Saturday, August 14, 2010

Whitehorse Adventure - Day 10/11/12 Whitehorse

Even though we were in Whitehorse to attend a family wedding we arrived early enough to have the opportunity to play tourist as well.

Day 10 - The first full day there we saw the S.S. Klondike - a sternwheeler which used to transport goods and people from Whitehorse to Dawson City, it is now a National Historic Site of Canada.  It is a marvel of engineering (sorry, nerd alert) as it was the largest ship that travelled this route and could hold up to 300 Tons of cargo (without having to push a barge) all the while not requiring more than 3ft of draft (water depth).

Dave's parents, who were also attending the family wedding, arrived that afternoon and we went for dinner at the Klondike Rib & Salmon BBQ Restaurant.  It was a nice meal, but the interesting part was that it was located in one of the oldest buildings in town.  The building (or rather collection of buildings) had been used for a variety of things over the years and was over a hundred years old.  The menu included some more exotic meats (read: wild animals) including Bison and Muskox.  Dave had the Muskox Stroganoff and said it was quite tasty. 

Day 11 - The second full day was also the day of the wedding so we were only able to see sights in the morning. 
We decided to see the Beringia Museum which was located near the Airport.  This museum was dedicated to the sub-continent which is supposed to have formed between Asia (Siberia) and North America (Alaska). It also theorizes that there was migration and possibly trade between the continents via this subcontinent.  They had interesting displays set up that appealed to both the big kids and little kids.  One of the most interesting things was the theory that other predatory mammals used to be much bigger than they are now.  For example beavers used to be the size of black bears.... yikes!

Later that day we attended the wedding of Dave's cousin.  I won't go into details (since its not my story to tell), but it was a lovely wedding and a fun party afterward! 

Day 12 - We were originally supposed to leave Whitehorse this day.  We had planned a short travel day to Teslin Lake and from there onto the Cassiar hwy heading south.  Since the forest fire had partially closed a section of that highway we were uncertain as to which way we were heading back.  We decided to stay that day and then head out the day after to go to the junction of the Alaska hwy and the Cassiar hwy near Watson Lake.  Since we had the extra day and the grandparents weren't flying out until the afternoon we were able to take a ride on the water front tram.  The tram ran on the old Whitepass railway tracks that used to connect Whitehorse to Skagway, AK (I believe this train still runs as a tourist attraction for cruise ship patrons between Skagway, AK and Carcross, YT).  The tram itself was unconnected to the gold rush, but still had an interesting heritage.  It was built in Lisbon, Portugal, had been operated as a tourist attraction somewhere in the states and was later bought by the Territorial Government of Yukon.  It was close to 100 yrs old (can't remember the exact info).  For $2 per person over 5 ($4 for a round trip) the tram was a great way to see the downtown area from one end to another.  During the 50 min round trip the kids (er, I mean college students - I must be getting old) had a lot of interesting tidbits about the community and the gold rush.

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