This is probably going to be a year with no cruises for us, but as regular readers have noticed, I am still getting out and about a lot. Yesterday afternoon I was at the Whitehorse airport to meet 14 people from New Zealand, and today we begin an 11-day tour that ends in Seward, Alaska, where they board the Celebrity Millennium for a 7-night cruise to Vancouver (it’s 11 days for them, 12 for me because then I drive back to Whitehorse on a different route).
I hired on with Ruby Range Adventure to do this one tour, which is being run by a company that I’ve worked for every year since about 2000 – Maher Tours of Wellington, New Zealand. I simply love traveling with “Kiwis”, and that this is going be another excellent tour was proven last night when Cathy and I joined them for dinner at Arizona Charlie’s restaurant.
My day started at 9:00 yesterday morning when I picked up the bus to make sure that everything is in order for the trip. I took it down to the car wash to clean it better, got the interior detailed, then had a couple of hours to spare before meeting the group’s Air Canada Jazz flight, so went over to Wickstrom Road to get a bird’s-eye view of some of the many changes occurring in Whitehorse. The first photo shows a location that’s changing a lot, with The Wharf being built on the riverbank, and the steel skeleton of 3-storey office building going up a block behind it.
A project that’s now nearing completion is the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, a First Nations cultural center that will also house the Whitehorse Public Library.
I was at the airport to meet the 1:40 flight. It’s very easy to find 14 people at our little airport, and getting 14 suitcases onto the bus was quick and easy. I then took them on a short tour around Whitehorse, starting at Miles Canyon, which is the reason that Whitehorse was born. Then it was over to the SS Klondike.
While the group was touring the boat, their escort for the entire 24 day trip, Jo Walker, and I took their luggage over to the Westmark Klondike Inn and got the luggage and room keys sorted out.
This is my little bus – quite a change from the full-size motorcoaches I drove for 13 years!
It got very, very warm yesterday (28.5°C or 83.3°F according to Environment Canada, so everyone was happy to be at the hotel at 5:00. That’s a very brief look at a community that it’s easy to spend several days touring in, but at least everyone has a feel for what the Yukon’s capital is like before heading off into the wilderness today. In about 4 hours we leave for Dawson City, still my favourite community in the North.