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View from above

Up above the town, there is the “Midnight Dome” outlook that you can drive up to (or hike if you’re ridiculously fit) and look off in all directions. Look at how gorgeous the Yukon Territory is!

Fun fact: The population density of the Yukon is just 0.1 people per square kilometre.

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Monty & Jeff and Dawson City

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If I wasn’t feeling so lazy I’d draw an arrow on the town so you could see our house. We’re left of the taller tree in the middle, a block behind the long silver roof (hotel rooms).

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For some silly reason, last year when we visited here, I didn’t go to the very top to sit on the bench.

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But consider it conquered now :)

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Our New House

Written a few days ago, but waiting for internet access to post…

A huge bonus, and really what was the key to making this move happen, is this government staff house we are renting. It is owned by the territorial government, and is available for people working in Jeff’s department. The landlord is the Yukon Housing Corporation which also oversees the territory’s social housing, so the rules are the same. It is a great starting place for us, because the rent is really affordable (and comes directly off Jeff’s paycheque) which drastically lowers our stress level while our house in Nova Scotia hasn’t sold.

The one huge down side is that there is a strict one pet rule, which means our cat Sally is staying in Ontario, for now, with my sister Julie. As we get settled here, and after our house sells, we can figure out if we want to continue renting, or will look for a place for our own. Every day feels like we’re missing one of our family so I hope we can figure out a way to all be together again soon.

We’re not “town” people, by nature, but this town is so unlike other places we’ve lived. If you want to live outside of the town’s core, then you likely won’t have the basic ammenities, like electricity, water, sewer, or internet. I think I could hack it, if it weren’t for the no internet part. That is crucial to my employment.

Living in town here, though, means you can very easily walk anywhere in town. A vehicle is rarely needed. Which is also nice for winter, because starting your vehicle at -40°C (and sometimes colder) isn’t great for your engine, or any other parts that become brittle in the cold. Jeff’s new job is just a kilometre walk from our house, so he can walk there faster than his old 25 minute commute.

So back to our house….

It is a blue bungalow, lifted from the ground, as they all are here, to prevent the heating/thawing of the permafrost below. It is a big rectangle, with the long side facing the road. It has a front door in the centre that opens into the living room. A hallway goes left down the middle of the house to the 3 bedrooms and bathroom and straight ahead is the kitchen at the back of the house. In the right rear is the dining room that is open to the living room and the kitchen. The first right on the hallway leading to the bedrooms heads out past the oil furnace and to the back door, with a storage room to the left, behind the bathroom.

There isn’t an inch of drywall in the house. It is all painted panelling. Seems like it may have been a modular home that was shipped here, but I’m not certain. In many ways it is a typical rental house, with basic features, appliances, paint dripped on the floor, and easy mop laminate and linoleum flooring. The bedrooms do have newer carpet. Our bedroom is quite large and the front two bedrooms are smaller. All have big windows, in fact all of the house has nice large double paned windows with deep window ledges showing the thickness of the walls. There are blinds on every window, and double blinds in the bedrooms (surely to block out the midnight sun of the summer.)

There is just one little bathroom, one sink, one tub which is a big change since our house was so big we each had our own bathroom. There is a fridge and stove, but no dishwasher or microwave, or even laundry. There are laundry hook-ups though. I’m hoping that our house will sell soon so we can pay off our moving bills and afford a washer and hopefully dryer before winter. We’ve already been to the laundromat and hope we don’t have to do that every week forever. It would be better if they had wifi there, but free wifi isn’t a thing you find here in the north, so the time passes slowly at the laundryomat. At least they have a sofa though 😉

We’re going to start with my office in the dining room. I think we’re going to need both of the little bedrooms for storing our stuff since there isn’t a shed or a basement here and despite parting with so many of our belongings before we moved, we still have a lot of stuff en route. A dining room office also gives me a prime location, sunny (well in the summer months), I can see out the front window, and I won’t be tucked away in a back room. I’ll aim for working while Jeff is at his job so it should work okay.

OK, so photos!!

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Living room – some sort of durable laminate floor.

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Bathroom, small, nothing fancy, but all the basics are in place.

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Bathroom sink, for two, we have to share a bathroom! Ahhhh! :)

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Kitchen

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Office (dining room) on left, living room on right.

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Living room from office (dining room) and front door.

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Front door and hall closet. Can’t pinpoint this odd paint colour, kinda brown, kinda tan, kinda pink, kinda peach.

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Hallway, two spare bedrooms on left that we’ll use for storage, on right is hallway to back door, bathroom, and our bedroom at the far end.

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Our bedroom, plenty big, two closets, a couple burgundy/red walls.

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One of the two spare bedrooms.

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Look how thick the walls are! I hope that means lots of warm insulation.

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View from the street.

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View from the front steps to the north.

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View from the back deck to the north (and the Midnight Dome)

Internet installed!

I’ve been so stressed, almost sick, over the fear the internet here would be so slow I’d lose my job.

I’ve found two places with free wifi in town, and they were both slower than dial-up, and completely unusable.

I had hoped they were just really throttled because of the download cap in place from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) here, Northwestel.

Everyone we’ve talked to since arriving, says the internet is absolutely awful here and I was in big trouble.

Finally today the technician came to get our internet set up and I’m incredibly relieved. Here is a speedtest:

The 13.14 Mb/s down is WAY faster than we ever had in Nova Scotia. Now we do have a 200 gig cap on data each month before overage fees apply. In Nova Scotia I usually peaked around 4 mbps but had a bit faster upload speed and a much lower ping latency. Overall, I’m hopeful everything will work out.

The technician warned there is downtime at times, and some of the infrastructure is old here. He said the upload speed isn’t great, so uploading big files might be best to leave over night, but overall it is decent. Not cable or fibre optic fast, but decent.

What a relief. Now I can get back to work!!  :)

(Many more blog posts are on their way this week – with photos!)

 

Settling into Dawson City

It took 10 days to drive the 8294 km from our house in Lochaber, Nova Scotia here to our new home in Dawson City, Yukon.

I’ll update you with all the photos and tales once we have home Internet installed next week. Until then we are mostly offline, except when we’re racking up our overage charges on our cell data bill 😉 Right now I’m at the Alchemy Cafe eating a delicious berry muffin and sipping on an iced tea while I try to use their internet to update our address in a few places.

Our stuff comes on Monday morning, which mean only 3 more sleeps on an air mattress.  We really miss our bed! Cooking with one pot, and eating off of paper plates with a spork is as romantic as you may expect too. It has been nice though to run around and get a few things done without busying ourselves with unpacking, so I’m kinda grateful it won’t be here until Monday. We already have signed all the necessary rental agreements and contracts, got the power in our name, basic cable (digital on its way), PO box, new insurance coverage, got Monty a lifetime dog license, and Jeff is getting his driver’s license right now. I need to wait until I have proof of living here, like when I receive bills at our new PO box (which was free by the way?!).

The weather here is perfect, warm but not humid, sunny, bit of a breeze at times. I’ve never seen darkness yet. The sun sets around midnight, but it still isn’t dark and is up long before we wake up.

It is a really easy town to walk everywhere, so we’ve been taking a walk during the day for errands, then another at night for a beer at a couple watering holes – after all we don’t start back to work until next week :)

There are naturally many tourists here in the summer, but it is also the Dawson City Music Festival this weekend. I volunteered to work a security shift on Sunday afternoon so I can meet more people and listen to the music. It is just a block or so from our house.

Monty isn’t used to be an in-town dog anymore. When he hears someone drive by on the street, since it is gravel, it sounds like just when someone would come up our gravel driveway, so he barks, since he assumes someone is approaching the door. He’ll learn 😉  He also isn’t like the other local dogs. Most don’t have a leash and just sit outside on the wooden sidewalk when their owner is inside a store or bar. 

More soon!

The case of the pantry doors

We had left our kitchen incomplete for a few years, but there is nothing like a sudden move to prioritize every house repair and project.

The previous owners had a built in oven with a separate cooktop. We replaced them with a traditional range a couple years ago, and turned the area where the oven was built in into a pantry with shelves.

We hired the carpenters from the Sherbrooke Village carpentry shop to build a couple pull out shelves for the pantry recently. They turned out really nice, with oak fronts to match the honey oak cabinets in our kitchen.

We ordered two matching doors to finish off the project. They came in last week and we took them to a woodworker with a door off another cupboard to match. He immediately knew he was not up to the job when he opened the packaging on our two new doors. They were maple and there is just no way to make maple look like oak!!

He was right!

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Although they are very lovely, they don’t match at all!

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Luckily our cabinet supplier admitted fault and ordered us two in oak. Unfortunately though, they arrived after all of our tools are gone, and we’re leaving tomorrow, so they will be here for the next home owner to get finished. Unfortunate, but at least we have the oak ones now to go with the house.

We had our counter top replaced recently too. Another project we had delayed for too long. Such a shame because this new one is lovely. I took only 30 seconds to pick it out, simply asking, “What do you have in stock?”. The result is this gray mixture that has small splotches of brown that match the cupboards nicely.

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I’m so glad we didn’t try to tackle the installation ourselves. The installer did a remarkable job. I’m really pleased with it.