Saturday, November 15, 2014

Whitehorse - Yukon Territory: Day 1

When I was a kid, Jack London's stories "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang" were among my favorite books. That plus an interest in heading ever further North combined to add the Yukon very firmly to my bucket list.

My friend Heather Horton...a very gifted artist (web site)...lives in Whitehorse. In early November, I had an opportunity to visit her there when mutual friend Mia from Toronto was visiting. These blog entries will chronicle that trip.

This book (link) is a great resource for understanding the history, challenges and current prospects in this under-appreciated place.

I arranged a good flight from the Vancouver airport. Left work with a decent amount of padding to get there and fly up and then lost that padding due to a pad crash and resulting traffic jam near Everett. As it turns out, Canadian customs officers don't often hear from visiting Seattleites that they are catching a flight North to Whitehorse in November. After asking a very detailed set of questions about weapons that cannot be brought into Canada, he wished me a good trip...and said he hoped I had packed warmly.

My flight landed around midnight...I got to meet up with my friends...and the next morning, I woke up here:

The base camp for our capers was this condo, rented from another artist who is a friend of Heather.'s. A gorgeous sunrise ensued.

After meeting Yukon archivist Ian Burnett for brunch, we headed off to the Archives for a look around. If one of these names looks familiar, it is because actor Tahmoh Pehnikett's father was a leading political figure in the Yukon Territory for quite a few years. His tenure in government was marked by some excellent agreements reached between Caucasian denizens and First Nation people.

This book documents the claim that marked the beginning of the Yukon Gold Rush.

Some other neat bits about the people and cultures.

After the archives, we wandered down the river to look around...

The Kwanlin Dun Cultural Center

And the Whitehorse Public Library.

As the day wound to a close, before visiting friends for dinner, we wandered up this wee staircase for a look at Whitehorse from a higher perspective.

Whitehorse has some fine bookstores...Mac's Fireweed Books and Well Read Books.

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