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Saturday, 6 August 2011
Aug 5 Day 35 Friday Carmacks to Whitehorse YT
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It was a short 111 miles to Whitehorse so we had time to shop and look around. A carton of 12 cans of Coke at the General Store in Carmacks last evening was $12. Today at Walmart in Whitehorse, just $4; it paid to wait. Mavis favorite place today was Murdock's in downtown.  I chose the S.S. Klondike. This paddlewheel steamer ran from Whitehorse downstream to Dawson City and during WWII on to Eagle in Alaska. It carried passengers and freight. On the return trips it was loaded up with silver ore at Stewart Crossing. Its last run was in 1959. In 1966 it was donated to the government and moved to its current site on the waterfront. Unfortunately a new bridge had been built which was too low to allow the vessel to pass under. It was hauled by 4 bulldozers on a steel frame along the main street sliding on slightly dampened Palmolive Princess soap flakes.  It is one of the best restored ships I have been on and the tour guide was excellent. She knew her stuff. For example; the ship cruised at 13 knots. The current in the Yukon River averages 5 kts so it went to Dawson at 18 kts, but came back at only 8 kts. It cost more to ride back because it took 3 nights aboard vs 1 night going downstream. Now, if it should run aground it could take 36 hours to get unstuck. In the worst case they used winches to anchors on the shore plus they could raise the bow with stud poles and let the river wash away the gravel under the boat. The S.S. Klondike is a National Historic Site operated by Parks Canada.   For the first time since we got back to Canada, the Verizon Global data service operated.

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Posted on 08/06/2011 3:22 AM by Bob Duthie
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