Mark and Nadine's Arctic Expedition travel blog

North Fork Pass on the Dempster Highway

Rosie getting a bath at the end of the Dempster

Moosehide Village, on the Yukon River

A cache (food storage building) at Tommy Taylor's fish camp

We continued our drive down the Dempster, finally reaching the end of the highway around 11:00 A.M. We filled up at the “gas bar” at Dempster Corner, and took advantage of their car wash. Rosie lost about twenty pounds of dust!

Back in Dawson City, we checked in at the NWT’s Dempster Visitor’s Centre to report on our trip. By now we felt like hardened veterans of the road, and we swapped stories with the staff members there. It turns out that Dawn, one of the staff members, is a cousin of Jerry, one of our Parks Canada guides on last Sunday’s hike. (You have to be careful who you talk about around here, because everyone seems to be related.)

In the afternoon we took a boat ride down the Yukon River to get a glimpse of Moosehide, the village that the native residents of Dawson relocated to when the gold miners arrived. Although the village was abandoned back in the 1950s, local First Nations people have kept up many of the buildings, and it remains a summer retreat and occasional meeting place.

The boat trip also included a visit to the fishing camp of Tommy Taylor, a local native resident (and Dawn’s husband, it turns out). It’s a rustic cabin, complete with doghouses for his 14 sled dogs and a smokehouse where he smokes the salmon he catches in his fish wheel on the Yukon River.

Back at our campsite, we got to visit with Fred and Ken Patterson, the two brothers we hiked with on Sunday. (They left Inuvik the same time we did.) We looked at Ken’s photos of the hike and of other trips he’s taken (like a photo expedition in Alaska to photograph Puffins and Grizzly Bears) - great pictures!

Tomorrow we plan to take the Top of the World Highway into Alaska, spending the night in Eagle, another gold rush town downriver from Dawson. Then we’ll loop back into the Yukon Territory to visit Kulane National Park. At least that’s the plan!

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