Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Skagway to Dawson City (the path of the Klondike Gold Rush)

On Sunday we hit the road once again and said good bye to Skagway.
It was a great town and a lot of fun but new adventures awaited up up the road.
It was a rainy morning as we climbed over 3,200’ from sea level and crested the cloud shrouded White Pass.

After crossing the pass and descending a bit, we left the clouds mostly behind and enjoyed a fairly nice sunny day for the rest of our days journey.
Along the way we found this Black Bear foraging for Dandelions.

(PS - remember to click on the photos to enlarge)

He was making quick work grazing thru them.

Our destination for Sunday night was the Fox Lake Yukon Territoral Campgroud.
It was fairly empty with only a few other rigs besides ours.
After John & Dave arrived - our group now reunited - we enjoyed a campfire and laughed into the night (or day since it never gets dark)
The next morning I was up at 5am out on the lake enjoying the morning quiet.

 A gaggle (flock, clutch, herd?) of Loons shared the morning quiet with me.
As they took flight they caught me unprepared to properly catch the moment as my shutter speed needed to be increased a bunch.

It was a beautiful place to spend the night.
We have met so many residents of the Yukon who came here to visit and never left.  
Spending a night at Fox Lake it sure is understandable why.

The next morning we were back on the road.
Funny thing…   leaving the campground I should have turned left (North) on the Klondike highway.
For some reason I’ve had this place backwards in my mind for weeks and made a right turn instead.   It was only a mile or so when it dawned on me.
I called Ron (who was following me) on the CB and said….   “ummmm   Ron - we are headed the wrong way"
We had to go about 25 miles south until we could find a spot where we could turn around.  
 Needless to say - we were soon pulling into the Braeburn Lodge for some of their famous Gigantic Cinnamon Buns.

After more beautiful road miles in this vast unspoiled wilderness 
we found a spot on the side of the road to spend the night.
It was just a dirt pulloff next to the Ross River Bridge but it served our purposes just fine.
(Dave and Linda - I think you stayed here last year)

We sat around outside our rig and swapped stories before dinner.

It was an endless day under an ocean of endless blue sky…  
The view from our camp.

Another 150 miles north (and more Moose sightings) today and we have finally reached the Klondike gold fields and Dawson City.

We are now only about 180 miles south of the Arctic Circle.  
It no longer gets dark here at night.
It stays light enough out at night that you could sit outside and read a book without a light.

We are camped in a beautiful wooded Yukon Territorial Campground 
on the West Bank of the Yukon river.

To get here we must take the free ferry across from Dawson.

Since we need to be on this side of the river when we leave anyway - the campground is perfectly suited for our plans.
Our campsite is pretty much right above the front flag on the ferry.

The Yukon River is right behind our campsite - about 70 yards away.

We are surrounded by Spruce, Aspen, and White Birch. 

Cheryl…  you could have a field day here collecting wood for furniture.

The only sound we hear is the rustling of the leaves.
The scent is of pine and light woodsmoke. 

One interesting tidbit…  
We were talking to a man today who mentioned that when the locals
 first go south in the summer they are amazed that
it can be both dark at night and warm at the same time.   
You need to understand that when it is dark at night here - it is winter.

We will spend 3 days here in Dawson and explore the history and sights.

Meanwhile - I'm struggling with internet again.
I have it but it is terribly slow so I've downsized the photos and
degraded the quality so that they would load faster.

It will be nice when I can get back to some 4g speeds but for now
we'll live with what we have.


  1. Free ferry! Most places would capitalize on that.

  2. Looks like a great trip so far - the ferry looks amazingly like one we took while we were in Scotland. It was free as well - I'll see if I can find my photo and compare the two.

    Enjoy, but watch the Bunns?

  3. I really loved Dawson! The night we drove up to the top of Midnight Dome we were joined by a handful of others... A family from NM who brought plastic champagne glasses, cider and cookies to toast the "midnight sun". They shared with us. It was a magical night. They had hired a local man as a tourist guide to take them there. It ended up the local was on the ferry with us going back and we had a nice conversation with him. He had moved there years ago and lived on the other side of the river. I asked him how he got back to Dawson in the winter time. I knew the river freezes over in the winter time. He said "we drive right on the frozen river." He said the Yukon government actually keeps it up nicely in the winter months and it is easier to cross when it is frozen and you don't have to wait on the ferry to cross. Guess I had not thought of that before. Enjoy your time there!

  4. We are really enjoying your trip. We are planning on doing the same thing but, probably not until 2016. If you could share s some of your research on how you planned your trip, like where you were going to stay, not necessarily the road, but the camps, and how you decided place you could just pull off for the night? Happy trails!

  5. You're right, I would love to be gathering some wood. I have a question...how cool does it get in the evening 180 mi. From the Article Circle? Cheryl


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