Yukon Animator

Into the Beautiful North!

Still Under the Spell of the Yukon

Dempster Mountains

Late afternoon view of the mountains from the Dempster Highway.

I have been back in Portland, Oregon for two weeks and I am constantly thinking about Dawson City.  I want to return….in winter.  (Below: Cabin on Front Street, downtown Dawson.)

Cabin on Front Street, Dawson City

Cabin on Front Street, Dawson City

My former housemate, documentary filmmaker Andreas Horvath, drove as far north as possible, to the edge of the Beaufort Sea, on the amazing Dempster Highway.  He went to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk  (aka “Tuk”), Northwest Territories.  Inuvik is a ~14 hour drive from Dawson (people usually stop half way and spend the night at the Eagle Plains road house) and Tuk is another three or so hours on a frozen shelf of ice that melts in the spring.  He made a brief visit to the Tuktoyaktuk Beluga Jamboree, saw the snow mobile racing and “was appalled by it and left immediately.” He says lodging is around $220 a night and gas is about $10 per gallon.

Aklavik Truck- April 18, 2012

A truck breaks through the road near Aklavik on April 18, 2012.

On the way back, Andreas had to shovel snow for half an hour to make a detour on the ice road, because it was completely underwater.  He said “It was literally the last minute to pass” and just after him, three fuel trucks broke through the ice and were partially submerged in the Arctic waters.  Scary but no fuel leaked and no one was hurt.   Officials with the Department of Transportation said that if trucks travel too fast on ice roads, a wave is created beneath the ice which weakens the the surface.  The ice road to Tuk is closed May 1.

Can’t wait to go back! To see some amazing photos of the far north (above by Justin Lewis) check out this blog about Greenland: 70 Degrees West. Scroll down half way.

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5 comments on “Still Under the Spell of the Yukon

  1. Dan Fiebiger
    May 1, 2012

    Going to that area reminds anyone of the powerful forces of raw nature and how we humans (who think we’re in control) aren’t really in “control” of anything. Pacific-Northwesterners were reminded of this lack of control when Mt. St. Helens biew up in 1980, but take a trip to just about anywhere in Alaska or northern Canada and you’ll get reminded of it on a minute-by-minute basis.

    Also, be very careful about going back up there in the winter. You got lucky and didn’t get caught in any huge life-threatening blizzards, or other potentially life-threatening conditions, but something like that can happen up there in that untamed wilderness anytime, and if it ever happens to you, it will change your romance with the area real fast. It’s temping to go back and try to recapture the perfection of your first trip, but sometimes the second trip isn’t as thrilling and you wish you hand’t gone back and just been content with the thrill of the experience of it all when it was fresh and new.

    Just some thots on this kind of stuff.

  2. Corrie
    May 1, 2012

    I think you have what is commonly known as Klondicitis! If you haven’t yet read Pierre Berton’s excellent book Klondike, you should. It erroll make you want to go back even more!

    • Yukon Animator
      May 1, 2012

      I just finished Berton’s Gold Rush and loved it. I will head to Powell’s City of Books for Klondike.

  3. Susan Lawrence
    May 3, 2012

    I enjoyed the pictures. Such beautiful country. I tried for several years to get a social work position there. Thanks for giving me a birds eye view.

  4. extra ordinary place real heaven. You wont feel alone there even you are.

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