Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Alaska Caper - Day 24

June 27, 2007
Posted by: Dick Wilson

We were fortunate that our day in Whitehorse coincided with the start of a yearly boat race for 450 miles down the Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City. There are categories for one, two, and multiple-person water craft. These are kayaks and canoes. It was surprising to see that there were contestants from Australia, the UK, South Africa, the US, and all over Canada, including Quebec and Nova Scotia. In all, there were 78 boats. The event began with a one-quarter mile foot race to the boats and then they began paddling down the River. The winner usually makes this trip in about 40 hours. This necessitates fairly vigorous paddling, although the current in the Yukon River is really quite rapid, substantially faster than the Snake River although perhaps not as quick as the Salmon River in Idaho. As you can see from the picture, it is a fairly large river, even this far up stream. The water is fairly clear in Whitehorse compared to a definite muddy appearance down stream at Dawson City. The remainder of the day was spent visiting historic museums and cleaning residual mud and caked calcium chloride from the bottom of the bikes. We referred to this as removing the last traces of the Haul Road. In the evening, we went to the Frantic Follies. This was a Klondike version of vaudeville humor with a touch of the "Beverly Hillbillies" and "Hee Haw." Tomorrow we hit the road again for Watson Lake and point south.

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