Day 19. Tuesday 6 September.
No, the title is not a misprint, more of a homage to a great Australian. Having been told for the last two weeks by locals how lucky we are that the weather is fine, after there had been four weeks of constant rain before we arrived, last night it started to rain on our parade. But the good news is that we accessed good wifi at the local library and were able to update those blogs that had missed out on photos. We’re not sure if you get notified of edits – if not, you can browse past posts at your leisure – or not.
Dawson City has a colourful past as the main metropolis supporting the Klondike Gold Rush. Its raunchy persona didn’t last long – just a couple of years – and as the initial enthusiasm of the gold stampede petered out the ‘city’ gentrified.
Some of the buildings are renovated “originals”, most others are reproductions. And Jack London is everywhere, rather more than perhaps he was during the actual stampede.
The really interesting thing is that buildings now mostly sit on wooden chocks, as the ground is permafrost and can’t be dug through for foundations. There are some older buildings that have literally sunk into the ground because of the unstable ground. The original Presbyterian Church attests to the fact that it’s a good idea not to have a church building!
The situation is made worse when there is a heat source, as this hastens the thawing underneath. The streets are mud and the “footpaths” are timber sidewalks, just like in the movies, for the same reason. Although it’s a tourist gold mining town (the tourists are now the gold mine), it’s nearing the end of the season (it ends Monday next: there are signs saying things like ‘Last showers 12 September’), so was very quiet.
There are some attractions that we wanted to visit. The Museum, open from 10 – 2: we arrived at 2.30. The First Nation Cultural Centre, open until 4: we arrived at 4.15. RiverWest Espresso Bar: closed Tuesday. Alchemy Café: closed Tuesday. The liquor store: closed for Tuesday. The last is almost a tragedy, but we have supplies to get us to Whitehorse, our destination tomorrow.
T needed to add to her drug collection as the left side of her head/face is lumpy & blistering, due to the mysterious bugs that got her at Fairbanks. Apparently these bugs play havoc with the animals! Tonight we’ll eat out at a cabaret saloon….should be sufficiently faithful to the can-can scene of yesteryear.