On the Road Adventures

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

16 June - Whitehorse - The Last Day Here

It rained today. This is the first time this trip I’ve had to say that. And it was chilly, in the mid-40’s. We broke out the rain jackets and fleece liners and they really felt good. Since the repair guys were still putting Cleo back together, we went to the Murdock Museum in town. It’s a small museum that covers the geology and botany of the area, as well as the history. More stories about the gold rush. Let me summarize: lots of people who had no idea where they were going or what they would find when they got there; much struggle and hardship; and most of the gold was gone when they finally arrived. I think we’re ready to move on!

There were some very interesting pictures of people in ramshackle, make-shift boats and rafts being swept through the rapids at Miles Canyon, which is a narrow basalt canyon that squeezes the Yukon into a ferocious maelstrom of water. Bob and Sharon had gone hiking in Miles Canyon yesterday and highly recommended it, so we stopped by the overlook. Then we decided to at least walk out on the swinging bridge over the narrows, even if it was raining down with enthusiasm. The rapids have been “tamed” now by the dam downstream, but while we were there a small tour boat came through and it was really struggling to make headway against the current, so I can only imagine what a terrifying ordeal it was for the miners in their flimsy, hand-made rafts.

We checked back with John and Jay at New North Truck and Equipment, our great mechanics, and found Cleo all buttoned up and ready for her test run. Those guys are the best! They were concerned for us, always willing to tell Gerry just what they’d done, and they were so proud of the work they did. We were both really impressed with their skill, tenacity and professionalism.

We gave Cleo a test run, which she passed with flying colors, so we are ready to hit the road tomorrow morning. We did decide that because of a number of reasons: the delay, Alan’s schedule for his flight home (poor boy has to go back to work. Bummer.) and because of the forecasted rain, we are not going to try the Dawson City to Chicken run, but we’ll stay on the Alaska Highway to Tok. It’s shorter, so we’ll make Fairbanks for sure before solstice. We’ll just have to do the Chicken to Dawson City route on the way back.

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