10 August 2015

"There's More Than Gold in Dawson"

8 Aug 2015--Went into town yesterday and had a pretty full day.  We started off at the Visitor's Center and I was reminded as to why I can't bear to go to any museums anymore...in all these towns, no matter where we travel in the country, the 1st display is the ever-present woolly mammoth!  I can't bear to see another one!

Better than the woolly mammoth was the ride up to the Midnight Dome, a mountain spot overlooking the town that has been a gathering place going way back.


Dawson City is the end point of the Chilkoot Trail, where the Klondike Gold Rushers were headed when they came into Skagway and up to Whitehorse before getting on boats or whatever to get here. This 1st picture shows the area that is still being dredged for gold (along with our RV park), while the 2nd pic shows the area where the "downtown" is and where we crossed the Yukon on the ferry.


In this 1st pic, where you can see the shoreline with the town, you will notice a dark strip in the silty water of the Yukon.  This area is the confluence of the Klondike River with the Yukon River, and amazingly their colors are so different you can actually see them meshing together.

When we were up on the mountain we didn't actually know what we were looking at, but coming down to the river it hit us what was happening.  The Klondike River flowing in at first looked like an oil spill to us, but as it continues to flow you can see it disappear into the Yukon.  A Park Ranger told Cathy that the Yukon is so silty in some places that boaters and kayakers can hear it scraping passed their boats...like sandpaper.  You have to wonder how fish can live in this?  I have never seen anything like it..it was cool!

This was interesting, and initially misleading, but that will come in the next blog.  What went thru my mind when I saw these get-ups was that the 1st "house boat" owner was a real "back to nature" type, while the 2nd guy still building his get-up down river a little wanted to be the biggest guy on the block, so he was gonna out-do the 1st guy.  haha  (See what happens in next blog.)

Dawson City, which had 30,000 people at the height of the goldrush, is the 2nd largest city in the Yukon, but now has only 1998 people.  With the exception of Front Street, the street along the river where the tourist shops start, not a single street in the whole town is paved...there aren't even any concrete sidewalks...just wooden planks.


This is the Keno, one of the last 2 stern wheelers to ply the Yukon, with the other one being the one we toured in Whitehorse.

They have a good mix of old buildings that have been rehabbed and used with up-to-date stores, and some that have rehabbed on the outside only, and some left in there original conditions throughout the downtown area for sightseeing.  These stores are on Front Street, right across from the river, with a store named "Cheechakos".  We have seen lots of places called some form of "Sourdoughs", and we knew the terms were related, so we looked it up and this is what the google tells us...although google refers to Alaska, the terms apply in Western Canada also.

Brothels and the like were well represented back in the gold mining days, and still appeal to the tourists.  haha Dora is standing in the window in the 2nd pic.  These are 3 of the "Pleasure Palaces" they drew our attention to.  haah


Sort of morbid, and not something you usually think about as a tourist, but with as cold as things get here it is not surprising that they would have something on it.  Loving the "halfbreed" mention, and the dogs pulling the casket!

Before and after pics...the effects of permafrost!

Cathy and I always have to go into the grocery stores (just ask Ellen)...look at the difference in these 2 cabbages!  And you know I love these quips!

Last night we went out to Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall for a little Vaudeville-type show...only gambled away $5.00, so they didn't get us for much there.  haha

It was a cute little show, with Gertie the headliner, and some can-can girls dancing up a storm.

They brought some guys up on the stage to dance with them..pretty cute!

Gertie wasn't exactly Judy Garland, but she could definitely sing, and went thru a handful of well-known super-oldies like "She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain" and "Smile, Smile, Smile", to get the crowds going...here is a bit of her opener!

We actually got free tickets to this show from a couple women we met when we were in Florida and then ran into a couple times again up here in Alaska/Canada (small world, eh?).  It was a lot fun!!!  I  just wish I could have joined them...as the headliner, of course!  haha


  1. The suspense is killing me about the house building!
    And again some of the scenery pictures look like postcards, so beautiful.
    I am sure Paula you could be the headliner, but you would have to commit to staying there, lol

  2. such quaint little towns. Hard to believe these kind of places still exist. I love the dance hall. Such simple fun.

  3. The dance hall was really cute. I know you and Ellen would both have loved it!