Monday, July 2, 2018

Thursday July 2, 1998 - Dawson

View from Top of the World Highway
Yukon River - sunny and hot.

In the morning I baked some bannock over the fire, one plain loaf and one vegetable loaf. That took until noon. Since Gert and Helga had left the campground and they had a nicer site than I did, I then moved over to their now-empty site. After setting up I left to drive the Top of the World Highway. I did not want to go to Alaska so my intention was to just drive to the border and back.

A little ways down the road was some construction and Nona stopped me. She didn't recognize me at first but when I said her name then she did. She called Charlotte over to talk while I waited. They said they were at the same campground as I was but they would be working tonight.

I continued driving, with a couple of side trips up some rough tracks just to see whatever there was to see. Just before I reached the Alaska border I saw Ray and Laurena. Were they ever surprised to see me! They were coming from Alaska and headed to Dawson City. I told them about my trip up the Dempster and staying in Inuvik, and they told me about their trip through Alaska. Ray is still wheezing but he had medication for it.

Ray, Laurena and Sparky on the Top of the World Highway

I turned around then and headed back to Dawson. This is a chip seal road running along a high ridge so you're looking down into valleys on either side and can see mountain peaks off into the distance. this is why they call it the Top of the World, you're looking across at the peaks not up. The views are better heading east than west (in my opinion), but still not as great as the Dempster. I think it is more impressive to be looking up at the mountains not across.

The road crew were on supper break so I did not see Nona and Charlotte on the way back. When I got back to the campground I went looking for Charlotte. Last night I was in site 72 and she was in 84. I actually saw her dog Elsinor and her trailer in the morning but I did not recognize them at the time. When I got to Charlotte's site she had company for supper so I stayed a short while and then went to Ray and Laurena's site for gin and tonics. After that I went back to my site for supper then took a walk along the beach to Penny and James' site. They also had moved, they were now in site 48 right by the river.

On the way along the beach I saw a funny looking dog in the woods. I stopped to look at it and it looked at me and Yohan and then turned to go back into the woods. I then realized it wasn't a dog at all, it was a fox. It was all black with a white-tipped tail and looked like it had a kind of mask on its face like a raccoon. When I told James about it some other campers there said that there was indeed a fox hanging around the campground and it had stolen a potato from their campsite. Then James, Penny and I walked down the beach with the dogs to see the sternwheeler wreck.

Yohan and the sternwheeler wreck
James said it was actually several wrecks piled up together. When they first built the road to Dawson they didn't need the big sternwheelers anymore so they shoved them up into the forest beyond the town. Those sternwheelers burned 4 cord of firewood an hour to go upstream on the Yukon, so there was a pretty busy commerce in cordwood all along the river. The wrecks furthest away from the shore are in better shape because they don't get bashed by the river ice.

I got back to my campsite at midnight and I could still see sunlight on the Midnight Dome overlooking the town. I wanted to move my truck but I forgot that I left a thermos and water bottle in the shade behind the rear wheel. I ran over and broke them. That was 2 litres of drinking water! Oh well.

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