Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yukon Trip 2009 - Day 11 Part 1 - Whitehorse

Before I get into this stage of the trip I want to share something I just learned in regards to these blogs. IF you want to comment on anything in the blog, you first have to become a FOLLOWER of that blog. It is very easy, just follow the directions. It doesn't cost anything and you'll get no unsolicited email or anything like that. Once you are a 'follower' then you can SIGN IN and once you do that, you can then post comments. I've been a 'follower' on another blog for a while, so I know it is 'safe', and I just recently learned how to post comments.

Now, back to the trip. Day 11, June 2, 2009. It had been another warm night where we had trouble getting to sleep, as a result slept in until after 9 when we woke to another sunny, and what promised to be, hot, day. Quickly ate breakfast and headed towards Whitehorse with one quick detour to a viewpoint.
The above shot, taken from the viewpoint, is looking back towards the east. That is Miles Canyon on the Yukon river. Our plan now was to head to the nearest grocery store so we could stock up on groceries before it got any warmer (remember we had two dogs sitting in the truck). Found a beautiful big SuperStore, then while I packed away the supplies, Ernie went across the street to an equally impressive Canadian Tire, to buy a hatchet as that was something we had missed in the packing process.

We then back tracked to this welcoming area which is at the base of '2 mile hill'. I have to say that if Atlin was a disappointment, Whitehorse was anything but! I was so impressed with this city I can not say enough good things about it. When I had last been here (30 + years) it had been a sort of wild and woolly frontier town, the sort of place you weren't sure you wanted to get out of your vehicle in. No more! This is a beautiful, clean, modern city but with a distinctly 'northern' air which has been maintained in the architecture.

This tasteful signage invites you to 'go for a walk' along their extensive network of walking/bike paths, including this one that runs all along the river front.

This shot is looking towards the city. You can see that there is still some ice. According to the Milepost the annual precipitation is 10.3 inches with equal parts rain and snow. This is a very dry area, in fact when we were there the forest fire hazard rating was extreme. The average winter temperature is -17 c and the average summer temperature is 14 degrees. Not quite in the land of midnight sun....they receive 21 hours of sunlight on June 21st and only 5 1/2 on Dec. 21st.

This is just a slightly closer shot, showing one of the tourist attractions - the S.S. Klondike stern-wheeler.

This shot was taken from the same spot as the above, just looking back, away from the city.

Ernie took Shantz for a walk along the river front walkway while I poked about and marveled that finally, here was a northern city that did what I have never been able to figure out, why all northern, or extreme climates cities don't do - landscape using native plants! With the exception of free standing planters in the down town core, all landscaping was done using plants that had already adapted to the climate. Wild roses, currents, potentilla, were just a few I spotted. Notice the lack of litter! The place was spotless!!!

These banners really caught my eye! There were other's as well.

Another of the wonderful signs promoting what the area has to offer.
By the time that Ernie and Shantz finished their walk, it was getting toasty, so we headed to MacDonalds for a quick lunch (yes there is a MacDonald's there - there is just about anything you could wish for there)....and then on to the next leg of the journey.

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