We spent our final day in Dawson checking out the museums and finding the final three geocaches in the area. The only one we were unable to find was out on the goldfields and no one had found it for awhile. Other than that we found every cache in and around town.
After breakfast John drove to the NAPA shop and dropped off our two flat tires to get fixed. When he got back we drove to the Jack London museum, which turned out to be his cabin and a small building that had photographs on the walls. Cost was $5 per person. We decided we did not need to go inside so we took a couple of pictures of the cabin. We passed this really nice log house on the short drive between the Jack London museum and the Robert Service cabin.Just a short distance away was the Robert Service cabin. This, I knew was just a cabin; no museum or artifacts or anything so it too was a short stop.
We were near the access to the trail that had the geocaches on it that we needed to find so we took the time to find them. The last one was located at a nice viewpoint overlooking the Yukon River.This is the free ferry that crosses the river for the Top of the World Highway which we will take tomorrow. There must be a campground nearby as all these motorhomes look much too clean to have driven a gravel road. The ferry was only able to take the first motorhome with its car. All the rest had to wait for its return and I suspect most of the rest were taken over one at a time as well. Our next museum was the Dawson City Fire Department museum. They had the most exquisite old steam engine! We thought the one from Victoria that was brought up to Salmon Arm for the Salmon Arm Fire Department’s 100th anniversary a few years ago was nice. This one was much better. The steamer had just recently been returned after its restoration. The cost was paid entirely by the fire department and its members. It was restored in Maine and took 18 months, and cost $250,000! The nickel-plate alone was $50,000. They discovered that there was gold leaf designs under several layers of paint so all of that was restored as well. John almost dropped when he saw it!The hose reel that was pulled behind the steamer was restored at the same time.
The fire department brought in two horses (cost $3,000) to pull the steamer in the local parade. It is now up on jacks that keep the wheels just off the ground. They intend for it to stay like from now on. This is the steamer before restoration.
Amazingly, since they are so rare, the Dawson City Fire Department has two steamers. The second one will be cleaned up a bit and then kept as is. This is the fire chief covered in ice after fighting a fire in the winter of 1912.In another building they had all the fire trucks that had been used in Dawson. Like the Deputy Chief told us, “It is a one way trip for a fire truck up here. We are too far away from anywhere else to send them, so everyone that comes here, stays here.” This little cabin is right downtown on Front Street.
Our final museum today was the Dawson City museum. It is housed in a huge building, but the rooms with displays are not that big. They also have a theater that plays some historical films, but we didn’t take the time to watch one. We were about halfway through looking at the exhibits and a woman came and said she would be doing a tour of the railway shelter in 15 minutes, so we wandered into the lobby at the appropriate time to attend.
It was a very interesting to hear the story of the Klondike Railway which only last 8 years went a total of 31 miles and lost money. After the short tour of the railway shelter we went back to the main museum and finished the two exhibit rooms. It was now 3:30 and John left me to finish in the museum while he drove back out to pick up the tires. He took the time to put the fixed original tire back on the truck and put the spare back where it belonged, and the second spare in the pickup box. Then he found a car wash and hosed off the majority of the mud so we have a white truck again. Not as clean as it usually is when John washes it, but we are going on gravel roads again tomorrow so he didn’t get too fussy. He just wanted most of that calcium loaded mud off the vehicle.
I went upstairs to see the ‘visible storage’ and the old courthouse. The Dawson City museum is only two blocks from our hotel so I walked back and put my photos on the computer and selected the ones for my blog. I was just finishing when John returned. By then it was time for dinner and blog writing in the hotel lobby; which is the only place there is wi-fi.
Tomorrow we leave for our Alaska portion of the journey.