The week began with my English friend finally making it with her CanaDream Camper – a one-month, one-woman journey from Calgary to Whitehorse.
For the special occasion , to celebrate her arrival, we decided to head to Takhini Hot Springs; my first time. The boiling hot water is pleasant and it’s a pretty quiet Wednesday evening after work. Only a few people floated around the water and the weather was perfectly overcast with a slight breeze to cool you down.
After the hot springs the heat instigated palpable hunger. So we headed off to Klondike Rib & Salmon for a meal. Packed with a wait list of 30 minutes, we put our names down and decided to head to a pub for a drink. We headed to the Dirty Northern and my friend got the taster flight, which was well-enjoyed in the trendy little pub.
Once finally inside the Klondike, it was another 30 minutes for food. At this point, I could’ve eaten an entire cow, but instead my delicious half rack ribs arrived. It was devoured very inelegantly, with sauce over my face, clothes and at some points the waitress giggling at me with my paper napkin tucked into my t-shirt and me sucking the meat from the rib bones. I have no shame when it comes to eating ribs!
As we waddled home with our meat-filled bellies, it was time to say goodbye and off she left.
Thursday was a thoroughly entertaining evening with a pit stop to check out the Fireweed Community Market in Shipyards Park. Walking around the tiny food stalls with everything from Syrian foods to East Indian, the hunger set in. We headed to The Miner’s Daughter (next to the Dirty Northern Pub) for our dinner. The trendy place served my salmon burger on a wooden board and a tad overfilled iced-boozy sangria. It was tasty, but a bit expensive, and, feeling a bit too uncool for the scene we headed to Baked Café for the comedy show.
It was full evening, and the show was actually quite funny with a few of the locals who were game enough to participate. At one point I was crying with laughter, which is always a sign of a good show.
The weekend was rolling around and I was excited because I was doing my first Yukon Search and Rescue training weekend. After work, I packed my van and headed off to Pine Lake near Haines Junction.
The drive was incredible. I had not been this far west or north from Whitehorse. And the incredible mountain views were stunning. With only minute worries, such as my fuel gauge randomly dropping to empty on my journey, I made it alive and found the Yukon Search and Rescue camping spots.
Friday evening was spent meeting people involved, eating pizza and enjoying being out in nature.
Saturday morning rolled on and it was lashing rain. What a joy for helicopter rescue training!
We headed to Trans North air field, who were running the training. It was an incredible experience, as I had never been in or near a helicopter before. It was very effective to be able to feel, see and hear the effects that the helicopter would have in a real-life scenario. It was thoroughly enjoyable and productive training – although we were all wet and cold by the end.
At lunch we all huddled under the camping covers with a fire stove lit to dry us and keep us warm. The rain stopped – thank goodness – as we were about to start our boat rescue and incident command trainings. First up was the boat, and I was lucky enough to get to wear a giant, men’s large, orange onesie – just my colour!
And into the boat we went, practicing rescue techniques. I also got my first experience driving a boat – that was pretty fun!
By the evening, the sun was beaming down and after an amazing dinner around some quality people, it was another early night. In the morning was a practice search and rescue scenario, which involved walking through what can only be described as the Yukon jungle and the success of locating our “victim.”
Then, it was time for me to go, as I had another engagement on the way back to Whitehorse. I was using, again, my Yukon coupon booklet to get a 2-for-1 discount with Muktuk Adventures to do a 2-hour guided canoe trip down the Takhini River.
As I drive down the windy, gravel road, I arrive at a large number of kennels and sled dogs. If you don’t like dogs, do not go to Muktuk! It is the land of dogs and every adventure will have some pups along for the trip. I was greeted by friendly staff who let me cook my lunch on their stove and once my flat mate arrived, we walked down to the river to venture out on my first canoe trip.
The scenery was stunning and it was nice using my arm muscles for a change.
After two hours, though I was pretty knackered and was glad to finish the long, winding journey to the Takhini bridge. And back we went to Muktuk to collect our car and head home to Whitehorse.
It was an amazing weekend, although very tiring. It just shows how much you can do, see and explore in just one weekend!