If only metal could speak…

There are many old trails winding around the hills and kettle ponds north of Riverdale.

These trails were used for horse logging; now they are great for mountain biking and walking.

On a spring walk a few years ago, I noticed a seldom-used, slightly hidden trail emerging between two trees on a hillside. There was a drop-dead view of a large pond and Golden Horn Mountain in the background.

A perfect place to camp!

Exploring further, just behind the trees in the spruce and pine needle duff, were some rusty tin cans and a large metal object set up to be a cooking grill. Someone had the same thought as I had, 70 or 100 years earlier: live like a king in a wall tent, cut some trees to buy your bacon and beans and oats for your horse, sit back and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Whoa, easy there, Clyde! Everything looked as if it had been abandoned for at least 20 years, but the era of horse logging probably dates before the 1940s. The areas closer to downtown were logged the earliest. So the campsite may have been there well before the Alaska Highway and all that commotion.

In winter, logs could be dragged down to an ice road at the bottom near the current hospital and driven the short distance to the riverboats … or into town for heating homes in tiny Whitehorse, population: 500 people, 200 dogs and 100 horses.

This special piece of metal, and the story that goes with it, will be part of The Whitehorse Horse sculpture that will be placed at the new Whitehorse Public Safety Building. The artist, Daphne Mennell, hopes you will contribute your own piece of metal and story to the thousands of others that are needed by the end of July. The metal should be approximately 11 inches square and a magnet would stick to it. Please see the Highlights Page of this paper for the drop-off point in your community.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top