canada general trip reports

yukon, ho!

Yukon River paddling. Drifting along in the current. Serenity. Eagles. Splashing paddles. A deserted island (except for the Swiss). Camp. A beaver! Marauding insects. Dinner. Hanging food out of reach of animals. Can bears swim? Random haircuts. Cards. Ever-present sunlight. Sleeping bag. Sleep. Sleep-in. Lake Laberge. No more fast current. Tail wind. Wind blown waves. Paddle paddle paddle paddle. Shuttle to Whitehorse. Icecream. Aeroplane. Home.


Mum and Emma


Me in a boat – I got to sit in the back, and hence got control of the rudder, fun!


The morning view from our island


Rougher paddling on Day 2

canada general travel trip reports

66° 33′ 39″ (in which we breakfast at the arctic circle)

There were no polar bears at the Arctic Circle. There was no snow. No seals, or ice, or igloos. All in all a fairly disappointing experience.



We stopped for breakfast there though, and revelled in the Northness. And to be fair, the lack of snow or polar bears made it a lot easier to sit around on the ground eating muesli than it would have been otherwise.



Fireweed lined the road as we drove to and from Eagle Plains to the Arctic Circle. But after our morning trip up north, we turned around and started the trip back down towards Whitehorse.



Stopping along the way in Tombstone Territorial Park, which had some of my favourite scenery from the bits of the Yukon I saw (although all of the Dempster Highway was lovely). We went for a hike up Goldensides Mountain.



Its sides were sort of golden, and it had ground squirrels. And it was a lot further to the top than it looked from the bottom.


Tombstone mountain

canada general travel

the day of two mooses

After visiting Dawson City, where I didn’t really take any photos for some reason (possibly related to my camera issues – although the 50mm is nice, it never focuses well and isn’t ideal for landscape type shots, and my lovely wide-angle lens isn’t focusing properly due to an incident with a slippery rock, and when I switched them over I got dust on my sensor again)… but anyway, Dawson City was very quaint and had Ye Olde Time boardwalks, and shops selling a vast variety of dead animals. We continued on to the Dempster Highway, which was in really good condition. Nice and dry and hard, the only problem was the random potholes of deepness. Given some of the photos I’ve seen of the Dempster (like Vik’s from his bike tour up there just recently), we were pretty lucky.



This was the day of the moose sighting at the appropriately named Two Moose Lake. It is suspected the moose sighting was brought about by the finding of this good luck charm/passport-photo (supposedly it’s someone’s father).



So we drove up the Dempster Highway, gazing at the beautiful scenery, stopping to skip through the fields of lupins and take photos, until we reached Eagle Plains, where the ubiquitous fireweed (with the purple flowers) surrounded our tents.



That evening we tried to escape the insects in the Eagle Plains Hotel, which has a lovely chandelier made of antlers, as well as several antlered heads on the wall and a complete caribou. We played shuffleboard and waited for it to get dark. Then we realised shuffleboard was actually a fairly boring game, particularly when noone can remember all the rules, and that it wasn’t actually going to get dark, at least not before the pub closed (there’s something fundamentally wrong about a pub that isn’t dark in the evening). We were kicked out at 11pm closing, in full daylight, and wandered off to try and sleep in our tents. That were full of light.



The sun set close to midnight, but rose again at 4.45am or so anyway, and there was still plenty of light around at dusk and dawn. I didn’t actually see any darkness the whole time we were there.

canada general travel

your life or your lupins, my lord

Memorable events from my first day in the Yukon, in order of happening:

    * A German girl playing Abba’s song S.O.S. on the piano in the Bed and Breakfast we’d stayed at, thus inspiring me to start learning how to play the piano (I’m easily excited).
[This was followed by an uneventful period in which we picked up a rental Subaru, looked at a gorge, picked Emma up from the airport, purchased food and camping things, then drove up towards Dawson City – which really isn’t a very exciting drive.]



    * Testing the bear spray in calm air, leading to a cloud of spray which slowly dissipated in all directions. This lead to much coughing and sneezing and teary eyes and cursing of Megan by everyone concerned.



    * Finding lupins in Moose Creek Campground (LUPINS!!!.. She’s bloody dying and all you bring us is lupins).



(So not that much happened – it’s quiet up there!)

canada general travel

a moose! a moose! (two mooses actually)

After about a year in Canada, I finally saw a moose while up in the Yukon. Two mooses. Conveniently located at Two Moose Lake, along the Dempster Highway.


Moose Two

Moose One

More tales of the Yukon coming soon, once I’ve had a little more sleep.