We have concluded our time in Whitehorse, YT and have headed up the Klondike HWY towards Dawson City. While there are a number of positive things about Whitehorse, we have left with a negative taste in our mouths. The surroundings are beautiful in the Whitehorse area, but it just didn’t do it for us. For a city that is reported to have over 60% of the population of the territory it did not come across as the major city. Supplies must be limited up here as well. Everything costs a lot compared to prices in the states even taking into account the exchange rate and every time we turned around in the major stores we found commonly used items out of stock. I could understand high prices in the small towns like Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson, but found it surprising in the largest city of the entire territory. Most surprising was just how limited the supplies were in the major stores.
Some prices of meat – we did not buy any beef!
What really started the negative feeling was trying to find someplace to eat where all of us could eat. Breann, Hannah, and I all need gluten free for our meals and Hilary needs to avoid additional things like eggs, dairy, soy, etc. Just try and find a place to eat with those restrictions. We went to three different places and had to walk out because we couldn’t find anything to eat. Finally, at the 4th place they were willing to make a number of substitutions for Hilary so she could eat. We were all hungry and “hangry” (hungry angry) by this point and learning that the restaurant used to have a dedicated French fry frier to avoid gluten contamination but had quit separating out the gluten from the fries really just topped off the negative feeling. It really isn’t the fault of the restaurants, but still we wished there had been better/more options for us. In the end we paid a lot for our meal and really didn’t enjoy it all that much.
We did make it to Whitehorse on Friday as planned. After stopping on Thursday at the Watson Lake Signpost Forest we continued down the highway another hour or so.
Picture of the Wood buffalo that we saw on Thursday:
Random “watch out for caribou” sign:
The following pictures are just random signs with familiar names on them from the Signpost Forest that caught our eye and wanted to share with you all:
Our stopping point for the night turned out to be infested with mosquitoes. Going outside caused the swarms of mosquitoes to rush in the door. They even got into the roof vent and found their way around the screen. Breann was up for hours killing mosquitoes in the front while Hilary and I were able to kill the relatively small number in the back of the bus in less than an hour. We were still killing wayward mosquitoes later in the day on Friday that had managed to survive the genocide of Thursday night. Thankfully this has been the only stop of the trip so far with an excessive population of those nasty buggers.
When we arrived in Whitehorse on Friday we stopped at the Wolf Creek Yukon Territory Park. We snapped up the very last site in the park. While it was a tight squeeze to get the bus into the site we managed and were thankful as all the rest of the RV parks in the area were private and had correspondingly higher camping fees. We have managed to avoid those for the entire trip and continue to seek out the more natural feel and environment of the “state parks”.
Friday evening after supper we went into town and got our laundry done. Washer loads cost a more “reasonable” $3 CDN. While still not comparable to the $1.50 we paid per load in Show Low, AZ it sure did beat the $5 CDN we paid per load in Watson Creek.
On Saturday we had the unpleasant meal finding experience and then went to complete our shopping list. This entailed stopping at two feed stores looking for Ruby’s food, Wal-Mart, Real Canadian SuperStore (like a Sam’s club without the membership), a hardware store, and Riverside Market (a natural health food store). Before heading back to the bus with our groceries we stopped in and saw the SS Klondike II. This is a large paddle wheel powered riverboat used to haul supplies and ore up and down the Yukon, primarily from Whitehorse to Dawson City and back. The Canadian National Parks office did a very nice job of restoring the boat and displaying it. We particularly enjoyed the 18 minute documentary film with actual film footage shot by private individuals back in the late 30’s.
Pictures of the front of the Klondike standing on the forward deck and of the kitchen/1st class dining room:
Pictures of just a few of the mock supplies in the cargo area:
Saturday night we enjoyed a camp fire and then found ourselves up past midnight while our neighbors plus 40 – 50 of their closes relatives/friends enjoyed a pig roast. They finally quieted down sometime after dark, which up here doesn’t happen until after midnight. With our late night we enjoyed sleeping in late on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning I did a quick wash job on the bus and then we headed into town to visit the Whitehorse Transportation Museum after lunch. The transportation museum is extremely well done and we enjoyed all the films, displays, pictures and exhibits related to all modes of transportation in the Yukon including dog sleds, airplanes, cars, trucks, snowmobiles, and snow shoes. As an extra bonus there was a “car show” being held in the parking lot of the museum. We got our fill of old cars, mustangs of most vintages, and other cars and trucks of interest.
Monday was the day to head on up the Klondike HWY towards Dawson City. Before leaving Whitehorse we filled up on Diesel at 1.07 a liter, dumped the waste tank and filled up the fresh water tank. We were able to do all three things at one place just to the south of the Wal-Mart. Hilary took a few pictures of the Wal-Mart parking lot since we have never seen another Wal-Mart parking lot with this many campers in it. She called this “Camp Wal-Mart”.
We arranged for our mail to be delivered and held for us at the Valdez post office and completed a few other chores before lunch while in town. By 12:30 we were finally on the Klondike HWY heading north. Less than one hour into the drive we saw a black bear and her young cub on the side of the road. Hilary was able to capture a picture of the pair before we passed them. The sound of the Jake brakes as I was slowing down quickly caused the mama bear to turn around and head back into the brush so that by the time we were alongside them they had started ambling away.
We are stopped at a gravel turn out about 120 miles short of Dawson City for the night. Dinner was baked potatoes, crock pot barbecue pork and frozen peas. Yum.
- Thursday, 6/2: 261 (past Watson Lake)
- Friday, 6/3: 232 (Whitehorse)
- Monday, 6/6: 224 (120 miles south of Dawson City)