Saturday, July 15, 2006

Alaska Day 60

Friday July 14, 2006 Dawson City Yukon Territory Log 0 Miles
Dateline Gold Rush Campground Dawson City's only downtown RV park. Today we seek our fortune. First we head up to the Midnight Dome on the hills above Dawson. About half way up, we encounter road construction. The flagger gives us two choices. One we can wait for the pilot car and he will thread us through the hot oil mix and we can go to the top. Or two we can come back after 3pm and it will all be finished. Since Herb had just washed the Jeep, it was obvious we would take option #2 and return later in the day.

Back into Dawson to pick up supplies for our gold mining trip. We find a shovel and two pans at the outfitters on Front Street. The shovel is very much like one we sold in a garage sale for a few pennies. We paid a little more than a few pennies for the shovel and pans.

Our main reason for coming to Dawson is the history. So much happened here in a short period of time affecting so many people. We head up Bonanza creek, originally named Rabbit Creek. This is where Tagish Charlie stakes the Discovery Claim and starts the stampede that brings over 40,000 souls into this area within two years. Tagish Charlie and George Carmack, prospect Rabbit Creek on the advice of Robert Henderson. Carmack has a native American wife and is traveling with his two brothers-in-law. Henderson disapproves of Carmack's companions and states that if Carmack should find gold, the Indians should not stake claims and that Carmack should let him know what he finds. Short story - Carmack does not like Henderson's racist attitude, he finds gold and does not let him know of it. So Henderson misses out on the greatest find of the century.

Yukon Territory has acquired Claim 6 Above the Discovery claim and reserves it for public use. This is where we prospect. Herb thinks he remembers reading in Pierre Berton's book "Klondike Fever" that 6 Above was really a worthless claim. So I guess you get what you pay for. We do find a small amount of "color" and zip it up for our heirs. Jake has a great time helping the prospectors in the creek.

After a nice lunch at Sourdough Joe's back in Dawson, we head back up to the Midnight Dome. A nice smooth road greets us all the way to the top. We meet some RVers and one of them tells Herb that it took him 6 hours to traverse the "Top of the World" highway from Chicken Alaska to Dawson. He said that at one point he was going so slow that his speedometer was only registering zero. His wife told him to slow down. Herb told him that it took us 6 DAYS to get from Chicken to Dawson, as we went the long way around Tok to Whitehorse to Dawson.

We then go back to the Front street park by the Yukon to get some exercise and let Jake work off some energy. There is a ferry coming in from the Top of the World Highway, so we head there to see who comes over. A car and a truck. Not the peak hours. All four wheels of the vehicles are rolling. They must have gone slow, or changed their flats prior to boarding the ferry.

Pictures are here.

Walldog, Willie and Jake

1 comment:

Elsie Sikes said...

1995, we came from Chicken over Top of the World & crossed the Yukon on the Ferry you have pictured!