Not my picture, taken from the Wiki
About 25 miles before you reach Dawson City while travelling on the Klondike highway you pass the beginning of another highway I plan to ride on another trip. I'm referring of course to the famous Dempster Highway. I have heard the Dempster is even tougher than the Dalton. It's supposed to be harder to ride and more unpredictable.
From the Wiki:
The Dempster Highway, also referred to as Yukon Highway 5 and Northwest Territories Highway 8, is a Canadian highway that connects the Klondike Highway in the Yukon to Inuvik, Northwest Territories on the Mackenzie River delta.
I walked over to the bridge and spend some time staring into the gravel road on the other side of the bridge, my brain spinning in thoughts, I could see myself riding into the distance all the way to Inuvik, 458 miles north of this spot. Reluctantly I turn around and walk back to my bike, it was time to continue, the others were already waiting for me. I mount the bike, take one last look at the bridge and quickly leave but not before making a promise to myself that I will return to ride the Dempster.
We ride the next 25 miles alongside a river and then see the sign for Dawson City. I have ridden a little over 4000 miles from my house, I finally made it to Dawson. We stop for the obligatory picture.
A few miles down the road we come upon one last bridge and then we enter Dawson, I let the other guys go in front, I want to take my time and enjoy the moment. One of the guys had already contacted a campsite before we left Whitehorse and he had the directions.
All the roads in Dawson City are unpaved except for the Klondike that ends at the river's edge. We soon find the campsite, the Gold Rush Campground, how original. We register, get our spot and quickly setup our tents. It is only 3:15pm, plenty time for sightseeing.
I grab my camera and with the other guys still busy unpacking, I head out to see the city I had read so much about it. Right across from the campground is this magnificent church.
A little further down the road is the Triple JJJ Hotel and then probably the best hotel in town, the beautiful Westmark Inn. Most of Dawson's buildings look old-fashioned and that's because all new construction must follow a standard look, it's government policy.
|The rooms of the Westmark Inn|
A little further up the road is the Aurora Inn and then a few apartments. I continue down the road making a circle through the back before heading to the main part of town facing the Yukon River.
The St. Andrews church is next up the road, it was built in 1901 and it has seen better days. The structure is not in great shape, the door was closed and the windows boarded up. I walk around imagining people riding their horses to church to attend service at the beginning of the 20 century.
In 1904 Thomas O'Brien opens the O'Brien Brewing & Malting Company in Dawson City. The company operates for 12 years and then shuts down. I imagine this wagon going up and down the street distributing beer to the bars with the screaming patrons paying for the beer with the gold they had just found in the area.
The St. Paul's Church is next. In 1902, Naylor collects $12000 from the miners on the creeks to build the church and in 1907 it becomes Pro-Cathedral for Diocese of Yukon. This building is in better shape.
The founders of Dawson city and the Yukon territory.
Some of the older hotels in the city. They are open for business but I'm not sure about the condition inside.
The riverfront stores are very colorful and you find them selling souvenirs, ice cream, pizza and at Jimmy's Place "All Kinds of Stuff". A very picturesque main street.
I walk over to the Yukon river's edge, look at the time on the park's clock and for a moment think it's time for dinner but then I realize the clock is wrong, someone must have forgotten to replace the batteries.
Two panoramas, facing the main street stores and in the opposite direction the Yukon River.
The city has gone through 22 floods but the worst was in 1979. Within weeks of the flood, hydrologists called for the construction of a dike. The two meter high dike was completed in 1987.
It is still early afternoon, I'm not hungry, dinner can wait, time to do more sightseeing but that will come next.......
Google Street View