Saturday, June 16, 2012

Whitehorse, Capital of the Yukon

Another pretty drive as we leave Teslin and head to Whitehorse. We saw an interesting rainbow that seem to be just lying low on the hills, but not in the sky at all.

Bridge into town of Teslin

We checked into the Pioneer RV Park, south of the town of Whitehorse. The park was nice, though with sites close together. Actually the upper level would have been nicer but there was no wi fi up there and the main reason we stay at commercial parks at all is for the wi fi so Joe can catch up on some work and I can catch up on blogs.They had gas and propane for sale, which we took advantage of before leaving, topping off our tanks.
Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon Territory and the city with the largest population. They have a population of around 26,000, which is about 75% of all of the Yukon. Good place to do some shopping, get repairs done, etc. It is still so amazing to drive through this area and only see natural settings, no houses or even many towns. Whitehorse was founded during the Klondike gold rush.
We decided to go on a tour of the  S.S Klondike but first drove out to Bean North Roasting Co, where they roast certified fair trade beans from around the world. They have a cute cafe near the Takhini Hot Springs where we had some mocha coffee and bought some beans we had them ground for us.

       Our next stop was the S.S Klondike, one of the largest stern wheelers to travel the Yukon River. It was restored and open to the public as a National Historic Site by Parks Canada.

                                                                                          The Klondike one was built in 1921 and sailed to 1936 when it ran aground. It was rebuilt using parts from the original one and continued to run freight from 36 to 1950. When the road from Dawson City, where the stern wheelers traveled to, to Whitehorse was completed, the stern wheelers were mostly decommissioned. They tried to make the Klondike a cruise ship but it was not successful. In 1966 it was restored and moved to its present location and became a tourist attraction.   The task required three bulldozers, eight tons of Palmolive soap, a crew of twelve men, and three weeks to complete. Greased log rollers eased the process.     We took a guided tour of the ship which was very interesting
             Carrying general merchandise and a few passengers, the S.S. Klondike would make the 740 kilometre (460 mile) downstream on the Yukon River run from Whitehorse to Dawson City. It then headed back to Whitehorse.  Most of the steamers, including this one burned wood. They would go through so many cords of wood, that they would have to stop at wood camps along the way to get more wood to burn.

         The 210' long ship was mostly to carry freight However some passengers did travel  on the ship and it was a cruise ship for 5 years.

View from top deck

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