Arctic Circle Expedition : March 13, 2007

A day in whitehorse, yukon


Mar 12 – Whitehorse, Yukon


With a day to spare in Whitehorse, we weren't on the clock for the morning - thankfully, since we were all somewhat (completely) sleep deprived.  Breakfast at 10am and we headed out for some wildlife viewing.  The wildlife in northern BC and the Yukon is amazing.  Wood Bison, Elk, Caribou, Moose, Dall Sheep, Mountain Goats…  Evelyn, with the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, guided us around.  The Preserve was originally a private game farm which has recently been taken over by the Yukon government and is being run as a non-profit organization.  The Preserve also cares for local injured wildlife.  


In early afternoon, Kim and Jim looked to see if the gaping hole in the Defender’s windshield could be patched.  Dave and Roy of Northern Glass were up to the challenge.  Recognizing that the "stone chip" was too deep and wide to be properly repaired, they brought their skills to bear to manage a temporary fix so we could make it up the Dempster and back.  A new windshield?  Not yet – there are still thousands of miles of rough road ahead.  


Meanwhile, Mike was back to tinkering with the 101 to bring it into peak form.  Fluid check, accelerator return spring adjustment and a short test drive.


Gathering at the hotel, Up North Adventures picked us up for a sunset snowmobile tour around Whitehorse.  Riding the MacKenzie mountain ridge and down to the lake, all around the mountains.  The trails proved a challenge – tight curves, and washboard surfaces.  Mark, our guide, provided the orientation to the views, and the wildlife tracks.  On our descent to the lake, Mark stopped us for a pop-quiz to see if we could identify some tracks – Peter was quick off the mark in identifying the shallow, wide prints as lynx.  A stop-by at Rock's trapper cabin followed where we talked about trap-line hunting and northern life.  


Along the way we discovered that Eric’s skills with his LR do not translate into skills on a snow-machine.  Before the tour was out, he was solely responsible for two spectacular 50mile per hour flips; Neal had his chance at the controls and also pitched them over.  


After a rough ride, a leisurely dinner at Giorgio's.  Tonight we're anticipating our drive to Dawson City tomorrow morning and the excitement continues to build toward Wednesday when we hope to cross the Arctic circle.  Check back for our live update, direct from the Arctic Circle.