A few more pictures from Saturday

Here are a few more photos from our trip up to Tombstone on Saturday.

We found some old equipment on a back road off the Dempster. I believe it was used for the ditching/canal that redirected water for hydro power for the gold mining dredges decades ago.




I’m wondering if the excavator was steam powered, because this boiler was beside in on a wooden skid.




There wasn’t much snow on the ground until we got up to the Tombstone range. I’ve stood in this same spot, on a road side stop, every time we’ve gone here, and all the pictures look so drastically different. I’ll pull them together for a comparison sometime. For now, here are a few more snowy shots:









The Dempster Highway has a winter storm warning in effect tonight – 15-20 cm of snow!


The fox

We drove up the Dempster highway today and found more snow in Tombstone Territorial Park.

We had the pleasure of watching a fox hunting along the side of the road. He didn’t seem to mind much at all that we were watching. He even caught lunch, a little mouse maybe?

Here is a gallery of some of my favourite shots. Just click on any to view a larger version that you can scroll through.

We actually saw 3 foxes today, and a blonde porcupine so big that I thought it was a baby grizzly bear’s backside until we got closer!


I’ve made more things from scratch in this home than I’ve made in years.

Today I made a whole wheat pizza crust, and after the dough rose, I made a couple calzones for us.


They turned out better than I expected, but a few notes for myself for next time:

  • way WAY too big, making 4 would have been smarter than 2
  • contents a little thick
  • crust could have been a wee bit thinner without falling apart
  • there is a lot of extra plain dough at the ends where it is pinched and I didn’t eat it because it was just bread. Maybe find a different way to seal, or trim more off after pinching.
  • 450F for 15 minutes worked well, including pre-heating the pizza stone in the oven. I sprinkled a bit of corn meal on the stone before putting the calzones on it and they didn’t stick at all. I also gave the top of each a light brush of olive oil and poked some holes.
  • I’d put a bit more sauce inside. Some people don’t put any sauce inside at all, but I would have liked a bit more sauce.
  • Mozzarella cheese would have been better grated than cubed. Would have been more integrated.

I’m a little frustrated that breads are back in my diet, and my waist line shows it. However it just isn’t practical or affordable here to eat just the veggies and meat/fish and stir frys that I was eating for the first half of the year. Trying to figure it out as I go…


Forty Mile – we made it!

After getting so close to the abandoned townsite of Forty Mile last weekend, we just couldn’t wait until next summer to make it all the way.

We geared up with bear spray, lunch, camera, binoculars, and sunglasses and headed out across the Yukon River and up the Top of the World Highway again.


Forty Mile was the Yukon’s first community. It is located where the Fort Mile River empties in the Yukon River. It is named for being 40 miles down river of Fort Reliance, which was an old trading post on the Yukon River.

First Nation people used the site for hunting and fishing for years. Prospectors and miners moved to the area in 1886, ten years before the start of the Klondike gold rush.

Forty Mile once had 6 saloons, a theatre, an opera house, and even two restaurants! The town had about 500 residents but emptied almost overnight when word came down the river of the Klondike gold strike. Some people came back to the town, but its hay days were long over. The last resident passed away in 1958.

The only reason we could get to Forty Mile without a boat, is thanks to the Hän Fisheries, who put a road to the Yukon River in the 1970s so they could access their fish camps.

We parked at the Yukon River, and hiked a kilometre or so down the river on an ATV trail.


Grave along the hike

The first building you see when you approach the old town site is the St James Anglican Church. It was constructed in 1895.


St James Anglican Church

The church was used continuously until 1935. It was used just occasionally since.

Thanks to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Yukon Government, some of the few remaining buildings have been repaired to keep them standing.


Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP) Station



Old lock


The General Store is still standing. It was built around 1900 from logs recycled from an earlier building.


Swanson’s General Store


Warehouse and Machine Shop


Inside the old warehouse


It was the most beautiful fall day. The leaves are just at their peak and were falling like rain.DSC_0037DSC_0038


Have you ever seen a more beautiful site? If you make it to Forty Mile, hiking, or by river, you can camp here in the old town, where the Forty Mile river meets the Yukon.



Old fence at the Swanson farm

We walked all the way through the town along the river, and then hiked behind the main street to see the old farming area and on to the old cemetery.DSC_0078

The brush has been cleared out of the cemetery, but you can’t read many of the graves anymore.DSC_0082DSC_0084

We turned around and walked back through the town again.


Muskrat and couple ducks




Metal Working shop


Old roadhouse, now occasional staff accomodations


Forty Mile’s Telegraph Station

By September 1901, Forty Mile had an operating telegraph line and were connected to the outside world. In 1931 the telegraph line between Dawson City and the boundary with Alaska was abandoned and the community relied on radio instead. The telegraph building was builtin 1893.



Moss used for chinking between the logs

We weren’t alone in Forty Mile. A man was working on building 2 new log cabins on the trail as you approached the town site. We had a great chat with him. His name was Earl and he lives nearby with his wife and dogs at the old town site for the old Clinton Creek Asbestos mine. He’s building the new cabins at Forty Mile for the government as a bunk house and a cook shack, so people will stop using the old buildings in the town site. There is a real fear of fire and vandalism here, naturally, with no year round caretaker on site, and so many of the old buildings have already been lost to fire over the last century.


Earl’s dogs taking a snooze while we chatting along the trail



Here is the .pdf version of the information guide we used while visiting Forty Mile: http://www.tc.gov.yk.ca/publications/Forty_Mile_Cheda_Dek_2011.pdf



Batten the hatches, winter is coming!

We moved to Dawson City at the end of July, so we’ve had plenty of time to view the hustle and bustle of the tourist season. Shops bustling, line-ups at the ice cream parlour, full restaurants and lounges at meal times and happy hour, tour buses lining the streets, and the wooden sidewalks busy with tourists and their cameras, wandering around the historic town.

Since Labour Day has passed, it is quickly coming to an end. It almost feels like there is a big storm, or hurricane coming as so many places are boarding up and their owners are getting out of Dodge, leaving just a core group of folks with no where else to go to stay behind to weather the storm.

In a way, that is exactly what is happening. Except the sense of an impending storm is really just winter, and the steady flow of summer tourists has just about ended. So many businesses here are seasonal, and many residents head to warmer climates for the winter months.

Here are some of the signs of the impending storm winter:


We’re not going anywhere, we’re ready to experience our first Yukon winter!