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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Master canoe carver

Today we drove up to Whitehorse about an hour north.  We first stopped at Miles Canyon where the Yukon river is channeled down to a narrow area.  Back during the Klondike gold rush days the "stampeders" had to traverse the rapid rushing waters.  Quite a few lost their lives when their boats were crushed against the rocks.  One enterprising man built a tramway using logs for the rails and built wagons to carry their cargo.  He charged $25/trip and did well for those days.  Actually very few gold miners got rich as most of them spent their money getting drunk and whoring.  The guys who got rich were the stores and the saloons.

Cindy hanging on tight crossing the suspension bridge

Then we drove into town to tour the Klondike paddle wheel steamboat.  Nice but we could only see the lower cargo deck since the upper decks were being repaired.

Reindeer milk?

Then we walked into town and it started raining hard so we stopped at the first restaurant we got to.  Pickapepper's Jamaican cafe.  Cindy had a squash and ginger soup with a meat patty and I had a jerk pork roti.  Both were very good.  The young lady waiting on us said her mom was from Jamaica but she and her sister were born in Whitehorse.
Then we drove back to Carcross.  Yesterday when we met Patricia at the Tlingit Cultural Learning Center she invited us to a graduation ceremony for the local school.  Before that we walked back to see the boat they are making since today it was uncovered.  Wayne Price a Tlingit master carver was there working on the boat with an adze so we talked with him.  He said the other finished boat was his and that he made 4 trips in it from Haines to Juneau, AK a journey of 100 miles, and it would take him and a few others 3 days paddling and sailing when the wind cooperated.  He has built 6 boats and this new one will be his 7th.  This boat is carved from a 4.5' diameter 30 foot 450 year old cedar log from Prince of Wales Island.  This is a youtube of his journeys:
Wayne plans to have this canoe completed for the Haa Kusteey√≠ Celebration 2019 on July 26th in Carcross.  

After we went to the graduation ceremony and had dinner there also.  The ceremony was nice and one thing we noticed was when it was time to eat all of the kids got in line first.  But they would bring their plate of food to all of the elders.  I was surprised when a teenager brought a plate to me.  I guess I look old enough to be considered one of their elders.  We sat with a group that had donated bicycles to each of the students.  That is one of the things that we really enjoy in our travels, to spend time with other people in small communities.

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