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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Oh Canada!

Dawson City
Thursday evening we walked the town a bit and had dinner at the Jack London Grill.  Dawson City is an old time Western Movie throw back.  There are dirt streets, wooden sidewalks and old wooden buildings each painted a different color.  The town is filled with hotels, diners and shops.  There is a paddle wheeler and helicopter tours available.  We enjoyed just walking the town.
Friday we explored the town a little more and took the drive up to “Midnight Dome” at the top of the mountain.  It is an overlook giving a panoramic view of Dawson City and the Yukon and Klondike Rivers.  We had dinner and enjoyed the Can Can Show at Diamond Tooth Gerties.  It was a cute show with “Gertie” and her four “Girls”.  Music was provided by the pianist and his drummer side kick.

Saturday morning was our departure from Dawson City.  The Yukon River Campground was a good location for our visit but we knew the departure through the campground would be a slow one, the road was pretty bad, lots of deep potholes.  It took us 13 minutes to maneuver through the campground back to the highway.  The next hurdle would be the ferry.  Our first time to cross on a ferry with the coach.  All of our worry about getting on and off was, thankfully, not needed.  It went fine!  Now we could breath easy again, we were across the Yukon River and survived the ferry crossing.  Onward down the Klondike Highway!  

We had decided to end our day at one of two Provincial Parks and with both of us doing some driving we would make a couple of stops on the way, no need to rush.  The road was pretty good, picture the Brule road but with hills!  The first stop was for a little snack at the Moose Creek Lodge.  There were homemade pastries and coffee, perfect for a late morning stop.  As always there was also a little gift shop with neat local made items for sale.  We did make a small purchase to add to our stash.  There was a meat filled pastry and 4 different tarts to choose from.  Three of the tarts were berry filled and the forth was filled with “a pecan pie filling but with no pecans”.  OK.  Forest of course needed the meat filled and a berry and of course Cindy needed the pecan-less pecan pie filled.  They were all delicious.  So when the lady rang up our one cup of coffee and four pastries and the total was $51+ we were both shocked!  Forest figured Cindy must have asked for pecans to be added to her pastry.  OH!  Sorry, those two gift items on the counter included with our total were NOT our items.  No problem, once those were backed out our total would be quite digestible.  

About 100 miles into our trip for today and after over 7,800 miles and over 3 months of traveling over unfamiliar road, we took our first wrong “y” just before the Stewart River Bridge.  We realized almost immediately but were now headed down the wrong gravel road, too bad because it actually was a really good road.  Checking the log book right away, it looks like there will be a turnout in about 10 miles where we will be able to turn around and get back on our route.  No sooner did Cindy find that in the book, Forest spotted a little road to the right which he knew would give him just enough room for a “U-TURN” towing the truck!  OH NO!   YEP, he did it!  In no time we were back on our route down the Klondike Highway.

After crossing the Pelly River on a pretty BLUE bridge, our next stop was the Selkirk Center.  We visited the Selkirk Heritage Center, a replica of the Big Jonathon House.  We spoke with the young lady working there who was able to answer our questions and tell us a bit about the displays.  There were several artifacts which had been found in the area.  There was a skin boat which had been constructed by (or attempted to be) some students under the direction of some of the elders.  It was a nice attempt but not completed.  It did bring to mind the canoe we watched being carved back in June in Carcross.  The museum also had several examples of woven items and bead work done by the First Nations People.  And of course another small purchase was made.  

We were in Canada and sometimes the person behind the counter does not know the exchange rate for the currency as was the case here.  “Only Cash”  “NO I don’t know how much it is in US money”  “You will need to go to the store next door to exchange to Canadian, OH and to do that you need to make a purchase there”  OK, so I go to the store (a small grocery) and buy a candy to be able to pay with US dollars and get Canadian change to go back to the museum and pay for my purchase.  Well that didn’t work because the clerk gave me change but not the exchange rate.  WHAT?  Oh, she says the register will automatically tell her how much change to give back….  So I know about what it should be.  NOW purchase a “penny gum” for 10 cents Canadian and pay with a $20 and get back $25.15 Canadian.  Now I have enough Canadian money to make the purchase at the museum.  That will be enough for the day, now on to the campground.  

It was another pretty drive on the Klondike Highway with mountains, rivers and lakes along the way.  We noticed a “white layer” in the dirt all along the highway.  About 1,250 years ago a third of southern Yukon was covered in white volcanic ash and it is still visible in some of the road cuts.  “It has been theorized that the ash may have been deposited during a single violent volcanic eruption from a source now buried under the Klutlan Glacier in the St. Elias Mountains in eastern Alaska.”  “Materials found below this major stratigraphic marker are considered to have been deposited before A.D. 700, while those found above the ash layer are postdated A.D. 700.”  Interesting!

We finally reached the Twin Lakes Campground.  The map shows 26 sites and there should be 9 pull-thru sites.  So we make our way around the loop, no pull thru, so continue down to the right where the map shows a large area with sites around the perimeter, must be the pull-thru sites.  Well it is NOT as large as the map indicates and the sites are tiny.  We attempt to swing wide to circle out….. not enough room for the turn (we are towing) and we are jammed up.  Now we will NEED to disconnect the truck, not easy to do with the position of the truck after attempting the turn.  Finally it is free and we will move on to the NEXT campground. 

Checking the location, the Fox Lake Campground is another 60 Km down the road.  It is a larger campground (43 sites) and we are hoping with larger sites.  So Cindy in the truck and Forest in the coach, we head on down the road.  As we pull in there is a pull-thru site right away which Forest stopped in while Cindy drove through the loop to see what was available, not too much and not big sites, all back-in sites.  Forest tried the pull-thru but too un-level to work.  SO, Forest drove the coach around the loop and did find one back-in site to squeeze in.  Enough for the day, we will stay here.  It is a pretty lake and the campground is heavily wooded with picnic tables and fire rings at each site.  Since it is Saturday there are lots of families and one group was even roasting a pig!  Boy did it smell good.  We will stay two nights and do a little sightseeing in the truck on Sunday.
The stars are incredible here in the wilderness

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