PumpkinKnitter

The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Y is for...(Part 1)

Yukon!

The trip we looked forward to most in Alaska was actually a trip into the Yukon Territory, Canada. I had been reading Michener's "Alaska" and wanted to see the gold rush trail of 1898. Plus we simply wanted to get that far up north into Canada, the furthest north we'd been.

We left Skagway by bus and headed up the White Pass into British Columbia. The climb up the mountain pass was not too steep. We worked our way through some light rain showers as we ascended the mountains. The peaks were stunning. I can only imagine what they would be like in sunshine.



We made a stop at Lake Tutshi ("too shy") while still in British Columbia. This was the only place in the entire trip that we ran into the infamous mosquitos, but even the swarm that tried to feed on us couldn't lessen our pleasure in the beautiful mountain lake.



As we continued our bus journey into the Yukon territory, we entered an area of tundra where very little was growing. Hundred year old spruce trees were only about 18 inches high! They could not grow any taller in that environment.

We crossed into an area of large, beautiful lakes, lakes that fed into the Yukon river. The mountains were green and gold with full-blown fall color.





We stopped for a barbecue chicken lunch at a small settlement called Caribou Crossing. This was where we walked to the sled dog camp. After lunch we continued on our tour with a stop at Emerald Lake. The unusual bands of green in this lake are caused by the organisms that live in the water.

We stopped at another settlement called Carcross. This is a very old town that in many places is now falling apart. Several hundred people still live there. This was a town that was founded during the gold rush era. The hordes of people heading down the Yukon built themselves boats to float down the lakes and down the Yukon. In fact, the mountains were stripped of much of the pine trees to build the thousands of boats that were needed. Aspen trees took over where the pines had once stood, and these accounted for the swaths of gold in the mountains.



The steamship Tutshi used to sail these lakes. One winter it was brought ashore to avoid the ice but caught fire and burned nearly completely to the ground. This is about the only part of the structure left. The wreck was left where it was.



In Part 2, the trip back to Skagway by train; appalling history in the midst of great natural beauty.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Margene said...

You have the best Y out of anyone! That was quite a trip.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Fascinating. Wonderful photos. BTW, I love all the Jack London stories and you reminded me of that with this installment of your travel log.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Y is for YOU are amazing Pat. THis post is so delish to veiw. Emerald Lake is amazing. Must show Fireman.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

I was rasied on the poetry of Robert Service. That boat makes me think of The Cremation of Sam McGee.

7:14 AM  

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