The Yukon! The Yukon!
A fidgety gull woke me at 4:30 am and I was so excited to get to the proper river that there was no way I was sleeping in. I packed my gear and off I went. The water was nice and still. Ominous dark clouds hung around to the south but they never reached me and turned into scattered clouds and blue sky in the afternoon.
The Yukon empties out of Marsh Lake. Until now I’d been paddling expansive lakes without much of a current but that was all about to change. The river! The river starts out nice and narrow and more or less protected from the wind. The current runs at a gentle 3 mph and seemed like a real luxury after all that lake paddling.
I paused for lunch where the river goes under the Alaska Highway and met some people who stopped by the bridge while driving through. One all the way from Arizona heading to Fairbanks!
After the bridge there is a dam with a lock system for boats to get around. It took me a few minutes (If I’m being honest here- a good hour) to figure out how on earth to work the lock but I finally did and me and my little red kayak continued down stream. The dam was originally built to release stored water around break up to encourage ice out on Lake Lebarge so that the sternwheelers could start heading through.
I was impressed by the high clay walls that lined the river and the beautiful basalt outcrops by Miles Canyon.
I camped on a nice beach and cooked some potatoes in aluminum foil on a fire for dessert and fooled around on my traveling guitar for a while and went to bed feeling tremendously spoiled.
What a good life.
It was on to Whitehorse in the morning where I went to stay at the Bees Knees Hostel. Everyone there is so friendly, it kind of felt like coming home. I was working on my blog at the kitchen table when I heard the door downstairs open and two new arrivals enter. Guess who it was! My friend Jackie who I met working up in Coldfoot a couple of years ago. I was so surprised and SO happy to see a familiar face. Love you Jackie!!!!!! So great to see you!!!