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Old 07-15-2012, 04:00 PM   #51
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great write up of your trip hope we can make this trip someday.
here is a picture of that couple RV it is homemade

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Old 07-15-2012, 07:51 PM   #52
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Great logs! I'm taking notes. Keep the stories coming. Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:44 PM   #53
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It's Sunday, day 18 of our trip, and tomorrow we resume the journey after 4 nights and three days in Whitehorse. There are lots of reasons to break one's trip here, and I'll share a few shortly, but first an observation or two.
Coming as we do from places where there are two kinds of pedestrians--the quick and the dead--it's refreshing to find that here they really take pedestrian right of way seriously. Cars will stop for you not only while you're crossing the street, but while you're standing at the curb wondering if you WANT to cross the street. If someone doesn't stop it's almost a sure bet they're not from around here.
There are lots of pricey things to buy, and it seems from our unscientific comparison that things generally are more expensive in Canada, but the one thing that's been reasonable wherever we've shopped has been groceries. You could pawn the family jewels to pay for a hamburger along the Alaska Highway ($27 in one place we stopped), but when we go to buy food it's no more expensive than back home.
So why would you want to stop and sit awhile in Whitehorse? It's the trading center of the Territory, and there are well-known big-box retailers (Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart) here; you can resupply. There are dealers, and thus repair shops, for the major auto brands, plus a couple of large RV repair shops. It's a good place to get an oil change, wash the camper and the TV, do the laundry, hike picturesque trails, and see the sights. The Berengia Interpretive Centre tells the history of the glacial epochs that have affected much of North America. It's a top-flight museum, staffed by at least one Paleontologist we met, and is the rival of any such center in the world. The Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre explains the history of the First Nations people who lived here and other places in the region for thousands of years. The center is new and the displays well-thought out. Whitehorse, for a town of less than 30,000, is a hopping place. The people are nice, too.
If you stop here, stop at the visitor's center and pick up a Yukon Gold Passport. It's free. It lists attractions in Whitehorse, Teslin, Dawson City, and other towns in the Yukon and Alaska. Each of those attractions you visit will stamp your passport and when you get ten stamps you can be entered in a drawing to win 2oz. of gold. If you collect 20 stamps you enter the drawing for 5oz. of gold. At current prices either prize is worth trying for. It would be a nice trip bonus to have some cash flowing IN for a change.
Maybe I'll think of some more reasons later, but it's time now for us to go meet a couple who just returned from pulling their camper up the Dawson to Inuvik and back and had no trouble at all--saw only a semi or two, for example, and didn't get a flat or lose a windshield. After I talk with them I might decide to give up my idea of storing the A-frame in Dawson and driving the Dempster without it. It'll be so much more convenient--and cheaper--to have the camper along on that trip.
By the way, we've now spotted three other A-frame campers, all Aliners, along the route. I talked to one of them who have had their camper since 2000 and have been to Alaska and back 3 times. They winter in Florida, too, so they've put some major miles on their vehicle. We here on the forum have some catching up to do!
Photos: Miles Canyon, on the outskirts of Whitehorse; Berengia Centre display; 2 photos of the Kwanlin Dun Centre; the Yukon River as it enters Miles Canyon.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:18 AM   #54
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The first week in June my family was in Skagway on a cruise and we rented a jeep and drove up the Klondike highway to Emerald lake, which is just north of Carcross in the Yukon territory. We thought about heading to Whitehorse but decided not to. I was surprised to see so many campers on the road. The scenery is breath taking. If you are heading to Skagway, stop in Carcross, neat little town. Have fun, a keep the pics coming.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:51 AM   #55
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Love the posts

Hi..Just catching up with you. We were on Project AWARE last week and I've just quit sleeping off the experience. Love the photos and commentary. Looks like a wonderful experience. So glad we get to share it, even vicariously.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:12 PM   #56
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Lee and Courtney, you need to put all this into a book. Have you thought about something like Shutterfly. It would be so awesome and the photos.... BEAUTIFUL!
I am green with envy.
I have breakfast with my 87 year old father every Wednesday, and I am reading him your journal, he loves it too.... Please continue to post.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:53 AM   #57
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I agree, you should write/make a shutterfly book or something like that. It has been so much fun waiting for your daily accounts and seeing the photos. To be there in real life must be "totally awesome Dude!"
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:46 PM   #58
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Days 19 and 20. To describe traveling in these parts, the guidebook repeats the phrase often used to describe desolate areas: "Miles and miles of miles and miles." That's so apt a description of the road between Whitehorse and Dawson City that I can't improve on it. Though the road surface has been generally good, the right-of-way has narrowed to the point that roadside weeds are growing right on the edge of the road, just like country roads instead of major routes. We traveled through places with names like Carmacks and Pelly Crossing, and past roads leading off into the wilderness to places named Mayo, Ross River, or Faro. We saw one moose and one bear the whole day.
At Carmacks we took a stroll on the boardwalk along the river and looked at the remains of some early settler's cabins and a partly restored roadhouse, then ate our lunch in the town's gazebo before heading a mile or two north of town to the local First Nations interpretive center, Tage Cho Hudan Interpretive Centre. Unlike the obviously well-funded center we visited in Whitehorse, this one was obviously homemade. Nothing was slick or explained on video, and the displays were built by the people who started the center. It's an earnest attempt by a First Nations group who don't have a lot of money to tell something of their culture to the rest of the world. A nature garden is out back where plants the early peoples used for food are grown. We couldn't go into it that day because a mother bear and her cub were in the area and had shown a clear interest in that particular spot.
The overcast day never got above the upper 50s F. The nights have been cool too. Bring rain gear and warm sleeping togs when you pass this way.
At Pelly Crossing, the Selkirk First Nation Cultural Centre was hosting a display of craftspeople from the tribe. Courty, who used to weave and who still has a rug loom in our basement, was entranced by the work and explanations of Charlene Baker, a weaver from Whitehorse who was displaying there. After an hour of discussion and an exchange of FaceBook info, we went on, blithely leaving Court's raincoat there, with our spare set of keys in it.
That night we stayed at a Yukon Government campground about 100 miles from our goal of Dawson City. It was a nice place, though they warn you about bears and about boiling the water for at least 10 minutes before using it. We were almost the only ones there when we pulled in but by morning there were some dozen camping units set up, from bicyclists in tents to 5th wheels. The $12 per night fee seemed reasonable compared to commercial camping places.
Today we drove the last leg to Dawson City, a place that has had its share of ups and downs. At one time, and for only about one year, it had a population of 30,000. When the gold rush petered out, things went downhill from there and today there are a lot of restored buildings and about 1,800 permanent residents. We stopped at the visitors center, where they kindly phoned back to the Selkirk Centre and arranged to have them entrust Court's raincoat and keys to someone heading for Dawson, who will leave it at the visitors center for us when we return from Inuvik.
To cross the Yukon River you take the free ferry, which we had to do to get to the Yukon River YTG campground. As it happened, our timing was perfect; we got the last empty site. We're here for two days, maybe three. It's dry camping but so far the batteries seem to be holding out. The solar panels have been dead weight the whole trip. If we've camped with electricity we didn't need them and if there was no electric the campsites were too heavily wooded to be able to use them.
The Yukon is one h___ of a river. Wide and strong, it starts in the mountains not far from Skagway and courses its way through the Yukon Territory and all the way through Alaska to the Bering Sea. When you come this way, you'll enjoy seeing the Yukon River and the beautiful scenery it passes through.
Another day of exploring the sights in Dawson City tomorrow, then we're off to make the run up the Dempster. The only wi-fi spot in town is the library, so if you're reading this we scored some free time online there. Meanwhile, here are a couple of websites we recorded from two campers we've seen that are not from the US of A or Canada. Maybe they'll have something interesting to say:
www.travessiadasamericas.com.br and www.panamericanarte.com
Photos: settler's cabin, Carnacks; Five Finger Rapids on the Yukon River; Charlene Baker, weaver; on the George Black ferry, Dawson City; the Yukon River from the ferry
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:54 PM   #59
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More Dawson photos:
Sidewheeler on the Yukon; Bluffs across the river from our campsite, where peregrine falcons live; permafrost-settled buildings before restoration; interior of Robert Service's cabin (author of The Cremation of Sam Magee and other Yukon poems).
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:59 PM   #60
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Really enjoy you posts. Cheers.
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