Lapie Canyon from Lapie Canyon Campground

“Pick it up Paul, let’s go!” I yelled and we started to run.

“I was trying to walk at your pace!” he hollered back to me in a full sprint while swatting mosquitoes.
At this point, I had given up trying to enjoy a leisurely stroll on the Van Gorder Falls trail in Faro. Sweating in my rain coat and stinking of bug spray, I exited into the John Connolly RV Campground where we had “glamped” the night before. I stopped and snapped a photo of a cute, chunky mushroom on the edge of campsite #12 while Paul fanned the bugs around my hair with his hat.

Coming from off-grid cabins in West Dawson (across the Yukon River in Dawson City), it was a pretty luxurious camping experience, being able to shower and wash our dishes with running water in the bathroom that the campground provided. It actually made us kind of uncomfortable how easy it was. We should have been grateful for these amenities after being hailed on and poured on and eaten alive by bugs.

While tourists worry about bears in the Yukon, I worry about the excess of mosquitoes we’ve had this summer. I am prone to bad bug bites. Welts the size of eggs cover my ankles. Broken blood vessels and bruises cover my thighs, along with scabs and scars from scratching until I bleed to feel some relief. Paul’s nerves were shot from the sound of my shrieking every few hours as bugs smashed into my head, flew in my shirt and got tangled fluttering around in my hair.
“Go put on your bug head net,” he said when we made it to our second camping spot at Lapie Canyon Campground between Faro and Ross River. I did as he encouraged and immediately felt some sense of ease.
We were extremely aware of COVID-19 rules as we travelled from Dawson City down the North Klondike Highway to Faro and Ross River by way of the Robert Campbell Highway.

Having an unusually light and flexible summer schedule due to pandemic restrictions, I decided to take the opportunity to camp, hike and discover places in Yukon I’ve never experienced before.
Faro was full of friendly folk, all of whom nodded when you passed them on the street, or waved when they passed you on the highways.

The morning of our hike to Van Gorder Falls, we headed into the Tourist Information Centre to pay for our campsite and buy a round of nine holes for the Faro Golf Course, which runs through the centre of town. The course’s short holes were relatively easy, according to Paul. For me, playing golf is more like playing croquet. I was easily distracted by the abundance of strawberries on the roadside anytime I went to look for Paul’s lost golf ball.

Although it was tempting to linger longer in Faro while the sun shone down on us for the first time since we left Dawson, we decided to make our way to the Lapie Canyon Campground between Faro and Ross River.

Continued in the next edition of WUY (see below).

Paul Stintzi starts off at hole 1 at the Faro Golf Course

It’s a small world – Part 2