I’m in a hotel by the airport in Whitehorse, cheapest place I could find that wasn’t my own tent again. The last night I was in the tent it rained all night… luckily my tarp placement over the tent kept everything fine and just draping a sheet between the tent and the fly kept out some of the cold gusts. Here in Whitehorse it has rained on and off the last three days with the same predicted for the entire region until I leave the north on Monday.
My view is heavy bellied clouds and a lot swollen with vehicles… a used car lot, Yukon style. At any rate, it’s ugly but impersonal. I enjoyed my three days here. I have had a whole little city with walking trails to explore.
Whitehorse was first set in motion from the sustainable life of a Yukon First Nation fishery with the Gold Rush (late 1800s) then it quieted down until the Alcan Highway was built, 75 years ago. Since then it has gentrified and destroyed its salmon run with the hydro plant south of town. The narrative of the destruction of a way of life is barely visible and the clout of it is so subterranean that it dismisses the past in preference for what is now just a whisper of recall.
The town has a huge Salvation Army franchise and only one other branded US corporation, the Starbucks, otherwise there is a lot to recommend the town like a wonderful walking trail by the Yukon River. I’ve loved the workers memorial,
the Alpine Bakery, the glass blowing Lumel Studios, the Baked coffee shop across from the Railway station… Things are expensive so I’ve had no dinners out but I’ve scoured the town for what jumps out at me to check out and that has been mostly interesting except for almost hitting a pedestrian.
Yesterday I was excited to go to a NO Hate Rally but I went to the wrong Teepee pole so have no idea how it went. It saddened me to read that the people who lived in the section of town (Peace Park) where I was (=Whiskey Flats) had had their homes bulldozed one day without notice and now the Friendship Pole given by a collection of First Nations groups stood there considering things while I waited in the rain for folks to show up. The pole below is where the rally ended up being… I have no idea how it went but I was on pins and needles all evening waiting to hear how Orien was in Phoenix where she had been a Legal Observer at the Trump rally.
This is the Other Teepee–
Right after my pole time I saw the destruction of the hydroelectric dam to the local wild salmon population and the two things together set me into a sad place. (I went to the fish ladder where a handful of exhausted fishery and wild salmon waited at the base of the ladder after their 1500 mile swim from the Bering Sea.)
Today, due to a different mix of wanderings, was better and tomorrow I move on very gradually toward Skagway. Here’s some other photos of the “cute” aspects of the town–
The car is charging up (I did find free charging at the high school but did not want to sit there long enough to use it so I’m charging for a charge here at the hotel.)
This won’t be the last time I meet the Gold Rush iconography but I’m soured to it and wonder what it would take to get these statues taken down? Food for thought.