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Saturday, June 11 - The Great Hike into the Tundra

Our anniversary today - 17 years.  We celebrated by going on a great hike with others at Tombstone into the tundra about 10 miles north of the campground. Here, there were no trees, and the permafrost created soft "tussocks" that your feet would sink into for 2 to 6 inches as you walked. It was like walking on soft balloons.  You can see for miles with no sign of civilization except for your vehicles and the road that brought you there. We hiked up the mountainside, and saw no animals (we were expecting maybe moose, caribou, ptarmigan, or other birds) but we did see lots of flowers.  Maybe we've shown some of these before, but they always appear new when you see them again.  So much life on ground that is covered in snow for many months, and is permanently frozen just a few inches below the surface.

























June 11 -Dawson, Yukon

In the afternoon, we drove off the Dempster Hwy back to the Klondike Hwy, and then off to Dawson City.  Dawson is about 2000 people in the winter, but many more tourists in the summer.  Some 60,000 lived here in 1898-early 1900's during the Klondike gold rush.  The Klondike Hwy ends in Dawson, and you must take a ferry across the Yukon to continue on the dirt and gravel Top-of-the-world highway to Chicken in Alaska. When the bridge is completed in 2007, and the highway is paved, they expect many more visitors.

We had a great meal of poached (Ed) and grilled (Patty) fresh salmon at Sourdough Joe's caught right out of the Yukon river across the street (at least that's what he said).  They were delicious.  Then, we went to Diamond Tooth Gerties Saloon and Casino, where we saw a can-can show.  When we came out at 11:15 PM, it was still light, and we saw children playing in the school playground!  How do you get them to bed in Dawson?

How far north are we?  It says that Dawson is 1980 miles from Vancouver, BC.  During our travels from Texas 3 months ago, we have already driven over 11,000 miles.  And we are not to Alaska yet.

The most expensive gasoline so far was 1.149 per liter.  At 3.8 liters to the US gallon, and $1.20 Canadian to the US dollar, that makes it about $3.60/US gallon.  It will be less expensive when we cross into Alaska a few days from now.


Sunday, June 12 - Dawson

We had breakfast (coffee and muffins) at a coffee house, then enjoyed the service at the Dawson Christian Fellowship.  Had lunch at Triple J's, Patty a brochetta, and Ed a zucchini/apple juice/curry/cream soup and Reuben wrap (sauerkraut, pastrami, cheese, rice, corn, lettuce, tomato and other things in a tomato tortilla) then walked around and took a tour of Dawson with a guide at 3:30 PM.  Such an interesting city.  No paved roads, with most buildings from late 1890's to early 1900's, or rebuilt to look that way.  Rebuilding was necessary for many structures because they cave in when the permafrost shifts. Lots of color used. 




















In the evening, we decided to forego a real supper, and opted to extend our anniversary celebration by having desert instead at the Aurora Hotel, an upscale Swiss restaurant: spiked coffee (one with Irish cream and Kahlua, the other with Brandy and Kahlua) and sumpious desserts (black forest cake, and a kind of flan with caramelized peach topping).

The cake was good, but still not as good as my sister's.  Mimi, you are still the best!  Your muffins are better too!

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