Dawson to Whitehorse

The Heart of the Yukon Territory

Whitehorse Yukon, Canada

August 23, 2002

We pulled out of Dawson City, Yukon, with gold in our pockets, well, in Laura’s pocket anyway and the sun in the sky. That in itself would have been an event. Having traveled what seemed to be all the dirt roads in Alaska and the Yukon it was a wondrous surprise to find our trek south would be on a well maintained blacktop road, following the Yukon River to Whitehorse. That meant no mean mountains to cross. This was what was necessary as I had been detecting a new noise coming from the truck on hard pulls of over 9 percent. Nothing that particularly alarmed me but still, I didn’t want anything hard to pull if I could help it. It’s over 300 miles to Whitehorse so we took our time and pulled over once in awhile to stretch and get the kinks out. On one of these stops we saw a combination camp cabins, gift shop and museum site, called the Moose Creek Lodge. There had been nothing in the way of businesses for over an hour so we pulled into the spacious drive and got out to look around. The place had that wonderful rustic appearance but there didn’t seem to be a soul around. Here and there were perched, a somewhat different form of artwork. I nicknamed several of them burley mosquitoes. Laura had to pose for what might be my up and coming science fiction thriller. “The Attack of the Yukon Mosquitoes”. There were actually several of the interestingly assembled creatures hanging about the place. The body is a burl with appendages and head attached. The legs were poles from the local cedars. From a distance they gave quite an image. Someone really had a talent to come up with these. We continued to wander around looking at the old buildings in the back and the various paths that led off into the timber country. I noted that there were no wires going to the lodge and there was a distinctive hum of a gas generator coming from what looked like a root cellar near by. As we worked our way back to the car I couldn’t pass by a particularly tall cedar with a large red sign on which a white telephone receiver was painted with an arrow point up a hand made wooden ladder. The tree is close to 300 feet from the lodge, which still had not shown any signs of life. Laura walked up to the ladder and sure enough, some 15 steps to the top sat a small wooden box and a one of those old rotary dial black telephones with the cradled earpiece that was always so comfortable to hold. Oop! showing my age again. Just as Laura got to the bottom rung, the phone rang. It’s a startling experience to have a phone suspended 20 feet up the side of a tree to suddenly ring, oh yes, there were no visible phone lines either. It caused instant laughter and I spun around to look at the lodge and yes, there was a guy who had pulled away the white curtains from the lower left window and was now waving at us. I gave him a gracious bow, waved and we walked on back to the truck and continued on our way. This was just one of those out of the way places that make this country the neat, keen, groovy place it is.

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