Friday, May 27, 2011

Dawson City

The last two days have been very busy. First, I have to tell you about yesterday, Thursday. We played tourist in Whitehorse, starting with a visit to the MacBride Museum of Yukon History.


The wild animal displays rivaled those of the Wildlife Museum at Caribou Crossing, or maybe these were a bit better. In addition to the bear, elk, caribou, deer, bison and various felines, which I won’t repeat here, there were a lot of birds that were very well done, and looked like they could fly away at any moment.



We enjoyed seeing some things not found in most museums, such as this 1926 Chevrolet 4-cylinder delivery truck


A very old gasoline pump


Sam McGee’s original log cabin. Are you familiar with the poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert W. Service? If not, click the link for a real treat! It was performed as part of the production we attended last night in a most entertaining fashion!


A 1900 fire bell, also used on the schoolhouse in Whitehorse


Several of our group toured the Yukon Brewing Company in the afternoon. Darcy gave a great description of how their specialty and award-winning beers are made.


They re-use and recycle as much as possible, including bottles from other brands.


After generous samples for all who wanted to taste, naturally some of us found the need to take home some of their brews.



This sign in downtown Whitehorse piqued our curiosity. Where do trailers, campers and motor homes park?


We had dinner at the highly-recommended Klondike Rib & Salmon Fish & Chips and Wild Game Restaurant! The name is almost bigger than the building. All of us agreed the recommendations were right on – Yumm!


Then we attended the Frantic Follies across the street. And if you’ve read yesterday’s blog, you know the rest of that story.

Now, that’s a not-so-quick review of yesterday that I didn’t write about last night!

Today, Friday, we drove about 330 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City. We all decided to put the long trip behind us today in order to spend a little more time here, and to take advantage of current good weather to drive over Top of the World Highway on Sunday or Monday.

We encountered a lot of frost heaves on the road today. Some have been repaired, but the repairs aren’t always smooth. Most of them were well-marked by red flags or orange cones on the shoulder, but some came as a bumpy surprise. Slowing down is the best way to handle them. Or, if you have a small RV, swerve a little as Jim’s doing ahead of us.


Not long after I took that pic, an oncoming truck picked up some gravel off the side of the road and threw a good-sized rock at our motor home windshield, causing a nice ‘blossom’ with a ‘smile’ below (the other things you see are bugs who won’t bother anyone else again). Don cleaned and taped the chips to try to prevent spreading of the cracks. I hope the windshield survives the next couple of months so we can wait until we return to the lower 48 to have it replaced.


We aren’t keeping an official count of wildlife spotted on the road, but today we saw a coyote, three foxes (separate, one looked really skinny and hungry), and a loon. No pics of them, but the scenery is beautiful, no matter where you look.



Don and I had dinner in downtown Dawson City at the Drunken Goat, a Greek restaurant. Their gyros and Greek salads were great!


Dawson has such a rich history, and just a quick glance around tells me there are lots of fun and interesting things to see here. We plan to stay a few days, and hope the improving weather forecasts are right!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Larry Does It Again!

Tonight we attended the Frantic Follies in Whitehorse, YT. The cast selected a few people from the audience to take part in various parts of the performance. The final one brought to the stage was our own Larry Forbes! He must have a ‘look’ about him that attracts actors.

Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures. I took them with my phone because I left the camera at home – on purpose, because the last time I took pics at a performance, most of them didn’t turn out clear.




Now Larry has a souvenir garter, along with a big kiss on his head!


It’s late, and although the sun’s still shining (at almost 11 pm), I’m going to wait until tomorrow to write about the rest of our day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Road to Whitehorse

Today’s drive of about 100 miles from Skagway to Whitehorse was a fairly easy one, with a few interesting stops. The 11-mile climb on the 11% grade wasn’t nearly as hard as I had expected. With a speed limit of 40 mph, and some Class C motor homes going slower than that, I didn’t have to push our Cummins 360 diesel engine. We stopped to see a black bear climb back and forth over the guard rail several times but didn’t get a very good picture of him.


This grizzly stood up immediately after I took this shot, then went back down before I could get the camera ready to take another shot.


Here’s another black bear enjoying a mid-day snack on a steep slope.


Our border crossing back into Canada was very quick and easy. The agent asked only a few questions and we were on our way in less than 5 minutes.

We tried to stop at the suspension bridge, but the parking lot wasn’t big enough for our rigs, and there was no outlet at the other end. Dennis and Carol had to unhitch their car to get turned around. While Don watched I managed to make a U-turn and head out without unhitching. One of the advantages of having a 36-ft coach instead of 43. Now when Dennis calls us “stubby” we just smile!

There was plenty of room to park our 5 big rigs and the one truck/camper at the Wildlife Museum at Caribou Crossing Trading Post near Carcross, YT. The animals displayed were very well-presented, and informational signs helped us learn more about them. Here are just a few.






Outside we saw the Musher’s Camp with Alaskan huskies that pull sleds in the winter and go carts in the summer.


Marilyn and I played with some of the puppies.


The baby goats were cute, too.


Mary and Carol fed some of the goats.


Meanwhile, Dennis took their picture.


It was almost exactly two years ago that my cousin Jim Cline and his wife Sylvia visited this place, and I enjoyed their report of the experience. They took a day trip from their cruise ship that was in port at Skagway.

Our final wildlife sighting of the day was a moose and her very young baby, with legs so spindly it was just barely able to walk.



After we were all parked and settled in the campground, we pooled our food resources into a taco bar.


Everything was yummy!


Even the Margaritas!


Dennis, next time, try eating with a fork.


We’re looking forward to warmer, sunnier weather for the next few days, nice for both sight-seeing and sharing time outdoors.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This town has such an interesting history. The more I learn about it, the more I like it! You can click the link to go to one of several sites that cover Skagway, or Google to find other sites online to read more about it.

We awoke this morning to discover that our neighborhood had changed, yet again. The two cruise ships that were here yesterday were gone by the time we went to bed. This morning, there were two more, no three, no four more!

Two almost identical cruise ships, one behind the other.DSCN6546

Two more ships, one behind/beside the other. Nice reflection, although I wish it were sunny.


Today several of us used our Alaska TourSaver coupon books for the first time to attend a Salmon Bake and tour. Each ticket was $49, but we got one free with the coupon. So, the price of the book ($100) is already half paid for!

A place about 3.5 miles from Skagway called Liarsville is the location for the salmon bake, with a mock-up of what a Klondike Gold Rush camp might have been like.


There were tents for the newspaper printing…


…the local Madam…


…and the Smithy with pack pigs for hire to carry part of the 1,000 lbs of supplies and equipment each prospector was required to carry by the Canadian government.


We were entertained by musicians…


…and by a very animated rendition of the poem “The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill” by Robert W. Service.


There was a chance to pan for gold.


And some of our group actually discovered a few flakes. Wonder if that will pay for a tank of diesel?


I got a bear hug!


The line for the buffet looked very long but it moved quickly, and we talked with friendly folks in line with us.


The salmon was a little overcooked, but Jim got seconds and it was done just right. He shared with us – thanks, Jim! Pasta salad, cole slaw, Caesar salad, rice pilaf, grilled chicken – everything was great!

Back in town, Don and I went to the museum, originally built as a girl’s college. The story goes that most of the ‘girls’ in town were busy ‘earning a living’ so the building served as the U.S. Court House for 55 years until 1956, with the Marshal’s office and jail on the first floor and District Court on the second floor. The museum is a fascinating storehouse of Gold Rush and Skagway town history.


We drove out to the cemetery, which Don remembers visiting 8 years ago, although he forgot how to get there! We found the grave of the infamous Jefferson R. Smith (star of last night’s melodrama).


And the shrine for the man who killed him, thus ridding the town of “Soapy” Smith’s evil influence, Frank H. Reid.


Later, we drove around to see some of the historic homes in town.


And one that may someday become one.