-17C and the sky is lighting up

It’s a clear cool night. -17°C and dropping. But the northern lights are out! Here’s a few more GoPro shots from the backyard.


Looking over the house. I’m seeing a lot of fish eye effect here – will need to adjust before next time.


You can see some woodstove smoke hanging low over town.


This beam of auroras on the right started really quickly, like a flashlight coming off the hill behind town.


Those red spots aren’t creepy red eyes, just our communication towers. In the foreground, our ATV in the truck, and a skidoo on a trailer for an upcoming trip for servicing in Whitehorse.


Our oil furnace came on. Curious how the exhaust lights up like a light in this photo.

For those curious, this is the 30 sec night time photo setting on the GoPro. No touch-ups after, publishing as shot.


Mid-October drive around the goldfields

We went for a drive all around the gold fields today (Bonanza, Sulphur, Eureka, Dominion, and Hunker roads) knowing that the snow is coming tomorrow and that’ll likely mark the end of any adventures until the roads are snowed in and ready for the snowmobile!

The sun isn’t rising until after 9am now, which meant we didn’t have to get up too early 🙂


It was -12°C up near King Solomon’s Dome with an Arctic breeze. Brrrr! I like seeing the far away mountain range from this view. 20161016-dsc_0005

Right now the leaves have long fallen and there isn’t too much colour in the woods. What white you see is actually just frost. Here’s the sun still making its climb.20161016-dsc_0009

Almost every gold camp has shut down now, except for a few guys still moving dirt around. Hard to sluice when the water is likely to freeze. The lakes and waterholes are frozen, and the rivers are partially frozen.


The glaciers have already started covering the roads in spots. This is where a seep of water slowly crosses the road (despite not having any rain in a month) and it builds higher and higher with solid ice. These are nerve wracking to cross at the best of times. I don’t even like them on the snow mobile.

This big one wasn’t all frozen. We got half way through and suddenly both front wheels dropped down through the ice, leaving the frame of the truck sitting on the ice.   😱 Scary! Jeff was able to get us out. It happened again while crossing another glacier on Eureka, and we just couldn’t go forward, so we backed out of the ice and turned around. We later heard someone rolled a fuel truck out here recently. We met almost no one all day, except for a flat bed semi bringing a dozer to town, and his pilot vehicle.

Once we got to this big bad one again, on our way back, Jeff got out of the truck to see if he could find a better place for our wheels.

Despite looking like slush, it really isn’t, it’s hard ice built up on top of the road, and it is only in the middle where Jeff’s up to the top of his boots where your wheels fall through.


Jeff decided we could run the left tires up on the frozen dirt ridge of the road, and maybe just one of our wheels would sink. He wants to mount a winch on the truck for precisely moments like this, should we get really stuck, but there wasn’t a tree close enough anyway.


Jeff’s plan worked though! We easy got through it this time!


We stopped at an old roadhouse for lunch. HA just kidding, this roadhouse hasn’t been serving lunch for years 😉


When you’re driving around the gold fields, especially this time of year when the leaves are off the trees, you can see so many old cabins, big old steam boilers, old and forgotten dozers and excavators and trucks. There is 120 years of gold mining history in this area. I love seeing all these artifacts of yesteryear.20161016-dsc_0018

The floor is gone in this one, if there ever was one. Roof is mostly gone now too.20161016-dsc_0019

That never stops me from wandering around. Look how big of a stove pipe it must have had.




There were a couple out buildings here too.




Finally the sun was fully up and gorgeous after 11am.



The truck is so dusty and still covered with dead summer bugs, and now frozen slush. Have I mentioned Jeff’s new lights he had installed on the front grill? They are LED lights. That’s a spot light bar in the middle, and the smaller square ones are flood lights. They can light up a spec of parsley in your front teeth from about 10 miles away with your lips shut. Seriously. They’re going to be awesome for driving in the dark to Whitehorse and back this winter.



Yukon River is getting slushy!

Jeff has a horrible awful cold, so I wandered to the grocery store again on this Sunday morning to get him cough medicine. img_9173

This is about 10:30am. -10°C Definitely hat and mitts weather! The sun doesn’t shine on our house until around 11:30am now. Sometime in November it’ll stop shining on town all together until January.img_9174

I had heard the Yukon River has had some slush on it in the morning, but I keep forgetting to check, so that was my first stop this morning!img_9175

The river is very low right now. It has slowed a bit too, maybe due to the lower water level, or maybe it is even frozen north of here already. img_9176

There is slush moving down the river now. And ice along the edge. A cloud was hanging low right over the river to the south.img_9177


Our turkey is in the oven. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Jeff is hoping he’ll feel well enough to go moose hunting tomorrow, so today will be our turkey day. We’ve got a 15 pounder in the oven, with dressing. Jeff is napping through the end of the NASCAR race, then I imagine we’ll have the pleasure (yuck) of watching football. Jeff bought me a new book called “Their Own Yukon” which is a book of photos and history of the First Nations people that live here. I’m going to dig into that this afternoon and skip the football.


I was joined on my wander home from the store this morning by a boy, probably 9 years old or so, who was sent to the store for flour. I just love how children here aren’t afraid of adults, or of going to the store on their own. This must be such a safe, carefree place for a child to be raised. He changed my name to Lucy Lou and aimed to annoy me by making loud crazy noises, stopping just to ask if I was annoyed yet. When I said I wasn’t, he said I was a tough nut to crack. He was asking which house I lived in, because the town is small enough that people know where everyone lives, usually by the colour of the house and the general area of town.


I love living like this, walking to the store for just an item or two at a time. There is no traffic. The store is small. I don’t need to drive there.  This town is really my utopia. Where else would a young kid be in the check-out in front of you, and turn and ask if you we’ve met yet!?


Here’s a couple pictures from inside the store I took a month ago. I should take a few more so you can see what a grocery store looks like that isn’t a big huge modern box with a big parking lot.


We actually have two grocery stores. I’ll get some pictures of both of them someday soon.img_8886

I also received a request for more wildlife pictures, so I’ll see what I can do! I haven’t ventured out of town lately because Jeff has been going hunting with the truck. I support the hunt, and eat the meat, but know I better not be there when a moose goes down because I’m a softie.


Pictures from my walk home from the grocery store

Yesterday the grocery store was completely out of milk and frozen pie crusts, but the truck came in today, so I wandered over this afternoon for pumpkin pie supplies. Here are a few pictures I took on my wander home.




Almost every street has a back alley, so I wandered through some of them and stopped at the post office to get the mail.


I love just wandering around town. I didn’t do it enough when I had a dog. For close to twenty years, the dogs always came first. Now I wander around with the knapsack again, without a poop bag or leash. If I want to go in a store, I can, if I want to stop for a beer, I can. If I want to sit on a bench and watch the river I can. All without having to tie up a dog everywhere, or feeling guilty for leaving them at home. Yes, at times I really want to get a dog, but I’m glad we’ve been taking this year off.



It is only +2C in this pictures, but feels beautiful and warm. No mitts or toque required.








The weather has been absolutely glorious since I came home from Vancouver. Every day it is sunny. Each week gets colder though. Here’s the forecast for the next week:


Or if you are American:screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-4-29-22-pm

The puddles no longer thaw. The frost is so thick in the shade that is looks like snow. There has been no rain so our gravel streets are dusty. Chimney smoke hangs low in the air at times. You can see the dust around the sun, and the haze in the distance, in a few of these pictures.



















More northern lights photography testing with the GoPro

I took the GoPro down to the river bank tonight around 10pm. I don’t know if this was more a test of my personal bravery for going down to the river in the dark (don’t tell Jeff, he’s out of town), or a test of the GoPro 😉

I’m wanting to master capturing the northern lights with the GoPro because it is a million times less finicky and frustrating that using a camera and tripod and remote when it is cold and dark.

I’m not pleased with any of these. There was just way too much light pollution, so next time I’ll go over the dyke down to the actual river. But this time, it was really dark and quiet, and I’m kinda chicken.


I saw some pink and red auroras over the river like I’ve never seen before. But they were gone before I left the house, so I can prove nothing.










I will learn from these and I will do better next time, promise! I will also try time lapse too.