Posted by: sunnyharvy | July 12, 2015

Dawson City Here We Come!

Still playing catch-up on my postings. I didn’t get the blog totally up to date in Tok and haven’t had good Internet access until arriving here in Valdez. Will try to bring our report up to date here while the weather is gray and wet.

The printed propaganda says that the trip from Whitehorse to Dawson City is a pleasant and scenic six-hour drive. Well, it took us a LOT longer than that and it wasn’t even very scenic. Oh well, we are not in a hurry and not all the roads in life are memorable.

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Just had to stop at Mom’s Bakery on the gravel road back to the highway from our campsite on Lake Laberge. It wasn’t open on our way in the day before. Mom was a pistol. 85 years old and still baking bread for the surrounding areas. I bought a loaf of rye. She also still helps her husband and sons prospect for gold. There is still a lot of that going on up here, but it doesn’t look like many are getting rich from it. Mom’s house is actually one of the nicest ones we’ve seen.

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The remains of an old roadhouse.

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Mud, what mud?

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Typical obstacle course on way to buy fuel or a cup of coffee.

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Five Finger Rapids. Sorry photo isn’t better. There was quite a lot of smoke building in the area due to a multitude of wildfires throughout the state.

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Don’t remember the name of this lake. Just a quick stop along the road.

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Why would anyone need to tow this much stuff all the way up here?!? Surprisingly typical though.

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Campsite view of Tatchun River

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Long stretch of bumpy dirt road.

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Roadside attractions

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Dawson City, Yukon has its charms. Parks Canada has done a great job of bringing a town on the brink of extinction back to life. A few decades ago they bought 21 historic buildings, which they are carefully restoring. Costumed guides offer informative and fun tours.

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We actually stealthily camped overnight right there in the historic district.

For a brief and romantic period at the end of the 19th century, Dawson was the largest city west of Winnipeg and north of Seattle, boasting a population of 30,000. Today, a somewhat quieter Dawson rolls out the red carpet to visitors who come to the Klondike to relive the rush for fame and fortune that gripped the world in 1897 after gold was discovered on Bonanza Creek in 1896.

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We went to a presentation in the Palace Grand Theatre.

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Before the highway (calling it that is a bit of a stretch in my opinion) was built in 1978, most goods and visitors arrived by paddle-wheel steam ship on the Yukon River.

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This one has been restored and is available for public tours.

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A few local characters telling stories.

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A houseboat on the Yukon? Not sure.

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This was the wealthiest bank in town during the gold rush. The municipality recently purchased the building and plans to restore it.

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Currently occupied semi-restored miner shack.

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Lots of rusty stuff around. this one was planted with zucchini.

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Beautifully restored bank.

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Jack London’s cabin.

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This building reminded me of the TV program Northern Exposure. Remember that?

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We have now traveled the Klondike trail from where the prospectors started their journey in Skagway, Alaska all the way to where the gold strike occurred near Dawson City.

The road we took upon leaving Dawson City was definitely memorable… but not for the right reasons. Stay tuned!

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Responses

  1. Your blogs and photos are great. I look forward to each post. Hi to Al.

  2. Flora Dora Hotel? Loved the photo overlooking the island, sad to hear about the wild fires. What an amazing journey

  3. We are so fortunate to be able to follow you on your travel blog. So fun.


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