Dawson & The Toe!August 4, 2016 in Canada
On Sunday afternoon, we made with to Dawson City, Yukon. We we're really excited about this part of the trip as we had both heard a lot about the "city". As you get to the city, you first have to take a ferry to cross the Yukon River. The dogs "loved" it. We quickly drove through town and set up camp at a nearby RV park and campground.
Monday morning, we we're quite excited to go explore. Dawson City was a huge part of the Gold Rush here in the Yukon. We learned that the word Klondike (that uses to designated the area) came from a misunderstanding of a native word meaning "hammer head". The Gold Rush here was short-lived, however, in 1898, over 30,000 people lived in the city, which made it the largest one north of Seattle and west of Winnipeg. Bars, restaurants, theaters, hotels, brothels, and more, could all be found in the city. They were also the first Canadian city to get a gambling hall.
For our first stop, we decided to go visit the Dredge #4. A dredge is a large boat-like piece of equipment used to chew through the land and waters to find gold. A lot of workers are needed to make this work, which is why it isn't used anymore. The Dredge #4 is the largest intact dredge left in the world. We did a guided tour through the entire structure; it was simply incredible. We found out through the tour that the majority of men that came up here to strike it rich unfortunately did not, and as transportation was only seasonal, a lot of them got stuck here working for close to nothing.
We then headed out to claim #6, which is a free gold panning claim. We tried our luck at it and unfortunately came out empty ended. I guess we need to keep our day jobs.
We then went back to down to go see all the old buildings. Dawson City is really frozen in time. So many building are being maintained either by people or by the Canadian government as national historic sites. There are also strict rules on how people can renovate their properties. No fast food or Tim Hortons here. Many buildings are also left to themselves, all leaning, to show visitors the effect of building on the permafrost.
For our last activity of the day, we decided to go try the famous sourtoe cocktail... many decades ago, a prospector found a dead toe, preserved in salt, from a previous gold miner. For whatever reason, the tradition then started to have a shot, in which you would drop the dead toe in. Drink it fast, drink it slow, as long as the toe touches your lips. Well, we did it, Facebook video and certificate in hand to prove it!
Dawson, all together, was one of the most incredible places we have ever seen. There is so much to do around there and it must be visited at least one in a lifetime.Read more