Christmas season is in full swing here in Dawson City! We kick it off with the Festival of Lights on December 1st. This is food, and a scavenger hunt for the children. The stores stay open late, and there are fireworks! It was so cold my iPhone turned itself almost instantly, so I’ll share a photo taken by another Dawson resident:
Christmas here is the season of bazaars and open houses. I helped man a booth for the Humane Society at a bazaar a couple of weeks ago. Today we went to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Last Minute Christmas bazaar. Here’s our friend Eldria with some of her amazing fur hats, gloves, and moccasins with such intricate beadwork.
It is really neat seeing all the fur products. Such skill and talent. We talked to another man who showed us wolf fur gloves and told us about how he got the wolf, and how the wolf almost got him. We also saw seal hats, some beaver, muskrat, lynx, fox, and rabbit. All harvested sustainably and humanely.
You just have no idea how much work goes into these products, from the trapline, to the hide cleaning and tanning, just as it has been for thousands of years.
At the Christmas bazaars, people also have tables to sell their crafts, natural remedy salves and ointments, herbs, preserves and jams, jewelry, and baking. This year I’ve been doing most of my Christmas shopping locally. I think it is important to support my community and my neighbours, and I feel it more the longer we’re here.
Last night we went to the Christmas Open House at the town museum. It’s a great event, with delicious food. We sat at a table with a few other people and talked about the weather, how the river hasn’t frozen yet, the 4 hour walk our neighbours across the river are taking to get into town across some areas that are frozen, past canoe trips and hikes, dog sledding and skijoring, history of the area, gold mining, and comparisons of life here to the “outside” (the rest of the world).
There is also a High Tea fundraiser today for the local paper, a coffee house/open mic event tonight put on by the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture. Tomorrow there are pet pictures with Santa for the Humane Society. So much to do, and you can’t do it all. There is always so much to do here! (See our event calendar!)
We got quite a bit of snow this week, despite the cold temperatures, and it was uncharacteristically windy so there are actual snow drifts! Jeff was away in Whitehorse all week. I was sending him snow updates every day because he was so eager to get home and get on his snowmobile.
Here he is earlier today getting his sled ready.
I won’t adjust the lighting in these pictures so you can see how dull the light is when it is an overcast day. These were at noon in the back alley behind our house. Sunrise was 10:41am and the sunset today will be at 3:35pm.
We’ve got a -40C coming up in the forecast for the next week. Can’t wait to experience the -40s! I shovelled for 90 minutes earlier this week, and it went down to -30C, which seems so weird because I’m used to it getting warmer to snow.
Living here, you know that things take time. For instance, we had a leak in the truck transmission, so it went to the shop for a repair and was deemed undriveable! Gasp! The necessary parts had to be shipped up here, so it was 10 days before we got it back. I can walk just about everywhere, although it takes more layers, effort, and prep time in the cold 🙂 But I am thinking about getting a second vehicle for times like this, and so either of us could go to the city on our own without leaving the other person without wheels. It would be nice too to not have to make arrangements with Jeff at work to get the truck every time I need to drive somewhere. Maybe I’m just feeling rich without that east coast house on our backs anymore. 😀
Another way how life differs. I have a partial tear of a rotator cuff tendon. I hurt it late last winter, and I just keep rehurting it, every time due to slipping on ice while holding something stationary, like a doorknob, or truck door handle. It means my arm has way less motion, and at times even just sneezing is like getting hit with an axe. The Dr would like me to see a physiotherapist so we can decide on a treatment plan. However we live in a remote town. A physiotherapist comes 3-4 times a year to a big waiting list. There is another one who is private who comes more regularly, who the Dr. speaks highly of, but she won’t be coming until the end of January or maybe February. I was going to take a last minute trip to see her in the city this past week, but the rest of my work team was already out, so I stayed home to cover the work. With any luck, I’ll stop trying to rip my arm off so I can get this thing healed up!
Here’s a picture Jeff just sent from the edge of the cell signal, looking over Bonanza Creek: