September 8, 2015 Dawson City, Yukon

Dawson City From the Dome
Dawson City From the Dome

Killing Time in Dawson City

With the repairs done on the Prius, life has become a little more bearable here in Dawson City, at least now I can get out and explore a little and thus relieve the extreme boredom of the past two weeks. The weather has been quite nice during my stay here with only a little rain and several glorious autumn days, but I am starting to feel the cold weather closing in, with heavy frost on the car each morning and temps dropping below freezing almost every night now.

I am still waiting for my Pressure Pro Tire Monitoring System to arrive. Even though I have towed my motorcycle trailer or the Prius behind this motorhome for almost 70,000 miles now without a TPMS, because of this incident, I now am leery of moving until I get this system installed. Today was the day the system was scheduled for delivery but it did not show up. The folks in the RV Park office have scared me with tales of how it takes 3 – 5 weeks sometimes to get packages delivered up here, and I simply can’t wait that amount of time.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Dawson City From the Dome
Dawson City From the Dome

I made another trip up to the dome late this morning and finally got the shot of the town, without the usual morning fog hiding it.

Yukon River From the Dome
Yukon River From the Dome

The autumn colors are starting to fade, but the islands in the river still have their aspen fringes showing.

View From the Fire Tower
View From the Fire Tower

On my way back down from the dome I took a dirt road that looked like it might lead to even higher ground than the dome. It eventually came out at an old fire tower, at a considerably higher elevation than the dome. In the image above, you can just see the road to the dome on the far right. A spectacular panoramic view from this location.

Yukon Foliage
Yukon Foliage

I took an afternoon trip out the Upper Bonanza Road to check out Dredge #4, a restored gold mining dredge that was the largest dredge deployed here in the Yukon. A very impressive piece of machinery indeed. But I was more interested in the colorful aspen and birch displays along this road.

Yukon Foliage
Yukon Foliage
Yukon Foliage
Yukon Foliage

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Fall foliage here in the far north  certainly can’t compare to autumn in New England as far as the range of colors go, but on a gorgeous blue sky day like today, the aspens and birches still put on a pretty decent show.

Sure am hoping my package comes in tomorrow and I can escape Dawson City. I am becoming desperate to start moving a little farther to the south to be sure I avoid all chances of snow at the higher elevations on the way home. As I drive by all the tailings ponds in the morning, it is a little ominous seeing them starting to ice over.

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August 20, 2015 Top of the World Highway, Yukon

Top of the World Colors
Top of the World Colors

A Magical Day Along the Top of the World Highway

Top of the World Colors
Top of the World Colors

After waiting out two plus very long days and nights ( no cell phone, internet, or TV signals up here ) sitting in the clouds and watching it rain, this morning, despite still being enshrouded in fog, I decided to drive the Prius down to Dawson City. It appeared that there was a possibility of some sun coming out today, and even if it didn’t, I had to get out of the confines of the motorhome and do something other than watch the rain come down. It was starting to get a little depressing!

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Top of the World Colors
Top of the World Colors
Top of the World Colors
Top of the World Colors

No more than ten kilometers ( I’m in Canada now, therefore I have to speak metric ) from the campsite, I dropped below the clouds and was just stunned with the dramatic lighting the inclement weather conditions were producing … some of the most interesting light I have witnessed in quite a while.

Top of the World Colors
Top of the World Colors

I often would stop and take a shot, then see how rapidly the cloud shadows were racing across the landscape, so that within a few moments a completely different looking shot would emerge, different highlights, different shadows.

Top of the World Colors
Top of the World Colors

Adding to the drama was the quickly advancing color of the low growing tundra vegetation. They say that the reds and golds continue to gain in intensity until the end of the month.

Quick Check on Dawson City

Ferry Across the Yukon River
Ferry Across the Yukon River

I proceeded on and took the small, and free, ferry across the Yukon River into the lively little town of Dawson City.

Ferry Across the Yukon River
Ferry Across the Yukon River

This thing sure looks awfully small to be handling large motorhomes with their toads, but since I have seen a whole lot of big rigs go by my campsite on the Top of the World Highway, I guess I can be assured that this little tub can surely handle my mid size rig.

The View From the Front of the Ferry
The View From the Front of the Ferry

Sitting in your car at the front of the ferry, you sure do hope the bow doesn’t take any kind of quick dip.

Ferry Across the Yukon River, Rather Primitive Landing
Ferry Across the Yukon River, Rather Primitive Landing

My only real experience with ferry crossings has been down on the coast of Texas, and I can assure you that this ferry docking point doesn’t look quite as sophisticated as the ones in Galveston or Port Aransas.

I poked around Dawson City, checking out the Visitor’s Center and three of the private campgrounds, figuring I might stay a few days and do some of the side roads in the area.

Top of the World Campsite
Top of the World Campsite

Back Up the Highway to my Campsite

That tiny white dot in the center of the image above is my motorhome, perched in one of the nicest spots I have ever found to boondock.

Black Bear Cub
Black Bear Cub

I made myself a sandwich for lunch and just as I sat down I noticed some movement in the brush just below the motorhome. The abundance of berry bushes in that area had me kind of disappointed that I hadn’t seen any bears here, because it sure looked like a great spot for them to show up. Then this cub poked his head up … and up ahead of him I could see another black body running up the hill towards the road. So I grabbed the camera and went outside to see if I could get some shots of him ( them ) if they decided to cross the road.

Black Bear Mom and Cubs
Black Bear Mom and Cubs

And I was already too late. Mom and yet another cub had already made it up to the road and were racing across.

Black Bear Mom and Cubs
Black Bear Mom and Cubs
Third Black Bear Cub Lagging Behind
Third Black Bear Cub Lagging Behind

The first one I saw from inside the motorhome was actuall y the last of the four coming up the hill through the bushes, I had missed Mom and the brown cub.

Third Black Bear Cub Lagging Behind
Third Black Bear Cub Lagging Behind

This last cub didn’t seem too concerned that his family had gone on without him. In fact, he didn’t cross the road and head up the hill in the same spot the other three had, and ran quite a way down the road before heading up the hill.

Another Caribou Hunt

Tundra Colors
Tundra Colors

After my lunchtime bear encounter, I decided to drive the sixty-five kilometers back west to the border station to see if I could find some caribou once again.

Caribou Trails in the Tundra
Caribou Trails in the Tundra

But today, I would not find a single caribou up here. Looking at the many trails worn into the tundra in the image above, no doubt they are still moving through this area, I just wasn’t fortunate enough to locate any today, perhaps I had used up all my good fortune a few days back.

Tundra Colors
Tundra Colors

But the tudra colors still offered many nice opportunities to do some photography. The dark, brilliant reds in the foreground of the image above happen to be cranberries and are the most intence of the tundra colors.

Tundra Colors
Tundra Colors
Tundra Colors
Tundra Colors

This colorful hillside is the same spot where a few days back I ran into two different groups of caribou browsing. None today, however, but the cloud cast shadow on the hills below made for a nice foliage backdrop.

Tundra Colors
Tundra Colors
Tundra Colors
Tundra Colors

If I weren’t wanting to get down to Hyder to catch some bears feasting on a late salmon run, I would be very tempted to stay up here and find out just how intence these ground colors will become. Well, maybe that would be one of many reasons to return here sometime in the future.

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