Sunday, October 31, 2004


Apparently Halloween isn't the same in the Yukon as it is in southern suburbia. If you live outside of Whitehorse (whose subdivisions were almost designed for trick or treating) Halloween takes on a different meaning. Meaning you drive from house to house and only to the houses of those you know.

Usually putting out a jack 'o lantern is another way of saying "Come on down, I've got loads of candy to give you". Not here. Granted we do have a very long walkway to get to our house, it's not well lit and there is about three acres of unlit nothing to the right of the cabin. I wouldn't have braved it, even if it was a dare.

So after waiting until 7ish we hopped in the car and drove around to the cars of trick or treaters. You could tell there were confused looks under those masks as we stopped the car and yelled out "Wanna trick or treat at our car?!".

We did end up getting 2 groups of trick or treaters. We certainly made it worth their while to brave our walkway as we treated these 2 groups to all of our candy.

I used to love it when you'd trick or treat at a house you were a little scared to approach, but when you got there you were greated by a warm house, a nice smile and a big bowl of candy.

Happy Halloween

Friday, October 29, 2004

Friday night.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Water Systems

If you're wondering how we manage without running water and indoor plumbing, here are some self explanatory photographs.

This is the water tank. This is the source of all water we use in the cabin. Except drinking water. This water tank is filled monthly via the neighbours hose.

The water is funnelled into those turquoise water jugs and then moved around the cabin to locations requiring water. Mostly the sink. (The two jugs that look a little more transparent are for drinking water. We fill them in town.)

This is the sink. That turquoise water jug is the tap. You get used to it.

This is the HOT water system.

We think this is what we are supposed to put the hot water into to have an at home shower. We haven't ventured here yet. We would still rather travel great distances and pay lots of money for real showers.

Monday, October 25, 2004

A friend going to meet the friends who were looking for their missing friend.

Don't kill bears

I went north with a friend to visit some other friends.

It was a wonderful get away to Central Yukon, a place very different from Southern Yukon home of the logcabin.

Everytime I've visited this little northern community there seems to be some Northern action. This time it involved the disappearance of a bow hunter who failed to meet his plane.

He was dropped off two weeks earlier to an area called Reid Lake, two elders we spoke to also refered to it as 'bad luck' lake. When he failed to meet the plane the RCMP flew in to do a small search. They found one days worth of food eaten, his tent, backpack, the rest of his food and his boat halfway down the lake. No bow.

The RCMP abandoned the mission due to bad weather. The friend we were staying with had another friend who was a friend of the bow hunter. This friend has his own plane and didn't think the weather was bad enough to abandon flying, particularly since their friend was missing. The friends went in.

The first time they went in they could barely go beyond the lake shore, the area was so wild with life. They found what the RCMP had left. Very little. (Which I find strange, what if the bow hunter had somehow made it back to his camp and all his food was gone?). They also noticed a grouping of ravens further into the woods. They saw three large moose that didn't seem intimidated by their presence and so they flew out.

The second time they went in they "buzzed" the area with the plane so they would have a little more time to explore without so much wildlife around. They also took a dog. They were able to do a little more exploring and wandered up the lake to where the hunters boat was tied. Here they made a grizzly discovery. They found the bow and a shredded balaclava. The bow was undisturbed. The bow hunter was hunted by a bear.

I was shocked to hear this. We did a little research on this bow hunter. Apparently he was a well seasoned outdoor guide and biologist. We found a photo of him and three friends proudly standing behind one of the most gorgeous and powerful kodiak bears I've ever seen. It lay limp.

Interestingly, three of the four friends in that photo are now dead.

We also heard the elders say that a bear can tell if you've killed another bear.

Don't kill bears.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

$5 boots.

New boots.

Well, new to me.

Admittedly I am cheap. But money can't buy boots like these. They don't make them like this anymore. They are walking conversation pieces to BOOT.
"Well look at those, I had a pair of boots just like that years ago."
One of my "going into town" pleasures is scouring the Salvation Army thrift store.

At the Sally Ann one can find housewares, parkas, cowichan sweaters, leather bags, cast iron frying pans and interesting things to put candles in. All of these things I could buy brand new, for not much more money thanks to Wal-%*#@ and Super*%@#, but why buy something new when you can buy something that already exists? Why harbour the guilt of supporting all the nasty spin offs of those nasty stores?

The Salvation Army is convienently located across from the laundry mat. Put the laundry in and you've got a good 30 minutes to kill trying on puffy sleeved blouses and ice skates.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It snowed.

This is one of my top 3 reasons for wanting to live in the Yukon.

I know the majority of Canada experiences snow and sub-zero temperatures all winter, but having spent most of my life on Vancouver Island this is quite a novelty.

I remember one Halloween when it snowed and then was followed by two days of melting and an entire winter of wet wet rain.

The weather is very dramatic up here. Yesterday it was minus 10. Today it's plus 10 and the snow is already melting away.

Every seasoned Yukoner I talk to seems to have a different prediction for the winter. "Weeeeell, I think it's goin' ta be a cold one dis year" or "We're in for a warm winter, that's for sure." I know that when they talk about a cold winter they mean temperatures that dip to minus 50, but I don't know what they mean by "warm" winter...

The first of the snow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


I'm just back from a free movie night put on by the Yukon Peace Coalition (yes, I realise how horrifyingly hokey this sounds).

The movie: Outfoxed

An alarming documentry (well, maybe a tad slanted to the left) about the media empire of Rupert Murdoch and the evil bias of FOX. You know, the "Fair and Balanced" news source in the US of A that declared Bush president before the recount.

We don't have television up here (rather, we don't have A television, it is possible to have television in the Yukon) so I'm a little out of touch with the US of A news. Apparently I've been missing some astonishing news casts that end with "only 27 days left until Bush is re-elected".

Again, thank you CBC.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

One of the many things I love about traveling through places less travelled is coming across unexpected design and decor. This is the interior of the ladies public washroom at the Skagway/Haines ferry terminal in Alaska.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Alaska America

This Canadian Thanksgiving weekend we traveled into Alaska America for a few days. We were greeted at the Alaskan border by a stern officer who needed to know, amongst other things, what our occupations were and when we were required to be back at work. These questions are really fun to answer when you're a distance student attending a university on the other side of the country and a freelance animator/artist. I guess we didn't resemble any of the arab headshots I saw photocopied on a stack of papers with "Al Qaeda" written across the top in black marker, because we were allowed into America.

Overall we had a wonderful time. We drove from cold dry inland climates, through mountains and glaciers, in and out of tundra and ended up on the mild damp coast where it's still fall and the leaves are still yellow and on the trees.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves, but here are some observations;

1. Every sign on the side of the road we passed as soon as we entered Alaska was full of gun shots. Do Canadians get through the boarder and celebrate their right to bare arms by shooting every sign they pass?

2. Camping in America is like camping in a whiring, humming refrigerator. Everyone, with the exception of one other couple tenting with their volvo, had offensive RVs with at least one generater. All of these generators together formed a pitch that I'm sure is on par with the noise produced by any nuclear power plant. Nature anyone?

3. Having learned that Alaskans recieve a check every October from the Republican government for a percentage of revenue earned from oil and gas produced by the state, I was a tad frightened of what we might encounter so close to the election. We were delighted to find a few Democrate signs littering lawns, vegan organic cafes, local entrpreneurship, dreadlocks, the most beautiful libraries I've ever seen, wildlife rehabilitation sights and lots and lots of protected park land.

Trip highlight: buying used backcountry ski gear off the Mayor of Skagway for a tidy price.

Animal encounters? We saw a frosty dead raven, 3,500 (according to a travel guide, I'd say we saw around 200) eagles (or "symbol of American freedom") feeding on chum salmon, swans heading south and a little mouse running under an outhouse.

On the way back through customs entering Canada we were asked if we had puchased any tabacoo products. Then we were asked to proceed. No wonder we're accused of harbouring terrorists.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Waking up in the back of a Volvo is only fun if it's 0 degrees and upward.

I would think this is one of the most beautiful borders there is.

American ferry.

White House and Long House.

Apparently, in Alaska, you can restore wetlands with garbage bags.

This is what happened to some of those obsessed with finding gold.

This is all that's left of a city that was built to facilitate those that were obsessed with seeking gold in the Yukon. It was home to 10,000 people in its prime.

Apparently we just missed cruiseships full of tourists from Asia in Skagway.

No Thanksgiving turkey this year.

Frosty dead raven.

Kluane. Moments of silence and awe were had here.

A frosty morning at Pine Lake.

This is a symbol of American freedom in Canada and my boy and my car.

This is the home of 3,500 symbols of American freedom, ahem, eagles. According to the travel guide.

Can anyone tell me how this happened to every sign on the side of the highway from the US border to Haines?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

this really happened.

A conversation I had with the Post Office today...

me - "Hello, is this the Post Office?"

raspy female voice - "Yes."

me - "I'm just calling to see if an order I'm expecting has arrived."

raspy female voice - "Oh, uhm, I've just got some eggs on the grill. Can ya call back in 5 minutes?"

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Beaver.

The beaver is our national animal.
The beaver eats wood and is a large rodent.
There is a beaver in the lake by our cabin.
The beaver in the lake wants to eat the trees on this property that we are renting.
The beaver likes to try to take away the trees to eat in the evening.
The other evening the beaver was almost peed on. Sometimes it's preferable to relieve ones self at lakeside than travel to the outhouse and beavers are hard to see in the dark.
This is what we found on the beach the morning after the beaver narrowly escaped pee.

We love the beaver and he can have all the rented trees he wants.

Beaver carnage.