We took a day off from ‘touristing’ today. We slept in a little bit, had a late breakfast, and decided to take a walk and perhaps find some geocaches. There are 20 of them around here and we will probably find them all – or close to that.
Dawson City is still very much an early 1900’s town. The streets are wide and dirt. The sidewalks are wooden boardwalks. The buildings are restored from the goldrush era (1898) or have been built to look like they were built then. The whole place is 12 blocks long and about 8 blocks wide so it is easy to get around by foot. Our hotel is a block long on both sides of the street. The one side is all one building painted to look like several. The other side, where our room is, has three separate buildings. It is a nice place, except there is no wi-fi in the rooms, only the lobby, restaurant, and courtyard. But we were told this would be the case so we were not too shocked. It works pretty well and we are only usually on in the evening so, for us, it is not too bad.
The first building we explored was a display by Parks Canada with photos and comments from people who were here during the goldrush and the early days of the city. (The city of Dawson is a Canadian Heritage Site.) These nice two-story buildings have been built only four years after the crude log shacks and mud bog roads!
I loved the old doors at the entrance to the exhibit building.This used to be the Commissioner’s building, it is now the museum. Be worried, very worried, if I go explore it…. The Yukon Visitor’s Center and the Northwest Territories Visitor’s Center are across the street from each other. Dawson City is in the Yukon Territory and the Dempster Highway is 40 km east of town. The Dempter is 700+ km of gravel road and is the only land access to the Northwest Territories communities of Inuvik and Tuktayuktuk, so NWT staffs a Visitor’s Center here as well. This hotel has been closed for a few years for renovations and is now open with regular entertainment shows. During the four months of the year that the river was open, boats would bring supplies of anything and everything that might be needed in the town during the 8 months the river was frozen. The goods would be stored in several long warehouses like this and distributed to the stores for sale to the miners and families as needed. For a very high price, of course.Of the 20 geocaches in town, Parks Canada has hidden six and Grade 7 classes of the last few years have hidden four. The Parks Canada caches are hidden at historic buildings and if you find at least four of the six you go to the Yukon Visitor’s Center and give them the answers to a question about each (the question and answers are on the log paper with each cache) and they will give you a prize. On our stroll today, we found all six of them.
Tomorrow we will go back to seeing the various historical sites and museums in the area. It was nice to have a lazier day. We enjoyed our walk and even got some laundry done this afternoon. It is almost 10 pm as I write this and outside it is a bright and sunny as if it were noon!