Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Not bad, not bad...

... I could live with this.

The shock of going directly from a camping trip to Los Anchorage was greatly mitigated by spending a stunningly, breathtakingly beautiful evening kayaking Portage Lake to Portage Glacier with an Anchorage friend.

It's so hot and still at home and so cool and breezy in Anchorage, and with that stunning mountainous backdrop I feel like Los Anchorage is attempting to woo me. But nooooo! I am a Northern girl, and that means that Fairbanks wins my heart over Anchorage, and San Francisco wins it over Los Angeles. Just wait until winter, when I am skiing every day and Anchorage comes above freezing and turns into mush and gush! pppplllfffffttt! :P

Edited to add: BEHBEHRHINO!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dawson report, part III

Part I here and part II here.

The local cemetery is very picturesque:

We climbed up to a local outlook spot. It was beautiful, but revealed how the beautiful town is so well-maintained. Mining is still active and profitable:

Postcard-perfect photo:

Looking upriver:

And downriver:

The picturesque town has preserved its gold rush heritage, with wooden boardwalks and period architecture. Homes and businesses in the main section of town are required by law to maintain their historicity and good looks:

Autumn and Linden lounging about while we humans have supper at the restaurant's outdoor seating:

Cute dawg:

Autumn and Linden cuddle at camp:

View from the barge:

Camping at Moon Lake on our way home. It wasn't as beautiful as it normally is. A windstorm in Sept 2012 has brought down about 80-90% of trees in the local area. The local foresters have been very busy dealing with the dead and downed trees and the associated fire risks! Also, the lake had flooded its banks, submerging several campsites.

It rained a bit while we slept, and the lake was higher in the morning:

It's still a gorgeous lake. I had my first bath in three days!

Homeward bound!

Dawson City

And onward to Dawson from Chicken!

The storied Fortymile river. It's amazing how just one river valley over, the country really does look different. Fortymile country is more hilly and less populated.

Climbing up to join the Top of the World Highway!

Aaaaaand the busy junction!

The bustling border crossing and customs station!

Welcome to the Yukon!

The descent into Dawson:

The barge that ferries cars back and forth across the Yukon, 24 hours a day. I wonder how long the payback period would be on building a bridge? No charge for the barge!

The line of vehicles cued up to cross into Dawson:

Wherever the sun shines, there are Chinese people!

And the famed Klondike. It had mythical proportions in my mind. In reality, it looked like the upper Chena--a very pretty little thing!

Autumn cools off:

It's gorgeous, isn't it?

Linden cools off, too:


You can see the line where the clear Klondike flows into the silty Yukon:

The junction of these two rivers, Tr'ochëk, was an important gathering and fishing place for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Athabascans. When gold was discovered in the many rivers and creeks in the fortymile region, Chief Isaac knew that white people would come flooding in with their associated ills, so he arranged to move his village 3 miles downriver. It's very sad to consider what he must have felt at the time, but it appears that he made a wise choice with the tools he had, knowing that he would not be able to resist against the white people.

And I'll cut off today's post with that. Adventures in Dawson continue tomorrow.

Top o' the Minor News

Warm fuzzies!

Warm fuzzies!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dawson Report

Well before I get into the Dawson report, here are my veggies from last week:

M and I took a long weekend and took a road trip to Dawson by way of Chicken. I took a ton of photos, so I'll post them over the next several days.

The Taylor Highway is always a gorgeous drive:

Succession--fireweed follows fire!

This dog's name is Arvay! Well, not Arvay, but my real-life name. I looked every time someone called her.

Autumn and Linden are very good about being left outside of shops and restaurants:

The Chicken post office:

It hasn't changed at all since a historic photograph was shot in the 80's:

In Chicken, M and I were invited to pitch our tents right in the bustling downtown. We did so, then cooked up dinner on our camp stoves. After a while, the cook from the local (and lovely) restaurant came out, and the following conversation transpired:

Cook J: "Would you ladies like to join us in the pub for a beer?"

Me: "Thanks, but we're pretty tired from our drive. Maybe later. Would you like some kohlrabi?"

Cook J: "What's a kohlrabi?"

Me: "It's kind of like a broccoli that's nothing but stem. A giant, spherical stem. This one's awesome. My neighbor Mike grew it. I brought it all the way from Fairbanks."

Cook J: "Uh... no, thanks. Maybe I'll see you later in the pub..."

Later, after M had gone to sleep (M's an early sleeper), I joined Cook J and the crew of seasonal workers who come in just for summers to work in the tourist trade, cooking and bar tending. The young women were all in their early 20's and shared stories of their conquests among the foresters and miners. At one point, the young women all turned to me aghast. "Aren't you a tourist? Are we appalling you?" To which I replied, "Nope. I was young once, too." :)

As we drove out of Chicken, I told M the story, then realized... it's not normal to turn down beer and offer kohlrabi in return, is it?

Chicken Creek:

Visitors panning for gold, which still runs pretty constantly in the river. Chicken keeps an official roster of the "One ounce club".

The Chicken fire truck. Note the solar panels in the background. Not only is Chicken not connected to the power grid, it doesn't even have its own power house. Each building has its own generator.

Autumn admiring the fireweed. It's been a great year for it all over Alaska:

Top view of part of Chicken:

Chicken motifs:


Dawson report to proceed tomorrow.