The drive was not as bad as predicted. Yes, there were bad stretches of road, yes there were pilot cars and yes it was a long day. There were places you could only drive 30kmph or 50kmph (20-30mph) but all-in-all not horrible. The “top of the world” highway to Chicken everyone says is a lot worse. We will see on our next leg.
The town of Dawson City has a colorful past. In the gold rush days of 1897-1900 it grew from 1,500 people to 30,000. It is said 100,000 people headed to the Klondike but only 30,000 made it. Eventually when the gold rush ran out or the miners gave up, the population dropped to a low of 697 but today it is close to 2,000 hearty souls. The ounces of gold production peaked in 1898 to 1900 at 483,750oz, 774,000oz and 1,077,550oz respectively, then tapered off to about 1920. Interestingly enough, they are still mining today and for the past 95 years have averaged about 50,000oz of gold per year.
On the second day we went on an escorted walking tour of downtown Dawson City. The tour guide was dressed in period clothing and told us the history of the town as we visited some of the buildings, which are still standing after all these years. The Saloon, Bank and the Post Office were of particular interest as the woodwork was of high quality after all these years. The buildings are built on either wood platforms or blocks as the permafrost never thaws under the ground. The sidewalks are wooden and the streets, other than the main one to the ferry, are dirt. I can’t imagine what this town is like in the winter or during spring thaw.
We drove up to “The Dome”, about 2,400ft above sea level for a view of Dawson City, but it started raining and we couldn’t see much in the clouds. We may try again tomorrow.
I did try to use the “car wash” at the RV park only to find out their version is high pressure water, only. I did wipe it down with a good wash mitt, but the “chip & seal” road only seams to seals the dirt to the truck. It will take some work to get it back to normal. Can’t wait to wash the Dutch Star! LOL.
That evening we went to Diamond Tooth Gerties for 1898 Can-Can show. Some people afterward went to “kiss the toe” where you drink your favorite adult beverage and, for a price, they drop in your drink a real toe that you are supposed to touch to your lips during your drink. We passed on that event. Fun night overall, including ice cream afterward.
Tomorrow is a free day so we plan on some excursions like going to the Dome rock overlooking Dawson City, if the weather cooperates. Then on Friday we head to Chicken AK via ferry across the Yukon River and over the Top Of The World Highway, which everyone says is the worst road on our trip. Stay tuned.
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