Since the nearest place that we could find a coffee was 110 km away, we packed up our bags and headed south, finally stopping in Carmacks for breakfast.
The trip back to Whitehorse was beautiful. The Yukon is basically one mountain range after another..
|Five finger rapids on the upper Yukon river again.|
|Fox lake. Too insignificant to figure on maps apparently.|
Our tally of observed wildlife had not been too high. We were somewhat disappointed with the Dempster Highway, especially since at the visitor centre, there were reports of sightings all along the Dempster of caribou, grizzly bear and mountain sheep, none of which we had seen. In total at various times in the trip we had seen porcupine, one black bear, various little pika, a rabbit, two foxes on different occasions and one young moose seen when driving back from the canoe trip. But the stretch from Carmacks to Whitehorse gave us a real treat. Suddenly a lynx crossed the road in front of us. It was quite close and its peaked ears were unmistakable. It was impossible to get a picture in the time that we spotted it, but these creatures are hard to see and so the moment was special.
We arrived back in whitehorse around noon and stopped in to see the Canada Games Center -- a modern facility with pool, indoor running track and ice surfaces.
|Whitehorse sponsored art for the Canada games.|
The afternoon had us watching the England-Italy soccer game and taking a walk to enjoy a few stores and see an Indian Cultural Center. After a leisurely and wonderful dinner, we are enjoying a quiet evening before tomorrow's long journey home. Here is the view from our hotel room.
A few final thoughts... the Canadian north has incredible potential. The people take their time, but what needs to be done seems to get done. There are many young people, including beautiful young women -- some here long term, some from Vancouver or elsewhere enjoying summer jobs. Not so many families, but some indeed are present. The proprietors of our hotel in Dawson were Swiss and had just spent their first winter in Canada running the inn. Most everyone has a story. Our canoe supplier, Colin, grew up in Toronto. He just wanted to see what it's like 'at the end of the road'. The most haunting image I had was of the prospector at the little camp we briefly visited en-route back from the canoe trip. Tall and lean with long hair and a beard, he could have been straight out of the year 1898, like many prospectors before him, trying to make a big find. The gold rush is no more, but the gold 'saunter' is still in progress. Dawson city could still shine. If our government spent just a fraction of the money it's spending on fighter jets, on northern development, what a difference it would make. We'd like to return some day -- perhaps to see darkness at noon.