Paddling the Yukon River: Carmacks to Dawson city

DSC_0040DSC_0024DSC_0123DSC_0098DSC_0150DSC_0054DSC_0193DSC_0142DSC_0186DSC_0198DSC_0235DSC_0238DSC_0251DSC_0262

Some friends and I recently paddled from Carmacks to Dawson City. The journey takes about 6 days.

It’s a very easy section to do as the current is strong. The river pushes you along at around 6km/hour without even paddling. With some paddling you can push to about a 10 km/hour average speed.

The distance of about 400 kilometres means about 40 hours of sustained paddling at this speed.

Rental places allow you to be dropped off in Carmacks then drop off the canoe and supplies in Dawson City before taking a bus back to Whitehorse.

Advertisements

Wildlife on the way to Carcross

DSC_5392DSC_5463DSC_5385DSC_5382DSC_5456DSC_5469DSC_5380

The most useful thing I’ve learned over the years about photography is to keep your equipment ready.

When driving I test settings first, then keep the camera and zoom lens equipped on the passenger seat. The result is that I can react quickly when wildlife appears.

A trip to Carcross this week was very scenic and provided some great opportunities — no less than one bear, three moose (a mother and two yearlings) as well as a porcupine.

Traditional food: Eating a lynx

IMG_5022cropped - lynx demo 2IMG_5035IMG_E5040IMG_5017
IMG_5039

During the recent muskrat camp outside Burwash Landing (at Lake Creek territorial campground) students got to meet trappers.

Ryan Sealy of Environment Yukon’s Trapper Education program obtained a lynx from a trapper in Pelly Crossing Yukon. Students saw how the fur is used and also the meat. It turns out lynx is edible — Sealy even calls it a “family favorite.”

The meat was cut into little cubes so that everyone would have a piece. I would describe it as tasting just like chicken if slightly chewier.

Students at ‘muskrat camp’ learn trapping

DSC_2971IMG_5027DSC_2959IMG_5028IMG_5029colour corrected - trappingIMG_4973DSC_3132DSC_3156DSC_3192IMG_5094IMG_5106IMG_5097IMG_5130IMG_4958DSC_3079

The Kluane Lake School in Destruction Bay hosts a Muskrat Camp every year, where local students spend a few days with trappers and elders.

The students visited a trapline and learned how to trap muskrat. They then were guided through scraping the hides as well as sewing and other workshops.

These kinds of land skills are increasingly being recognized and incorporated into Yukon schools.

Read more here:
http://tinyurl.com/ya2dlldj

Caribou alongside the Alaska Highway

DSC_3545DSC_3535DSC_3876.JPG

DSC_4026DSC_4006

Caribou have a spring migration and these days they are crossing the Alaska highway outside of Watson Lake and near Teslin Yukon.

It can be a real road hazard at night. A large sign can be seen on the road warning people about their presence.

Huge bison outside Lower Post

Bison outside Lower Post BC April 2018 Philippe Morin (1)Bison outside Lower Post BC April 2018 Philippe Morin (4)Bison outside Lower Post BC April 2018 Philippe Morin (2)Bison outside Lower Post BC April 2018 Philippe Morin (3)

Travelling south of Watson Lake, I saw these massive bison outside Lower Post B.C.

They seemed unbothered by the occasional truck passing by.

Watson Lake signpost forest

DSC_3681DSC_3691DSC_3684DSC_3687DSC_3688

One quirky landmark in Yukon is the Watson Lake signpost forest. It began as a joke in the 1940s when troops were building the Alaska Highway.

It’s since developed into an odd collection of (stolen?) road signs from around the world.