To Dawson

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Selkirk

“Bakery Keep Right 6 km” A green sign along the river read . . . on the river miles from any road, miles from any village, miles from anything at all.

Bakery?

I could go for a nice pastry and a tea.  Dare I get my hopes up?

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The morning before I had spent a good 5 hours rambling around the deserted town of Selkirk.  There is so much to see!  The chapel, the cabins, the church, the graveyard.  So much to see.  As I walked through the empty homes, a part of me almost expected someone to pop out and yell at me for trespassing.  The Yukon government has done a great job of maintaining the buildings.  You can still see the care that went into the homes.  They have nice wallpaper and thoughtful design.  One of them even had stained glass windows.

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Selkirk sits right where the Pelly River joins the Yukon.  It has been inhabited in some form for the last 8,000 years with a trading post in the 1800s before the highway was built on the other side of the river.  Now it is deserted aside from the caretaker.

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After a morning of exploration, I hopped in my kayak at around 1 pm but not before being offered blueberry pancakes by the group of German canoers that I had camped with the night before.  I wrapped them carefully in aluminum foil to save for a snack.  They were delicious!

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That afternoon the wind picked up so intensely that I was forced to make camp having only made it to Selwyn.  The German group who had left just after me ended up doing the same, so I had company for two nights in a row!

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High basalt walls dominated this section of the river

The following morning I was up and at ‘em early, hoping to make miles before that wind came back.  I saw the bakery sign at 11 am.  I stayed right on the river until a boat landing came into view and secured my kayak.  There was a path leading up from the landing and I could make out a few cabins through the brush.  Is this it?  Or am I about to intrude on someone’s land?

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I walked up the hill quietly, trying to figure out whether or not I was trespassing or indeed walking up to a bakery.

It didn’t look like the spot for a bakery.

The dogs gave me away.  There were four of them.  All shapes and sizes and colors.  Barking.

A woman and two young girls came out of the cabin.  They waved me over and assured me that this was the bakery.  There was a menu on the side of the cabin and before I knew it I was sitting down with a delicious egg breakfast and a cup of tea in my hand.

Turns out they are a family from Dawson who spends the summers out at this camp, providing food and a place to tent for travelers on the river.  The two girls- ages 10 and 11- sat with me while I ate and told me all about the camp.  They were looking forward to the canoe race that goes from Whitehorse to Dawson in a few days.  The racers are required to take a 3 hour layover at their camp and they serve them soup and sandwiches.

I left with a full stomach and a coconut cookie in my pocket.

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Then it was onwards.

The Yukon River is growing rapidly as I head further downstream.  With the addition of the White River and Stewart River, the Yukon seems to have quadrupled in size and amount of silt.  At the confluence of the White River I hiked up a bluff to get a good view.

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Then it was on to Dawson City which I arrived at the following afternoon!  DAWSON CITY!!

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