Sebastian Fricke and Rose Seguin share their journey, their “inner compasses” with us as they travel and write on their way through Alaska and the Yukon
Having completed our undergraduate degrees, Rose and I were very eager to break free of the bureaucracy and daily grind of city life. We followed our inner compasses north, to Alaska and the Yukon, writing all along the way and compiling it into a book which we titled The Northern Seduction: A Backpacker’s Escape from Convention.
After hitchhiking across the U.S.–Canadian border, we decided to lay our backpacks down for a while and spend some time in Whitehorse. Working at the local hatchery, while camping in a tent, we hopped on any adventures we could and eventually found ourselves driving up the Klondike Highway with Dawson City on our minds as the sun set over the mountainous landscape. Anyone who thinks the road becomes boring at nighttime should take a drive up North, once the sun sets, because that is when the real show begins. Below is an excerpt from our book, titled The Illuminated Klondike:
With some newly-made friends, we set off for Dawson City after work. The drive north along the Klondike Highway took us beside lakes teeming with lake trout, across powerful rivers and through valleys. As we passed through Carmacks, the horizon was graced with a beautiful orange sunset which lined the clouds with a gold trim that starkly contrasted the dark hills. The view was incredible as we descended a hill to see the panorama of the winding Yukon River crowned by steep hills and the orange skies. It couldn’t get more beautiful than this, we thought. We were wrong. Mile after mile slipped past us as we continued northbound, the day slowly giving way to the darkness of night. Yukoners had not seen stars in months as the midnight sun kept the skies light throughout the night yet the days were now becoming shorter and as nightfall descended, the stars twinkled and any evidence of the day faded into a dim light along the horizon. No sooner had the daylight slipped away than the sky was brought to life by streaks of green stretched from one horizon to the other and guiding our path to Dawson. Green ribbons fluttered in the sky, their bands rippling like a pond into which a stone is cast. The bands would fade until nearly transparent, allowing the stars behind them to shine through before flaring strongly into an opaque layer. They continued like this for an hour, threading their way through the sky as a river carves its way through a landscape. Below the aerial river, clouds merged perfectly into the image of a male salmon. The hooked nose was prominent, the body wide and its tail fin sharply cut against the sky and illuminated faintly by the auroras. It all seemed like a good omen, to see the salmon swimming in the aurora borealis.
Sebastian Fricke and Rose Seguin are outdoor enthusiasts and first-time authors from eastern Canada who are pursuing masters degrees in environmental protection and who are founders of www.growyourownway.ca. They still often dream about the Yukon and hope to return soon.