Our fifth wheel and the truck

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Whitehorse - Beringia, Brewery and other interesting places.

G’day y’all

I guess because we are in the wilds of the Yukon, it is fair to say that the wifi and phone reception have been very ordinary or non-existent so I apologise for the delay in putting these posts on line.  Not my fault this time - well maybe just a tad!!

Evidence of the vast flooding.

We had a lovely drive to Teslin - and gorgeous views but nary a critter in sight. We were so confident that we would see moose on the way but alas - better luck tomorrow.

We stopped at the campground in Teslin and we were the only RV‘s in the place for about half the day. By the time we went to dinner there must have been another twenty in the park! Busy little place!. The park was right next to the most gorgeous lake overlooked by …… you guessed it - snow capped mountains!!! The afternoon was spent out and about.

They had a wildlife museum adjacent to the campground which we went to visit. It was small but very impressive with some of the best displays of animals we have seen. Norm was very impressed. After the wildlife display we took a drive out to the Tlingit (pronounced Kling - git I think) cultural centre. The Tlingit are one of the First Nation tribes and one the first of the First Nation groups to have achieved the enviable status of self government. The cultural centre was very interesting with one lady tanning a young, bull moose hide in the traditional manner. There were artifacts and beautiful displays of traditional craft work. The host was a young lady who was extremely knowledgeable and was able to talk to us about the traditions. We watched a video of the opening ceremony of the cultural centre which also covered some cultural information about the traditional way of life. So interesting.

Totems at the Tlingit Cultural Centre.

The six of us (minus Rick and Karen) went out to the campground restaurant for dinner and had a most enjoyable evening, even though the beef and barley soup, which had been on offer for lunch, had run out. Of course as soon as Norm realized that the basketball was on the TV in the lounge area he was in and out to keep an eye on the game!!

An early start the next day saw us heading to Whitehorse, the capital city of the Yukon. The drive was very uneventful with no critters - AGAIN!!!! Not happy Jan!!!!

We did make a stop at the Rancheria Falls which were just amazing. There has been so much rain and snow melt up here all the rivers are running very high and in fact this morning (Monday) there were lots of flood warnings across the country, Not in our area that I can work out, thank goodness.

We pulled into the campground in Whitehorse and after checking out the sites the lady assigned (which still had RV’s in two of the three), checking out the next ones she assigned (Jim could have got in but with slides on both sides of his RV, he couldn’t have opened them without hanging out into the driveway) we decided to try our luck at another down the road. Wow what a difference! The first one was mostly like a giant parking lot and the second, although a bit tight with some of the sites was treed and really pleasant and the staff were just so helpful and pleasant.

Two days of sightseeing in Whitehorse and soooo much to do and see. But, we will be coming back through here on the way south so we can take some time then to see and do what can’t get done this time. Mind you the weather wasn’t very kind to us - very cold most of the time and quite a bit of rain although Norm and I don’t usually let a bit of water get in the way of our sightseeing.

Our first day we planned on going to a wildlife preserve and taking a ride on the SS Schwatka up the Yukon River to the Miles Canyon - oops the best laid plans of mice and men!! The weather was pretty yuk for a walk around the preserve so the plans were changed to inside activities.

The first stop was the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre which looks at the Ice Age in the Yukon. I was surprised by the fact that the Yukon was, unlike the rest of Canada, relatively ice free during this time. The videos and displays of skeletons of pre-historic animals found in the area were really interesting. This area had been home to woolly mammoths, giant short-faced bears and lions. Many of the archaeological discoveries in the Yukon were made when gold miners were washing away the soil with large water cannons. Who knows what was lost by this method although they did discover lots of gold!

After the Interpretive Centre we stopped at the McBride Museum which looked at the more modern history of Whitehorse since the discovery of gold and some of the ‘5%‘. The 5% is that group of people who are eccentric, quirky and very different according to local artist and photographer, Jim Robb.  The McBride museum was also the site of the Government Telegraph Office which is the oldest building still in its original position in Whitehorse.

The weather had cleared up just a tad so Rick, Karen, Norm and I decided that we would go on the boat ride up to Miles Canyon and although it was very cold the sun did come out at one point. Who would have thought I would still be wearing my ‘Alaska” jacket a couple of days before the official start to summer?

The ride up the Yukon River through the canyon was just stunning with the most beautiful scenery. High basalt cliffs one minute then sand cliffs the next. It was just gorgeous. Thank goodness for digital cameras!! You never run out of film!!

On the Yukon River towards Miles Canyon.

That night Norm and I went out for dinner to the Klondike Rib and Salmon restaurant. What a hoot of a place. It reminded me of my grandfather’s work shed with all the bits and pieces hanging from the walls and ceiling. Old saw blades, boxes and lots of ‘stuff’! And the chairs were either green plastic or wooden and the tables were covered with green and white checked plastic tablecloths. BUT!!! The food was wonderful. Norm and I shared a whole rack of ribs (Norm’s first every rib meal) which was just so tender it fell off the bone. We followed it with some pie a la mode. It had apple, rhubarb and lots of berries in it and was so yum!! And then I had to waddle out of there as full as a goog!!!! But oh so worth it!!!

That evening we sat around a campfire, thanks to Steve and the wood he carts around with him, and ate ‘s’mores‘. For those of you who don’t know what a ‘s’mores’ is, let me enlighten you. You get two Graham crackers, spread peanut paste on one (if you want, this is an optional extra) and plop a piece of Hershey chocolate on top of that and then add a marshmallow that has been roasted on the campfire. Then eat!!! Very yummy and a tradition over campfires in the USA.

Norm and I headed off to the wildlife preserve early the next morning and had an enjoyable 4km walk around the site. We were able to see Thin Horned Sheep and a cute little lamb who really thought we were going to feed it and came gamboling up to the fence. There were two lynx kittens, however mum was keeping them under pretty strict supervision and although we could just make them out in the kennel they didn’t come out. We also saw caribou, moose, mountain goats, artic foxes, muskoxen and elk. And the good thing - the sun shone for the whole walk. We got lucky!!!

Talk about prehistoric monsters - this is a musk oxen shedding its winter coat.  Not that its summer one is much better!!!!

From there we met up with all the others at the Yukon Brewing Company for a tour. Although I am not a big beer drinker I have to say they make a few good drops and I love the names they give their beers. The brewery has won national and international acclaim for the beer ad their labels - which are all done by local artists. Part of the tour is, of cours,e the opportunity to taste all their regular beers and also their boutique beers. They are also expanding into vodka and whiskey!

There is still so much to see in Whitehorse but we have run out of time so the dog sledding and white water rafting will have to wait till we come back through.

The next morning saw us set off early in the direction of Dawson City - gold rush capital of the Yukon in the late 1800's.

An important stop along the way was at Braeburn Lodge for cinnamon rolls. We were caught once before with the size of these rolls. But let me take a step back.

One of the things that the Alaska Highway and the north are renown for, are the cinnamon rolls. There are numerous places up here that lay claim to having best cinnamon rolls in the Yukon, British Columbia or Alaska. We stopped early in our trip up for cinnamon rolls and Norm and I decided to share one - really good move - they are HUGE!!!!! And it was smothered in icing sugar and it was warm and so yummy although very, very sweet. So, after our first experience, we had decided to have any other cinnamon rolls without the icing sugar. For our stop in Braeburn, we were told the cinnamon rolls were big enough to feed four. WRONG!!!! Six of us shared one and had plenty! They are ginormous!!

It was a real surprise when we walked into the lodge at Braeburn to be met with an Aussie accent. There was a gorgeous, young lady working in there who was from Melbourne. Needless to say she got a buzz out of hearing us talk too.

We spent a not so enjoyable night at the Pelly River Crossing Campground en route to Dawson City. Lovely, quiet place, didn’t cost anything BUT and it is a huge BUT!!!! The mosquitoes were so huge and so bad I believe that with a concerted effort two of them could have carried me off!!! We were having a campfire and more s’mores however I had to call it a night early as I was being eaten alive. I kid you not they are HUGE!!! And talk about bloodthirsty!!!

One other thing about the drive to Dawson City was the wildflowers that were lining the road verges. They are the most glorious colours from fuchsia to pale pink, violet, yellow, white and the gorgeous pinks of the wild roses just abound. And while we may not have seen lots of wildlife the gorgeous wildflowers certainly made up for it - a bit!!!

Because we had had a reasonably early start out of Pelly Crossing we arrived in Dawson City around lunch time but that is a story for another post so until next time take care one and all. Our love to all.





  1. I love following along with your travels. As we are coming up to many of the same places in August would love to know which campgrounds had difficult sites. (we have a 5th with slides on both sides)
    Safe Travels. :)

  2. Hi Joy, I am glad you are enjoying the blog. Maybe we may cross paths as we are leaving and you are arriving!! Wouldn't that be a hoot!!
    The only place where we had a problem with slides was at the Pioneer Park in Whitehorse. I know they do have some bigger sites so I am sure when you book at any park if you let them know they will accommodate you somewhere easy to put out both slides. Cheers Paula