Saturday, August 6, 2016

Dawson City, YT - Walking Around

We started the day out high above Dawson City to get a great view down over the city. However, after a long climb we saw this:
Well, maybe tomorrow.

Dawson City is fun to walk around. Lots to see. Of course, the town plays up its Klondike roots for the tourists which bring in the gold these days. The streets are still dirt and, when it rains, it puddles. Here I am standing in front of a bunch of buses which have brought other tourists to town. Actually, I took this picture because Cathy and Tom came to Dawson City via a Holland tour and I wanted to send this pic to them. On the other hand, it does show the dirt streets and the effect of rain and it also shows the huge tourist business that Dawson City does. Lucky Cathy and Tom, they flew in to Dawson City, they did not have to drive the road we took.
Here’s the main street through town. There are strict building codes in Dawson City. These buildings have to look as if they were built in the gold rush days or shortly there-after. Usually I cut the street view down but wanted to show the potholes in the main street here.

Some buildings were actually built during the gold rush days.
And, here’s the explanatory sign for the building above.

Then, of course, there’s the Flora Dora. I have nothing more to say about this building and you an make up your own mind.
There are some beautiful homes in the town.
Speaking of building codes: Here’s a map of Dawson City that shows where the permafrost underlies the top soil. If you think it’s almost the entire city - you’re right. More than 1/2 of the city is built on top of permafrost that is 65 yards thick and thousands of years old. It is a warmer permafrost and thus more susceptible to warming if there is any increase in surface temperature. With global warming, Dawson City is expected to rise 2° - 3° by 2060.
Permafrost in Dawson City is particularly ice rich - when the ice melts, the ground loses volume and the surface drops. Buildings tilt and lean and their foundations sink into the ground, roads buckle, pipes burst. Not good.

Thus there are strict building codes in Dawson City. Sensors have been installed into the ground to measure temperatures and variations. New buildings must be built on a cribbing above the ground.
We saw some buildings in progress and could see this cribbing being put together.

And, then there was this home out in the middle of the river. Check out the solar panels, the grill and the flue for the stove. All the comforts. And - a hanging plant on the front door.
The views up and down the Yukon River are awesome.
Here’s the ferry that brought us over the Yukon River. Small but sturdy and valuable. You can see a 5th wheeler on the ferry here.
The Klondike River flows into the Yukon right here and you can see the turbid look of the Yukon here - it is glacial with lots of ‘glacial flour’ in it while the Klondike River flows clear.
Since it has been raining, the streets are muddy and you can see a large puddle covering the wood sidewalk. Yes, the sidewalks in the tourist section of town are wood slats - just like it was in the Klondike days.
Travel up and down the Yukon River was by river boat of which this one, the Keno, was one. It is the the last riverboat to run the Yukon River in 1960 when it made its last run from Whitehorse to Dawson City. It is still operable and you can still make a short trip around the Dawson City area. We toured a river boat in Whitehorse back in late May while we were waiting for our RV to be repaired. But these river boats need to be pulled out of the water before the river freezes. It’s 130’ long as you an see from this picture. OK, hitch up teams of horses to a creaking wooden capstans and painstakingly winch these 700 ton behemoths onto shore. The horses had to pull evenly or there would be twisting of the hull.

We also stopped at the Dawson City cemetery and like this stone. I wonder what he did for a living.
Interesting town. It’s a history and geology lesson just walking through town.

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