Sunday, July 1, 2018

Wednesday July 1, 1998 - Dawson

Yukon River - clearing, sunny and warm.

I camped overnight by the highway and a creek. There's a large culvert under the highway for the creek, I watched some swallow-like birds swooping over the creek and through the culvert under the road, chasing the numerous mosquitoes. I heard a clucking sound a saw a ptarmigan out on the tundra.

I stopped near Tombstone Moutnain and drove up a microwave tower road with a fabulous view of the head of the North Klondike River and Tombstone Mountain. A little later I stopped at the Tombstone campground (where I had stopped in a picnic shelter on the trip north to Inuvik) and talked to the women at the Nature Centre there. The big purple flowers I have been seeing everywhere are called Willow Herb / Dwarf Fireweed / River Beauty. They often grow on rocky banks of rivers here, hence the name River Beauty, but they are related to the Fireweed, only not as tall. The birds I saw yesterday in the Richardson Mountains were Longtailed Jaegers, and their populations cycle with the ptarmigan (11-12 years). They hit a low in 1995 and are on the rise again now.

I also talked to a woman from Anchorage who is cycling up the Dempster with 3 friends. One drives and the other 2 cycle and they take turns. She said they left Dawson City yesterday morning and plan to cycle 50-80 miles a day. Sounds like a great trip!

I took a little side track down to the North Klondike River. This part of the Dempster follows the North Klondike into the Klondike River proper, which isn't far now. I can see blue sky to the north and grey sky to the south. No sun, too bad.

Yohan won't eat his food. I used to put cheese whiz on it to entice him but I have run out and am using peanut butter which I guess he doesn't like as much.

When I reached the end of the Dempster I stopped at the Klondike Lodge which is at the junction of the Dempster and Klondike highways. I bought ice for my cooler and ran into Jack and Jackie from Chuk Camp in Inuvik.

When I got to Dawson City I also met Gert and Helga and Penny and James at the Visitor Centre. Penny and James and I took our dogs for a walk along the dike. They diked the whole town after a big flood in 1979. The town is right at the junction of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers. James said that an Indian resident told him that they moved the whole town and all of its buildings three times in order to mine for gold underneath it.

For Canada Day there was a big town barbecue in a park on the waterfront so we lined up for a salmon dinner. but just as we finally reached the barbecues they ran out of salmon. We got our money back and had salad and buns for free. Later I met someone at the Visitor Centre who told me about Tent City. Across the Yukon River is the provincial campground, and next to it is Tent City where you can camp for free. A lot of young people who work in Dawson City over the summer stay there. To get to the campground (and Tent City) you cross the river in a little ferry; this is also the way to the Top of the World highway to the Alaska border.

The Yukon River ferry at Dawson

I crossed the river with Penny and James and decided to stay at the provincial campground since all the people I knew from Inuvik were staying there. I found a campsite and then went to visit Gert and Helga who were leaving for Alaska the next day. I took a walk along the river on a gravel beach to see the paddlewheeler wreck just upriver from the campground.

1 comment:

Joared said...

Enjoying reading about your trip.