotely comparable to what you’d get at a theatre and the chairs aren’t that comfortable, but it’s still very much the cinematic experience of watching a picture with other people with the smell of popcorn in the air.

Of course, I work most evenings, so I haven’t been able to coordinate my schedule with that of the cinema. I decided to move heaven and earth to get to a showing tonight, though. Last year, I missed every single movie I wanted to see over the course of the summer, but this year there was only one on my list, Ironman 2,  and it was playing tonight in Dawson!

I decided to make an event of it by pretending to be an adult and taking our young worker out for the night. We had chicken burgers at Sourdough Joe’s, got ice cream next door, then took a brief stroll around town as we finished our cones since we were a tad early for the movie.

The movie wound up being even better than I would have expected, the kids who filled the room behaved, and the popcorn was delicious. Who cares that my legs are still numb from that seat; what a fun evening!!!

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