To Dawson City for the Yukon River Quest Finish: Part 2

Part 2 of the 3-part series about my trip to Dawson City following the Yukon River Quest, and back to Whitehorse, covers more exploration of Dawson, and more race arrivals.

My next destination after leaving the finish line at 8:40 pm on Friday (see Part 1) was the cemeteries high on the hillside overlooking Dawson. The area reserved for members of the Yukon Order of Pioneers is of particular interest to me.
YOOP cemetery at Dawson City, Yukon
Grave markers range from very simple to quirky to very nice modern types.
North West Mounted Police
I always visit the police section, where most of the 21 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and its antecedents, the North West Mounted Police and Royal North West Mounted Police, who have been killed in the line of duty, are buried. See the Yukon Peace Officer Honour Roll for more information about them.
Police cemetery in Dawson City, Yukon
While an enormous amount of restoration work has been done throughout the cemetery complex (and a couple of others closer to town), many graves are dilapidated. This once-lovely example of a tinsmith’s art marks the grave of John Frank, who died on May 15, 1903.
Tin grave marker above Dawson City, Yukon
The two graves below have no markings noting who was buried there …
grave marker above Dawson City, Yukon
grave marker above Dawson City, Yukon
I drove up the Midnight Dome to see the Midnight Sun, but got sidetracked just before reaching the summit, and went up the now-unmarked Fire Tower Road, which goes much higher than the Dome Road.
Fire Tower Road above Dawson City, Yukon
The view to the north from the top of the Fire Tower Road, at 9:58 pm.
The view to the north from the top of the Fire Tower Road, at 9:58 pm - in The Land of the Midnight Sun
Starting back down to the main road at 10:10 pm. Even after 25 years of seeing it, this scene still thrills me deeply.
The Yukon River at 10:10 pm - in The Land of the Midnight Sun
The view to the southwest from the Midnight Dome, looking up the Yukon River with Dawson City right below.
View from the Midnight Dome at Dawson
I was expecting my guys to arrive anytime after 06:00 Saturday, so was in bed just after 11 pm and up at 05:00. It was a chilly morning with a bit of fog still hanging when I shot this at 05:48 on the walk over to the finish line.
A chilly summer morning in Dawson City, Yukon
Here’s a unique little houseboat moored in the river.
Houseboat/cabin on the Yukon River
Working and playing on the Yukon River – the Amelia Lupine heads upriver with a load of mining equipment, and Alex Campbell and Scott Whitmore (team #48) arrive in 23rd place in the River Quest.
Working and playing on the Yukon River
By 07:00 the collection of boats on the beach was looking good.
Boats at the Yukon River Quest finish line
Team Sunshine, from Japan, arrives in 24th place (3rd in the 8-boat Voyageur class), at 07:04.
Team Sunshine arrives at the Yukon River Quest finish line
The reactions among Team Sunshine members to reaching the finish line ranged from tears to jubilation.
Team Sunshine at the Yukon River Quest finish line
Race volunteers help Al Ramey and Jolaine Percival, from Ladysmith, BC, following their 25th-place finish, 90 seconds behind Team Sunshine. Their time from Whitehorse was 57 hours, 7 minutes, 36 seconds.
Team BC Banzai at the Yukon River Quest finish line
While I went back to the hotel to bring my team’s truck down to the river, I missed the arrival of Voyageur Team Whoa and my friend Yvonne Kinsey, on the left, but it was great to see her and the team getting their stuff organized.
Team Whoa at the Yukon River Quest finish line
Team Whoa wasted no time in getting their canoe loaded onto a custom trailer and heading off for well-deserved sleep.
Team Whoa at the Yukon River Quest finish line
A better look at that funky little houseboat. I’d be willing to bet that the occupant speaks German 🙂
Houseboat/cabin on the Yukon River
My adopted team – John McDonald from Vancouver and Brent Coyne from Kelowna – arrives in 29th position, and can still smile!
John McDonald from Vancouver and Brent Coyne from Kelowna arrive at the Yukon River Quest finish line
It takes some adjusting to land, and a while to get the adrenalin buzz off.
John McDonald from Vancouver and Brent Coyne from Kelowna at the Yukon River Quest finish line
One of the first duties for many paddlers is to phone home.
By 09:00 the beach was getting to be quite full. That’s team #49, “A55”, arriving in 31st place. What a glorious morning to see Dawson for the first time!
Yukon River Quest finish line
Thanks to one of the many interpretive signs along the waterfront, we can see what the Yukon River Quest finish line looked like in 1898!
Yukon River Quest finish line in 1898

As they hadn’t planned on getting to Dawson so quickly, the guys had no hotel reservations for a couple of days, but while they rested in my room, I was able, in a very full town, to find them a room at the Westmark. Once they were settled, I had another couple of hours to wander before catching the shuttle to the airport.

A prospector down on the riverbank with his faithful little husky helping guard his rockerbox. My little buddy Nanook hadn’t been travelling with me for a while, so I decided he should get out and see some more of the world on this trip 🙂
Nanook guarding a prospector's rockerbox in Dawson City
This incredibly detailed model of a gold dredge at the Visitor Reception Centre fascinates me.
Incredibly detailed model of a gold dredge
Also at the Visitor Reception Centre, Nanook checked out some climbing opportunities.
On the way back to the Eldorado Hotel for an early lunch, I got some more shots of the Westminster Hotel, “Romance Capital of the Yukon”. In an overnight sorta way!
The Westminster Hotel, Romance Capital of the Yukon
Dawson City really is a photographer’s gold mine. Cathy and I have decided that we want to spend a week here in the very near future, hopefully in our new motorhome.
Antique stove in a Dawson City yard
To finish off, an HDR image of the most famous building in Dawson, Strait’s Auction House, often called the Ammunition Store.
Strait's Auction House, often called the Ammunition Store


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