Dawson City Yukon

Three hundred and forty three miles. A long day on some pretty rough roads but we arrived. Did the walking tour of Dawson last evening and both of us were dead on our feet at the end. We are cheek by jowl in a parking lot with campers so close on either side we couldn’t open an awning if we wanted to. But this campground is in downtown Dawson so we can walk to almost everything. Tomorrow we have several tours lined up. The Parcs Canada folks do a great job of explaining the history and preservation of Dawson so we should come away with a real understanding of how the community has developed and changed over the years.

That said, this is a town struggling to survive on tourism and mining. And tourism has slowed according to some of the locals, though you wouldn’t know it by the number of vehicles lined up to get in here earlier today. What has surprised me is the number of tourists here from Austria and Germany. Not sure what the draw is but the folks on either side of us are from Germany and half the people in Klondike Kates tonight were either Swiss, Austrian or German (my best guess since I don’t speak the language). Perhaps it is the lure of big open spaces for folks from Europe, where countries are smaller and more densely populated. Or perhaps it is the weak Canadian dollar compared to the Euro. Whatever the reason, we have seen many folks from Europe since we entered Canada.

Helen and I did the Claim 33 gold panning class today and then went to claim 6, the free gold panning claim to try our hand at finding gold. We then toured Robert Sample’s cabin and did tea at the Commissioner’s house, both tours put of by Parc Canada and both extremely well done.

What follows is a sample of Dawson City.

Very much a working grocery store with a good selection of everything.
The Downtown hotel, and the famous Sourdough Saloon, where you can drink a sour toe cocktail.
This is what happens when you build on permafrost and it melts under you – your buildings begin to list in all directions.
You can legally gamble here in Dawson.
Lots of the buildings are quite colorful.

Robert Sample’s cabin. No one has lived in it since he left Dawson. The tour put on by Parc Canada was marvelous.
You can learn how to pan for gold at Claim 33.
Ginny showing Helen the proper panning technique. She was a wonderful instructor and we highly recommend them if you come up this way.
There’s gold in them thar hills…
…but we didn’t find any at Claim 6. But it was a fun morning trying our hand at panning for gold.
Dredge #6 is a huge machine and how they mined for gold until the 60’s. Now it is another Parcs Canada historic site.

Tomorrow we go over the Top of the World highway to Chicken Alaska.


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