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The world’s largest weathervane, an actual Douglas DC-3 aircraft, sits on a pedestal in front of the Yukon Transportation Museum. It’s an interesting sight made more impressive by the fact that the plane slowly and quietly moves, always with her nose pointed into the wind. The plane is so finely balanced that even a 5 knot wind will turn her. I made a point of watching over a period of several days and she always seemed pointed in a slightly different direction.
The idea for this weathervane belongs to the The Yukon Flying Club (which morphed into the the Yukon Transporation Museum). In 1977, members of the Club started a multiyear project to create what was to become …
I enjoy transportation and car museums, so it’s no surprise that I thought this was one of the most interesting places to visit in Whitehorse. The museum is mostly housed in a large building with several wings, but also spreads onto the surrounding grounds. The Yukon is large territory, but is sparsely populated. The museum focuses on those things that made the Yukon Territory what it is today, so there is a heavy emphasis of large machinery, trucks and airplanes — the type of equipment needed to get around in and develop a wild and frozen land. But the collection goes beyond that.
The Museum tells some of the stories of the Yukon’s development, especially of the very important Klondike Gold Rush. This …
One of the greatest construction achievements of the 20th century was the building of the Alaska Highway (a.k.a. the Alaska-Canadian or ALCAN highway).
After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and showed growing interest in the Alaskan coast, the US government made construction of a road leading from the lower 48 states into Alaska a top priority. Up to that point in time, the most common route of entry to Alaska was by boat, which was considered threatened by Japanese submarines (a threat which in reality did not materialize).
The Alaska Highway begins in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and ends in Delta Junction, Alaska, passing through Whitehorse in the Yukon territory. The route, when constructed, was 1700 miles (2700 km …
While I love reading whenever I find the time, I’ve never been much of a fan of poetry, with two exceptions — the writing of Rudyard Kipling and (the man featured in today’s Pic of the Day) Robert W. Service.
Robert Service was born in England and began writing poems as a child, dreaming of a life of exploration and adventure, and of one day being a cowboy in Western Canada. He emigrated to Canada in 1895, although he never became a cowboy.
Service is well know to Canadians because of his writing about life in Canada’s Yukon territory during the Klondike Goldrush. He moved to the Yukon during this colorful period in history and loved the characters he met and heard …
Miles Canyon is well known to students of the Klondike Goldrush. It was here that the Yukon River began a stretch of rough and dangerous water, the Miles Canyon Rapids and shortly thereafter the Whitehorse Rapids. Many of the home made boats and rafts constructed by the would-be gold prospectors were destroyed or over-turned in these rapids, and many people lost their lives here. The presence of these rapids catalyzed the formation of the city of Whitehorse as a access point to the Yukon River (down-river from these rapids) and Dawson City.
A hydroelectric plant and dam have since been built near the site of the Whitehorse Rapids, which resulted in flooding and effacement of the Whitehorse Rapids and to a …
Canada’s Yukon territory is well know for its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor recreation. It’s a very sparsely populated region (one human for every 2 moose), but there are a few interesting indoor sites to visit including this one, which I think is the best in the territory.
Why was Beringia not covered with ice? Because while it was cold, it was too dry. The coastal mountains of Alaska so sheltered the interior of Alaska and the Yukon from moisture that there was not enough precipitation here to create a glacier. Because of thick ice sheets on the continents, the ocean levels were lowered and a land bridge appeared which allowed migration of people and animals between Asia and North …
As many of you know, I like to collect photos of signage during my travels. Looking for signs helps me study the destination I’m visiting more carefully than I otherwise might have, and often tells me a lot about the nature of the city I’m visiting.
Whitehorse is the Yukon’s only city and the center of the territory’s commerce, tourism and government. And while it is a relatively young city, it dates to the Klondike Gold Rush, a most colorful and interesting period in history.
Here are some of the signs I encountered during my recent trip to northern Canada.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)
Erected near the public safety building on Two-Mile hill in Whitehorse is a horse crafted by Yukon artist Daphne Mennel. You’ll see it as you drive into the city from the airport. The piece is made of what appears to be scrap metal, which it is, but the community prides itself that all of the horse’s components were donated by Yukon residents. For example, the magnificent tail is made from electrical cable donated by Yukon Electric , with many other interesting building blocks ranging from a frying pan, an anvil, a radiater, garden utensils and more.
The horse statue has a great view of the city and surrounding hills. To me it symbolizes the spirit of the people of the …