Wednesday 25 June 2008 — Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
It was a cold night. After writing in my journal at 2am by the natural light radiating from the horizon, I passed out in the tent, only to be woken up by the early morning chill. And the cries of a baby. Somewhere nearby a family of campers had brought an infant along with them. I silently cursed them and rolled over on the hard earth beneath my thin sleeping bag. I tossed to try to lay in an acceptable position, but ended up curling in a ball to keep warm. This wasn’t ideal, but at least it was semi-tolerable. Damn that cheap sleeping bag. The morning came too quickly, although I could not sleep long.
Dazed from the long drive and poor night’s sleep, I stumbled out of the tent and out into the fresh Yukon air. It was going to be a great day, indeed. With eyes that were not sufficiently open, I made my way to the bathrooms, which thankfully were a short walk from the tent. Upon inspection, I quickly noted the small box located on one wall of the shower stall. Oh great, I have to pay to get water. The cleverly placed box required $1 Canadian coins and I only had a handful of change that included a couple of $2 coins.
This dilemma was resolved at the main office to the campsite. My still dazed mind didn’t know what state the rest of my body was in. All I knew is that I needed a shower. I held up the $2 coin and before I could stammer anything more than, “uhm, I….” the cheerful woman behind the counter chimed in. “Loonies?” she said. “Ah, yeah.” The exchange was simple and I was squeaky clean in no time, also meaning that one loonie provided what I thought to be 5-7 minutes of running water. I decided I was loony enough for only one go.
The day was amazing. I eventually woke up from my daze, even before I had coffee and spent the daylight hours walking around town, and being guided by a friend of Ray’s, who is a recent transplant from Texas (who rather enjoys his new locale). Among the other places we went was Miles Canyon along the Yukon River. Once upon a time during the Klondike Gold Rush, these were treacherous waters, but now that the river is dammed for hydroelectric power, the force is significantly less. Still, it’s a great site to see. The afternoon sun was not too hot for a stroll along the river.
Also a favorite of that day was the cranberry wheat ale from the Yukon Brewing Company. Mmmm. I am the proud owner of a new Yukon Brewing Company hoodie that reads, “Beer worth freezin’ for”. Got that right. OK, maybe not in the wintertime high of around 0 degrees Fahrenheit in January. But a good beer, IMHO.
We finished out the day with a walk and a rousing round of Uno back at the campsite…still playing cards past 10pm whilst sunlight still hang in the sky. The second night of sleep was much better, thanks in part to my comfy new hoodie…and the loonie that helped me get more hot water in the shower.