Day 20-22 Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada   1 comment

The drive to Dawson City was relatively boring compared to other days. I think the only animal I saw was a rabbit. But it was a pretty drive.

The highlight was stopping for the granddaddy of cinnamon buns. They were as big as a dinner plate as you can see below.

Today we got a taste of dirt/gravel roads.

We reached the Tintina Trench, a place where there was visible proof of the earth’s plate movement.

Less than 200 million years ago, this area was covered with tidal flats and river deltas at the edge of an inland sea. It is now called the Whitehorse Trough. The river sediments were buried, compressed and turned to rock. The area was lifted when the plate holding the oceanic floor, inland sea and islands connected with the crumpled western edge of North America.

Until 3 million years ago, rivers draining this area flowed southward to the Gulf of Alaska. During the ice age, expanding glaciers in the coastal mountains plugged the passage downstream, causing the river to back up. Now the relatively young Yukon River flows northwest to the Bering Sea.

The five Finger islands and riverbank are composed of pebbles and boulders embedded in a sand and mud mixture. It is more resistant to erosion than surrounding mudstone layers.

As we got closer to Dawson City, it looked like maybe the bridge was washed out prior to our arrival. Thank goodness they had time to work on it.

Just outside of the town limits, we saw the remnants of the dredging that went on during the “Klondike Gold Rush.”

It was amazing that they just built housing developments on top and around these rocks.

I love the “signs” announcing the town of Dawson City.

Dawson City took us back in time to the early 1900s.

The roads are still dirt, the buildings are being restored. Below is the original bank building that the city just bought and will be restoring.

We had a wonderful guide to walk us through town and tell us some history. She gave us many examples of why the lifestyle in Dawson City is unconventionally different.

She herself lives across the river, which you get there only by ferry and over the “ice bridge” in the winter, in a house with no “grid” electric or water. They buy their water in town in large containers and run generators in the winter & use solar in the summer. Solar works great up here in the summer since it is only dark a few hours each day.

Our guide told us of a friend she met when she moved to Dawson City in 1996. At that time they lived across the river in a tent, a place they called “tent city.” His name is Bill and he now lives in a cave. No one knows his last name. He’s known as Caveman Bill. Can you imagine living in Dawson City in the wintertime, where it gets below 0, in a cave?! A “local” told me that it can get as cold at -50. With cold days like that, it makes it easier to accept the -30. Yikes!

The buildings below show you what permafrost will do to a building.

In the photo below, you can see where the mountain behind the town slide over 10,000 years ago.

The original post office building.

Then we trekked up the mountain to “Midnight Dome.” This is where you go to see the very quick sunrise or sunset. We didn’t see either, but what a spectacular view of the area!

You can see where the mining was going on in the photo below, left. Below right, you can see the “Top of the World Highway” which we’ll be taking.

If you look closely above right, you can see a little white spec in the middle of the photo. That is a fifth-wheel driving up the Top of the World Highway.

On our free day, we visited the “Dredge #4.”

It is not cost effective to use this system anymore. They are basically strip mining now.

But there are some areas where you can “pan for gold” yourself.

They did manage to leave the first “cabin” built during the Klondike Gold Rush, pictured below.

The show at Diamond Tooth Gerties was entertaining.

This is a town that lives in the light in the summer and lives in the dark in the winter. The sun does not rise in the east and set in the west daily. In the summer the sun is up and seems to go around at one point it dips down below the mountains for a few hours and comes right back up. In the winter, the sun is below the mountains and at one point it comes up for a few hours during the middle of the day and back down again. This time of the year, the sun sets about 12:30 a.m. and is up before 4 a.m. Below left is a photo I took at 11 pm and the photo below right was taken at 3:30 a.m.

Above right photo was taken without a flash and was the darkest it’s been in Dawson City!

Dawson city is the perfect place to see the Northern lights, but we’d have to come up here in the winter. They say the lights are there in the summer, but you just can’t see them because it’s not dark. A “local” told me the best time to see the Northern Lights is in March/April.

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One response to “Day 20-22 Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada

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  1. Pingback: Day 20-22 Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada | Home Far Away From Home

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