BY J. WOOD

My favourite place in the Yukon. Hmm … how to pick? Living, working and playing in the Yukon, for over 30 years now, allows for a number of options. Is it possible to pick just one spot?

I feel particularly drawn to the area just north of Carmacks, for some reason. I love the terrain there. But then there’s the top of Crocus Bluff, in Dawson.

In the old days, we’d camp up there; these days, it’s my spurt-of-energy spot. A nice little hike to the top offers a great view of Lousetown and the rivers below, and the benches provide a nice, relaxing spot for reflection.

Oh, but then there’s Kusawa Lake area … so beautiful, great fishing, lots of memories camping there as a family when the kids were small. Maybe it’s the spot on the green trail at Chadburn Lake where the sun shines through the trees there on a winter’s day.

Every time I’m out there skiing, I stop at just the right spot to soak up some much-needed Vitamin D, always thinking about how lucky I am to be healthy enough to be active in the great outdoors.

But then what about the top of Dropoff Mountain, near Quiet Lake, where I experienced the thrill and satisfaction of summiting that peak this summer with a bunch of 20-year-olds? It reminded me that most things can be achieved if you keep faith in yourself.

Oh, and then there’s the Dempster Highway … In my younger years, I worked up there and recently took a drive up for old-times sake. I had forgotten how absolutely spectacular it is. Tombstone Mountain area, Windy Pass, the Peel Ridge (now they call it the Ogilvie Ridge), Eagle Plains, the Richardson Mountains. Wow.

But it’s also like wow when you’re on King’s Throne overlooking Kathleen Lake and the surrounding area. And what about when you’re up Montana Mountain and the beauty of the Southern Lakes is spread out below you?

And then there’s the favourite berry-picking spot. Oh, geez … What about that awesome fishing spot under the Aces where I caught that 21-pounder and won the fishing derby? Or could it be way up the MacMillan River where you really know you’re out in the bush?

Oh, yeah … the Upper Alsek River. I was so darned lucky this summer to have worked on a rafting trip on the Alsek. Now, that place is incredible! It’s like being in a National Geographic magazine … icebergs floating on the lake, glaciers calving in front of our eyes, wildlife all around – that river has it all and then some.

How can I pick just one spot? Every corner of the Yukon has something to offer. Each spot is special in its own way, whether it’s because of the beauty, the memories of special times or the feelings it evokes. But, I guess, if I have to pick just one, if I really have to narrow it down to just one, I’d have to say my favourite place in the whole Yukon is the wilderness.