Whitehorse – the capital of Yukon Territory

Today we learned a little bit more about the Yukon Territory. The difference between a Province (like British Columbia) and a Territory (like Yukon) is that since there aren’t very many people who live in a Territory the government subsides their services. So The Yukon covers over 186,000 square miles (Pennslyvania is 46,000 square miles)and is home to just over 33,000 people. Of those 33, 000 people, 24,000 of them live in Whitehorse. Of the 33,000 folks, 431 of them live in Carcross, the town where we are camping. 🙂 Needless to say, our trip to Whitehorse today was a huge change from the last 10 days of our travels. But it was fun to be in the “bustle of the big city”.

The drive to the Whitehorse took us by some interesting areas. First there was the Carcross Desert – right here in the middle the mountains is the “world’s smallest desert”.
Alaskan Drive - Day 12
Pine trees in a desert – go figure!

And not too far past the desert was Emerald Lake (once part of Spirit Lake until the highway came through.) The The colors were stunning!
Alaskan Drive - Day 12-1
Alaskan Drive - Day Twelve

Soon we were pulling into Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon Territory.
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It was an interesting mix of old and new, and since we didn’t really have an agenda, we just wandered around the town taking in the city.
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This is Rosie walking through an outdoor café. We were all dressed in several layers – I guess the locals have a whole different idea of what a warm day is!
We caught the tail end of a little culture in the park –
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Admired the statue dedicated to those who follow their dream
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And enjoyed the many murals in the town.
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(All those “old” buildings to the left of the modern building on the corner are painted on the different store fronts.)
Oh, and there’s Rosie again, catching up on some phone calls!

Here we are enjoying lunch at the Klondike Rib and Salmon, located in the oldest operating building in Whitehorse.
Alaskan Drive - Day 12-10

After we scoped out where the cheapest diesel could be found (for when we come through again on Sunday), we returned to Carcross where we walked along their “beach”
Alaskan Drive - Day 12-12
and checked out some of the other local sights (and their ice cream!).
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Alaskan Drive - Day twelve-2

It was a good day. I think the guys were happy to not be driving the big rigs, we saw some more examples of God’s handiwork, and we had a taste of a “big city” Yukon Style!

And since I’m sure you’re missing an official windshield picture, here you go – taken from the backseat of the car!
Alaskan Drive - Day Twelve-1
These mountains are amazing!

Tomorrow we’re taking a day cruise from Skagway to Juneau, with a side trip to Mendenhall Glacier. I have our passports out, an extra set of batteries in my pack, and an empty 2gig memory card for my camera. Can’t wait!

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