Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Last day in Dawson City, Day 6, June 29, 2010

We sure have enjoyed our relaxing time here in Dawson, but  tomorrow we will be heading across the Ferry out of Dawson, then travel up over the Top of the World Highway.   Don’t plan on being where we have internet coverage until July 5th or 6th. 

Sure enjoyed our Parks Canada two hour city tour this morning. 

IMG_0897Inside the Red Feather Saloon, restored by Parks Canada, we found several interesting displays – loved the one below. 


Would hate to be the owner of this large IOU for Shaking Dice.


The Now and Then photos of the Dawson Post Office.  The Then photo was taken on June 10th, 1904 at midnight, definitely the city of the midnight sun.










We aren’t the only ones to get our mail by General Delivery.

IMG_0917  A winter burial from the Lowes Funeral Home.


This sign was on display at the funeral home’s window, it is from the book I am reading by Laura Berton. Great Book!


New construction in Dawson needs unique measures to prevent foundation failure when built over permafrost.


Since our tickets were good for two nights at Diamond Tooth Gerties, off we went for the 8:30 show, turned out to be the same show we saw last night, oh well, still fun to watch. 


Changing Day, Dawson City, day 5, June 28, 2010

This was taken this morning---



  …and this was taken just a few minutes ago up on Midnight Dome-high above Dawson City.




The drizzle finally ended late this afternoon.  This morning I made a loaf of bread, we were so glad it was done in time for lunch.




After lunch we went on a tour of the Palace Grand Theatre along with everyone else trying to get inside out of the rain. 


IMG_0858Here we are on the third floor, our guide is speaking to us from one of the private boxes that would rent for $40 per seat.  Bob is two boxes down from the guide.

After the tour we watched one show of Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, you know the show you and I watched as a kid with his trusty husky, King!

IMG_0868 We then stopped at the Visitor Center and turned in our entry IMG_0873form for the 5 ounces of Gold.   We needed to get 20 stamps (we had 21)  in order to be in the 5 oz drawing, so we are in.  We will know who won in Sept,  hope it is us!!

Tonight went to Diamond Tooth Gerties Casino, guess who just had to have their photo taken with all the lovely ladies!!

IMG_0883 Then to top off the evening, we took a drive up the top of Midnight Dome.  

I just finished reading this from “I Married the Klondike” by Laura Berton, “June 21, the summer solstice, was a day of considerable celebration in Dawson.  It was the habit of the entire town to climb the 1800’ Midnight Dome behind Dawson and celebrate this longest day of the year with an all night picnic.  We left town usually about ten, wearing the absurd clothes of the period (1907), so unsuitable to mountain climbing. …There were no roads up the Dome, but plenty of narrow interesting trails built by those pioneers who preferred to live far from the madding crowd.  … until we reached the top, where at midnight we amused ourselves by taking photographs and picnicking until three or four in the morning.”

Endless views.  Another shot of The Yukon showing Dawson City down by the river. IMG_8601

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dawson City, Day 4, June 27, 2010

Well, bright and early this morning, Bob was up checking to see if the RV caravan had left from the RV Park here.  Yes they had,  so that meant he woke me up and we headed down to the ferry crossing to watch them load their RV’s onto the ferry, as in a few days that will be us.

IMG_0816 The line for the ferry ended near the Visitor Center.  Approximately 25 RV’s were in line.


Here are two RV’s with toads plus another car in front of the RV on the right.

IMG_8496 This stately building is the Commissioner’s Residence.  This structure saw many elegant balls and parties in its day as Dawson, in its prime, was nicknamed Paris of the North.



I loved this bench made from Moose antlers.



Next off to the City Museum where Bob get’s involved in a gold rocker demonstration.  Bob provided the rocking motion and the other fellow poured water over the dirt in the box on top.


The gravel that caught in the riffles (horizontal wood strips) was then placed in a gold pan and panned out.  Yes there was gold, they called it a $20 pan.

IMG_0831 IMG_0832

Loved this thermometer display at the museum.  Before thermometers in the Yukon, prospectors improvised with what they had.  Quicksilver would freeze at –40 degrees, Coal Oil –50, Jamaica Ginger –55, Perry Davis Pain Killer –72, and St Jacob’s Oil, never freezes.



Evaporated Vegetables anyone?

The beginning of instant vegetable soup, yummm.





I had been following a blog of another couple, Diana and Eric plus three kids heading to Alaska.  We met them tonight, so nice to put a name and face together!   In fact,  they were parked just across from us here at Bonanza Gold RV Park.    Big day for them tomorrow, they are driving to the Arctic Circle, about a 11 hour roundtrip drive.  Safe travels my friend!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dawson City Area Exploring, Day 3, June 26, 2010

Only rain today was about 20 sprinkles and currently at 8:30 pm it is 72 degrees. (Update: at 9 pm it is sprinkling some more) What more can you ask for? Today was our day to visit the Dredge # 4 on Bonanza Creek and visit the gold discovery site on Bonanza Creek (original name Rabbit Creek).

The dredge is so huge, one photo doesn’t do it justice. These huge dredges were used until the early 1960’s to recover gold from this area. This Dredge #4 is the largest wooden hull dredge in North America. IMG_8421


This is the excavating end, the above photo shows the end where the tailings came out.

This is the huge drum which when filled with the dug gravel, rotated with water being forced down the center of it. The gold and small gravel came out through the holes. The gold was then collected in the grid and coconut matting laying beneath this huge drum. About every day or two these mats were

IMG_0777 removed, rinsed and the gold and small gravel collected, then later refined at a nearby Gold Room.


Here is a photo of the grid and matting.

Here is photo of the control room. The dredge would move forward-10 feet at a time or side to side, then continue digging down to 57’ deep. The forward movement was clocked at 1/2 mile per year. Another great tour by Parks Canada.

IMG_0781 IMG_8476


This is the Klondike Gold Discovery site on Bonanza Creek, have to admit that Bonanza Creek does sound better than Rabbit Creek. After the discovery, it was renamed. When George Carmack first found gold with two of his friends, he staked claim #1, so any future claims are numbered from his claim, like 2 up or 2 down from claim #1, his claim. There are several contradicting stories of exactly who found the gold. Was it his friends, Dawson Charlie or Skookum Jim, or was it Mrs. Carmack while doing laundry? The answer remains unanswered to this day. But we do know that George Carmack did stake the claim first.

We had picked up from the RV Park two gold pans and a shovel (for free) before heading out this morning, so off to Claim 6 above (six claims above the original gold discovery site #1). The public is able to pan for gold here and keep what they find.

IMG_0796 IMG_0798


IMG_0799 Well, we panned, rubbed our aching backs and legs, panned some more and think we found (Bob did the finding) about four tiny flakes of gold.

Here the gold flakes are shown in a small custard cup.


IMG_8479 Here is what permafrost does to structures here in Dawson. When heated buildings are placed on frozen ground, the frost melts, mixing water with soil to form a very fluid muck into which the different footings settle at different rates. These two building are examples of what happens when no restoration measures have been taken.


I will say good night with one parting photo, here I am sitting in one of the 66 dredge buckets used on Dredge #4.

Friday, June 25, 2010

More of Dawson City, Day 2, June 25, 2010

After some much needed cleaning this morning, off we went to visit where two writers lived here in Dawson. IMG_8375

Jack London’s museum and cabin was our first stop. (Author of many books, one famous one is The Call of the Wild.) The presentation about his life and cabin was very nicely done.  The small cabin to the left in the photo was moved here from Henderson Creek (near Stewart’s Crossing) where Jack staked a gold claim in 1897.  He did make it to Dawson at least once, as he staked the gold claim here on Nov 5, 1897.  His gold claim never paid off.  You can read here how the cabin (parts of) ended up here and also in Oakland CA.IMG_8382 Next was the Robert Service home.   We are finding that if Parks Canada manages a location, any presentation given is done with class, as was this one.  This charming fellow kept us entertained for over an hour.


He told the life of Robert Service including reciting several of his over 2,000 poems.  Check this one out, The Three Bares

IMG_8399The weather was warm today, so the umbrellas provided shade for some of us in the audience.



On an evening walk, we came across this display of old mining equipment.

IMG_0768 Tonight we have company, we are all former Monaco family of RV’s.  (Beaver, Safari, and Holiday Rambler-ours)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Exploring Dawson City, Day 1, June 24, 2010

IMG_0730Fog had settled on the berg of Dawson City this morning. Soon, however, it burned off to a beautiful sunny day with one exception of a storm that blew in and by.


First this morning was my hair appointment, I do think my new doo is short enough!



Not all the mud has dried up from the rain yesterday.

The visitor center provided some interesting displays. These two moose both met their fate with a fight to the end. These antlers were found nearby not far from the Dempster Hwy.


Here is the typewriter that Robert Service used to produce his writings. Often he is referred to as the “Bard of the Yukon”. He lived , worked and wrote in Dawson City. Notice the placement of the letters, not all are the same as today’s keyboard.


We are always pulled to visit the old cemeteries, Dawson City


even has a Walking Tour of their Cemeteries. This grave is of Aino Ida Kaakinen 1905, at 11 months died of dysentery, summer complaint or fever, the third Dawson City child to die with a 24 hour period. The parents fenced her grave site, over the past 100 years a huge spruce tree has grown in the middle of her grave. The marker has been mounted to the tree to ensure its survival.

IMG_0751 This fairly large old cemetery overlooked Dawson City.



The Keno is one of two sternwheelers remaining that was used on the Yukon. We also toured the Klondike (the other sternwheeler) in Whitehorse last week. Great tour and great movie filmed in 1960 when the Keno made its final run from Whitehorse to Dawson City.

IMG_8360 Taken on the Keno looking at the mighty Yukon River, not far from where the Klondike River converges.


This afternoon Bob installed some hardware cloth in front of the Explorer’s radiator, we are getting ready for our drive from Dawson City over the Top of the World Highway – all gravel.

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