Fox on Bonanza Creek Road

We’re leaving Dawson City this morning. We’ll drive back to Whitehorse for two nights and then fly home on Tuesday. It’s early — just after 6 a.m. — and the sky is grey. I was awake many times in the night and it was never really dark. Was it coyotes we heard just before sleep, or dogs?

Yesterday we were out of our B&B before 9, trying to do as many things, see as many things as we could on our last day in this intoxicating place. We went to the cemeteries — there are several: a small Jewish one (the trail to it lined with Boletus edulis!); one specifically for members of the Northwest Mounted Police and the RCMP; a Catholic cemetery; a Protestant one; a Yukon Order of Pioneers burial area. We went for a hike on the 9th Avenue trail through wildflowers surprising in their plentitude: Marsh Grass-of-Parnassus, Mountain Death Camas, Tall Lungwort, exquisite Campanula aurita or Yukon bellflower (I knew this was a campanula but oh, which one? Thanks to helpful Cynthnia in the Visitors Centre, we figured it out.)We crossed the Yukon River by tiny ferry to west Dawson and drove up the Top of the World Highway to look down on the valley, so verdant and calm. And we drove out to Dredge Number Four, a National Historic Site, to see the legacy of placer mining in all its industrial glory. On our way to the dredge, we saw this fox on Bonanza Creek Road, trotting along with a dead squirrel in its mouth.

All along Bonanza Creek Road, there were tall poles with birdhouses on top, stuck into tailing piles. It was lovely to see the swallows swoop in and out of the houses as they feasted on mosquitoes in the sunny morning.

Dawson City is an important piece of our history. Its buildings, cemeteries, the living theatre which visitors are invited to particpate in with Parks Canada interpreters, its fabulous museum and archives, the ongoing archaeological work, the ebullience of its citizens: these go some distance to allow us to imagine not just the heady days of 1897-99 when the gold rush was on but also the years after as the city reinvented itself, survived hard times and celebrated good ones. We’ve met many young people over the past few days who say they never want to leave. And you can understand why. There’s magic in this air, in the endless light. Even the ravens talk about it.

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~ by theresakishkan on July 3, 2011.

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