I have just returned from a beautiful adventure in the Yukon. I flew up to Whitehorse to visit Jenna, who is all grown up and teaching high school now:
We had fantastic weather all weekend, which made the entire experience even more magical. There is so much to do there, the lifestyle is laidback and adventurous, and the sense of community is strong. I can’t wait to go back.
The Yukon is like Canada’s last frontier. I fell in love with the virtually untouched Boreal Forest of winter:
Jenna and her partner Ben are currently house sitting on Marsh Lake. The ice is so thick you can build ice sculptures from it! Across the lake and behind the mountains is Alaska, only 2.5 hours away:
Saturday morning we hit the road to go to Skagway, Alaska. Unfortunately about halfway there I realized I had forgotten my passport, so back we had to turn. At least the drive was beautiful, and we passed some caribou on the road!
We decided to go cross-country skiing for the afternoon instead! It was super fun, and totally kicked my butt:
…and I was very excited to ski through a stand of burned lodgepole pine with all its regenerating babies:
Although the vast majority of the Yukon’s population lives in Whitehorse, it is still quite a small town with a huge sense of community. We met up with some of Jenna’s girlfriends and went downtown for “Burning Away the Winter Blues”. We checked out some musical instruments:
…and hiked along the river to the site of a large bonfire. Here we burned the 15-foot long golden dragon effigy and old-man-winter:
…and tossed in our own pieces of paper upon which we had written our winter blues:
Today we had a beautiful lazy morning, and then went to the Yukon Wilderness Preserve. This is a vast reserve where several northern animals (thinhorn sheep, moose, caribou, elk, bison, muskox, lynx, arctic fox, mule deer, mountain goat) reside:
Throughout the reserve there are antlers from moose, elk, and caribou for public education:
Thank you Jenna for a beautiful and memorable weekend!
Finally, the weekend would not have been complete without investigating the climbing potential and looking for birds. Turns out, in addition to loads of ice climbing, the Yukon DOES have a budding expansion of rock climbing:
And although I didn’t get all the bird species I set out for, I did manage some “lifers”.
-hoary redpoll *99% certain*