Monday, May 30, 2011

Whitehorse, Yukon

We arrived in Whitehorse yesterday late morning and got set up in Hi Country RV Park with full hookups. There is something to be said for electricity.  We had been off the grid for five days and we were having serious withdrawal symptoms.  It’s amazing how attached we get to our electronics.  I think I turned my computer on before I turned the refrigerator on.

Whitehorse is the largest city in the Yukon and our stop for all kinds of chores.  Yesterday, our goal was to get settled, get showers, and get to the grocery.  We wouldn’t have starved, but dinner would have been interesting, to say the least, if we hadn’t gotten in some grub.  The lady at the desk in the office suggested three groceries.  We chose the one she said was the cheapest.  I suppose it was, because it seemed like most of the town was in there.  It turned out to be a frustrating experience.  We had a huge list, didn’t know where anything was, the selection was limited compared to what we find in the megamarkets in the states, and half the labels were in French.  We were both exhausted by the time we walked out of the door.

Today, has been devoted to the long list of chores.  At the top of the list was gathering all the information we could for a trip up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. We have, over the years, heard horror stories about this 450 mile gravel road from Dawson City to Inuvik on the Arctic Ocean.  However, talking with the folks at the Visitor Center, other travelers, and one guy who had driven a similar road to Prudhoe Bay recently, apparently the road is much improved from days gone by.  We have decided to drive the road with our own car.  Today, Gene went to a tire company and bought a full size spare on a rim.

We also got two 2.5 gal gas cans to take extra fuel.  Our little Honda only has a 10.5 gal gas tank.  The 225 miles to the first fuel stop on the Dempster Highway is a stretch for that car even on a good road.

Since we’ll make that trip in the car without the motor home, we have long lists of stuff we need to pack for what we expect to be a week-long journey.  Peanut gets to go, also, but I’m not looking forward to riding with the litter box at my back for a week.  We’ll stay at the campgrounds along the way, so will need everything we would need for a backpacking trip.  This will be a real adventure.

Another top priority item on our “to do” list for today was to find out why our phone hasn’t been working in the Yukon.  The lady at the Visitor Centre was also able to answer that question.  Apparently, the local phone service provider has a monopoly for the entire territory for a set number of years--a deal worked out with the government for setting up the network to provide service.  She was amazed we had service even here in Whitehorse. At least we know what to expect now.  I’m a little irritated that Verizon didn’t tell us before hand.  We might have opted not to purchase Canadian service had we known.

We have had our first road incident--a chip in our windshield on the truck.  George, the owner of Glass Magnum, came right out to our site and worked his magic.  We are good to go--you can’t even tell there was a chip.  Thanks, George.

Cinnamon roll from Johnson's Crossing

We going to be playing the waiting game again.  The ice is running in the rivers we have to cross along the Dempster.  The ice bridges are gone, but the ferries have not yet started running.  When the ferries start depends on the ice, so we’re waiting.  We’ve decided to stay in Whitehorse for three more days then start the drive north to Dawson City.  That will take two days.  There are several things we want to do in Dawson City, so finishing out our wait there promises to be a fun time.

Tomorrow, we’re going to move to the government campground just south of town for a couple nights before coming back here for a night.  It’ll be good to have several days in a row without travel and we’ll get to see a bit of Whitehorse, as well.

We're seeing this more often than we'd like

That’s all for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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