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June 11, 2010

Whitehorse and The Mighty Yukon

It's about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 13 degrees Celsius. It's also cloudy and windy. No matter. Cooper and I are on a mission to discover Whitehorse today. Since it's a mile or two before we even get down the hill from our campground, I borrow the car and I park it above the old stern wheeler, SS Klondike.

Whitehorse is a city that's named after the White Horse Rapids of the Yukon River, which resembled the "flowing manes of charging white horses". The rapids became known as the greatest peril on the trail of 1898. In 1958 the famous rapids were tamed by the construction of the Whitehorse Dam, which replaced the once foaming rapids with Schwatka Lake reservoir. For years Whitehorse played the role of connecting rail service with riverboat traffic to Dawson City. Whitehorse was incorporated as a city in 1950 and in 1953 the capital of the Yukon was transferred from Dawson City to Whitehorse.

I walk down the hill and through town on the river walkway, which understandably follows The Yukon River, past the beautiful LePage Park where children were actually playing in the water fountains on this chilly day. They're a hearty bunch!

 I wander around taking in the sites, past the old train depot, past the beautiful Visitor Centre, the museums. I notice the old and the new. Whitehorse is a vibrant city of approx 25,000 people. There's a lot of new construction alongside old historical buildings. I've been told the median age here is 34 and I notice a lot of them are outside jogging, walking, riding bicycles. Clean, outdoor, wilderness living. In fact, many call Whitehorse The Wilderness City.

The trolley that runs along the waterfront.

The Old Log Church Museum

I enjoyed walking the river trail up to the Dam, across the Rotary Centennial Bridge, then along the other side of the river back to LePage park.

Cooper playing in the Yukon River

Since I worked up an appetite after all that walking, I decided to have lunch in town and wound up at Pho 5 Star for a delicious bowl of beef Pho and salad rolls. I'd also noticed a bakery on my earlier jaunt through town so the second time through I had to stop and I wound up buying Hearth Flax bread and huge Raisin Bran muffins - no cinnamon rolls this time - although they had them there and I'm sure they were just as good as the other three I've eaten!

Oh, and how could I forget yesterday!  It's been said that you haven't experienced Whitehorse until you've visited the Yukon Brewery and had the tour - so we did!  It's a small laid back place with only 12 employees and the only one in the Yukon. The brewery officially opened its doors in February 1997 and was originally called the Chilkoot Brewing Company Ltd. Two years later they changed their name because they wanted to sell beer to the U.S. market and there were some trademark issues with the name “Chilkoot.” Because of this the brewery adopted the name “Yukon Brewing Company.” In fact, the Yukon Red is quite the award winner. It was recently named “Beer of the Year” at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Toronto. For more info on their incredible brews click here:

Needless to say, I wound up with a case of their Thirst Aid Kit - 4 great beers (Yukon Red, Yukon Gold, Chilkoot, and Cranberry Wheat Ale) in a 12 pack.

The Keg Room!


  1. WOW!!!! Looks like you're having the time of your life!!! Enjoy every single moment and please keep the updates rolling! I LOVE the "thirst aid kit" and the scenery is to die for :)
    Sherri, have to thank you for the Pinot Blanc at Four Grace's. This really is my fav place and my fav bottle. We had the most beautiful afternoon ever! THANK YOU for being such a fabulous supporter! To infinity and beyond ;) xoxo Johnny

  2. Thanks Beatrice & Johnny! Glad you're having a good time at home Johnny - missed seeing you this time! It really is beautiful country I'm traveling through - would do it again in a heartbeat! Enjoy the Pinot! miss you guys! xoxox