Monday, June 13, 2011

Dawson City, Part Two

We’ve stayed longer in Dawson City than we originally intended.  Truth is, my back has been giving me fits.  Too many long, rough hours in the car, I guess.  That little Honda Fit is great for running around town and for short trips; it’s great for gas milage, but it’s not so comfortable for a long drive.  I just didn’t feel like I could take another gravel road right away, so we’ve taken our time in Dawson.

Before our trip on the Dempster, we stayed at Gold Rush RV Park.  It gets pretty good ratings, but we could never get level, so were very dissatisfied.  It’s big advantage is that it is located downtown close enough to walk to shopping, restaurants, etc.  There are three other campgrounds just out of town.  One is Bonanza Gold which also gets good ratings and seems to be very popular with RVers.  On the other side of the Klondike River is a Territorial Park--cheap, but no hook-ups.

Next door to Bonanza Gold is Dawson City RV which is where we’re staying.  It’s a very small park, but we have enjoyed staying here.  The roads and sites are all gravel and there are a few tent sites with trees and grass.  There are a variety of prices to choose from.  Full 30 amp hook-ups with cable and wifi is $35/night.  There are dry sites for $15 and 15 amp electric only for $21.  We started out with full hook-ups for two nights and were planning to leave after that.  When it became clear that I needed a little more time to recover, we moved to an electric only site.  We still have the wifi, showers, laundry, access to clean water and a dump station, and enough electricity to keep the computers charged and run the coffee pot.  What more could a girl want?

Friday, I sent Gene out exploring on his own.  I was feeling some better yesterday, so after lunch we drove down Bonanza Creek Road to Number 4 Dredge.  The first phase of the gold rush era brought the prospectors with their picks, shovels, and tin plates.  The second phase was all about big dredges to scoop up the sand and rock and wash out the gold.  Number 4 Dredge was the largest in the area and is now preserved by Parks Canada.  The young ranger was full of information as well as enthusiasm and we enjoyed our tour of the dredge.

Today, we drove up Dome Road.  With a 360 degree view, this is the party place for tourists and locals at summer solstice.  No party there today, however.  There were a few folks up to take in the view and a few more to take advantage of a beautiful day and float on the winds.

We also toured the SS Keno.  The Keno was one among many sternwheelers making the journey between Whitehorse and Dawson City during the Gold Rush era.  These vessels carried a few passengers, but were used primarily to transport supplies.  Along with their own cargo, they often acted like a tug and pushed two or three barges ahead of them.  Our guide, Fred, dressed in period costume, was very knowledgeable and happy to answer Gene’s many questions.  A similar vessel, the SS Klondike, is open for touring in Whitehorse.  We did that tour on our previous trip and, of the two, it’s better.

Number 4 Dredge and SS Keno are both Parks Canada facilities. There is an admission fee for both, but we used our Parks Canada annual pass which we purchased way back at Kootenay.  We got that pass because we planned to visit several parks on this trip and figured we would come out ahead with the annual pass rather than paying for individual entry fees.  I think the pass was $137, but we have already recouped that amount.  We were really surprised it was good for the attractions in Dawson City.  The SS Keno and the Number 4 Dredge would have cost $26 had we not had the pass.

I’m feeling much better today and our plan is to leave Dawson City tomorrow morning and finally cross the border into Alaska.  Our destination tomorrow, after a 100 miles of gravel road, is Chicken, Alaska.

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

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