Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

We left Teslin Thursday morning, July 25 and it was a short drive (relatively) of 125 miles or so.  Relative I say because tomorrow, Sunday, we head for Dawson City and it is a 340 mile drive, our longest leg of the tour.  Time-wise, the wagon masters say it will be an 8-9 hour drive.  Whew!  Looks like an early start.
First thing Friday morning, we were picked by an Alaska-Yukon tour bus by driver Lorne.   He took us on a three hour tour of the city of Whitehorse.  First stop was Miles Canyon, a mile or so down the road and right up the clay cliffs from the Yukon River, just upstream from the city.
This is a view from the overlook at the canyon below & the Yukon River.  From Wiki:  The Yukon River is a major watercourse of northwestern North America. The source of the river is located in British Columbia, Canada. The next portion lies in, and gives its name to Yukon territory. The lower half of the river lies in the state of Alaska. The river is 1,980 miles long and empties into the Bering Sea at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
They built a hydro-electric dam in 1959 down near the city center, and as a result, the river level was raised about 10 feet at this location.  A hundred years or so ago, this river had an important role in the development and sustainment of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, not to mention Whitehorse.
Steamship paddle-wheels played perhaps the most significant impact on the sustainment of life in the area.  The Klondike II was scuttled after the roads were cut into the Yukon and most were just scrapped.  This one was preserved and serves to represent an important monument to the history of the people and the predecessors.
I was impressed with the way this artifact has been preserved and how clean it was.
Here are a couple of pics of pics!
We spent about an hour here, including watching a 20 minute video.
Above is a view upstream towards Canyon City (long since abandoned) from the aft part of the ship.
Like I said, the ship was ship-shape!
Above, the wood-fired boiler that made the steam.
The ladder was a little tight.
It was a nice visit to the history-making SS Klondike.  Now it's time to get back to the bus and drive on to the next place.  By the way, it was a cool, drizzly kind of day.
On the way to the fsh ladder, we passed by several of these sea planes.  Apparently, these are a very important means of transportation around the Northwest Territories, for both business & recreation/tourism.
Above, the salmon swim from the Bering Sea the long journey, 1,500 miles or so, to spawn above the dam in the streams.  At the bottom of the pic, the fish enter the ladder, begin to jump up the rungs, and turn the corner to the right near the top of the pic.  Below, after making the right, they continue on up the ladder, after swimming UPSTREAM for 1,500 miles, without eating anything, and have to jump thru hoops, well not quite, but they could!
It’s the longest wooden Fish Ladder in the World. Enjoy seeing Chinook Salmon on their way to their spawning grounds pass through this observation site. Glass windows in a viewing area allow you to see salmon, grayling and trout all at one time. The Whitehorse Dam is well worth seeing! Kayakers and Canoeists are often seen at play in the waters below the Dam. 
 Above, the fish continue on up the ladder eventually to the top and tumble into the Yukon River and on up to Marsh Lake.  Below, the fish continue up the ladder, but most of them are held in a checking station by the fisheries people, and some females are retained as brood stock for Yukon's stocking program.
The sign board above explain the colored fish mounted here at the fish ladder.  This is a very important part of the livelihood of the Territories.
Here are a couple of pics of the dam.
Thursday evening the wagon masters/tail gunners ordered a catered dinner for the caravan'ers.
A nice sit-down dinner was just the right ticket.
Friday evening some of the folks went to Klondike Ribs & Salmon Restaurant.  It is a very popular eatery.  Forty-five minute wait...
And the evening was topped off with a live show by a small company of actors, singers, can-can dancers and a lot of corny jokes & one-liners.  I think there 8 or 9 of them, including piano & guitar accompaniment.
And a couple of our RV'ers were called on to be a part of the acts on stage.  Here Dave, er, "Pooky" as dubbed by this young starlet.  What a hoot!
Not sure what Pooky thought was coming next!
And then it was "loverboy" Harry's turn to pull a garter of one of the can-can girls.  And he did!
And he got apeck on the forehead for his daring duty!
And a nice handshake with the cast members.  A nice touch.  So, it's now 10:30, and it's time to return home to our RV's and go night-night.  We walk outside, and what do we see?  Sunshine!  That's right!  It's hard to get used to this midnight sun territory.  Love it!
Our bus driver Lorne drove us by this eagle's nest, and we had to come back and take some pics today.  From here, one can look downstream thru the trees and view the SS Klondike, to give you a perspective as to where this nest is.  Here a few pics of the THREE eaglets, and they are about one week from fledgling right of the nest for their first flight.  You can appreciate this Roger!  :-)
This one is plucking his down out to make room for those lift elevator-feathers.
It was fascinating to see first-hand these magnificent fowl bouncing and flapping their powerful wings & legs.  They seem so anxious for first-flight.
I just happened to catch one of the parents coming for a drop-in dinner.  Yummy!  There was brief tussle with fish but "alpha" probably got first dibs.
He/she was only on the nest for about three seconds, just long enough to get the fish out of it's talons and get out of the way of three (nearly grown) competing siblings at dinner time.
We could have stayed here for hours watching this marvelous continuation of life's cycle of our National Symbol.
Above, wagon masters & tail gunners treated us to a pancake/ham/cinnamon sweet roll breakfast this morning (Saturday).  Wow!  What a deal.  Think we'll sign up for another tour with these folks.  Then, this evening, we treated ourselves, and the wagon masters & tail gunners to a pot luck.
Above, Rick, who organized the pot luck, calling our evening pot-luck to order.  Wow, what a spread.  We all got our bellies full.
And that just about tells the story of our three-day visit to Whitehorse, Yukon.  Tomorrow morning we head to Dawson City.  So, till the blog from there, which may take a while, depending on Wi-Fi of course, RVing Beach Bums packing up.