We stopped at several historical sites and cultural centres on this day.
We followed the Klondike
Highway from Whitehorse as we made our way to Dawson City. There is so much history on these roads so we
made several stops to see some of the stories left behind.
|Montague Roadhouse Historic Site|
The government required a
route to connect Whitehorse with Dawson Creek so mail and supplies could be
delivered. In 1902 the Overland Trail
was built, it was 330 kilometers (205 mi) long and would take a carriage five
days to complete the route.
The Montague Roadhouse was one of many stage posts on the Overland Trail. They varied in their services to the travellers but they usually all had stables, meals and accommodations.
|Montague Roadhouse remains|
This is actually the
third roadhouse built at this site. The
original was built in 1900 but burnt down, the second one also burnt down in
1909. This one was built in 1915 and operated until the 1950’s, is still
standing but only outside walls of it are left.
One of the other
roadhouses on the Overland Trail was at Carmacks. Stage drivers would change
their horses every 30 – 45 km (approx. 20-30 miles) along the way and Carmacks
was a major stop for them.
One of the regular stops
made by the sternwheelers was at Carmacks in summer. To meet the high demand for wood needed for
their steam engines, this meant work for many.
Family wood camps were located every 35-65 km ( approx. 20-40 miles) along
the Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City, and they supported
themselves by selling the wood until the 1950’s when sternwheelers were no
longer used to transport the supplies.
|Five Finger Rapids|
There are four islands
that divide the river into five channels.
Only one of these narrow channels is passable. This created very difficult obstacles for the
many travellers on the Yukon River when the gold rush was happening but to this
day is a challenge. There were steps and
a path down to the river but we chose not to go, I think it was about 3 km round trip and many
more things to see.
|Mammoth tusks at Tage Cho Hudan Cultural Center |
We stopped to have a look
around this Cultural Center. They had so
many original things made from animal pelts like rabbit-skin blankets, moose-skin
clothing and boats even a salmon-skin dog pack!
A walk out behind looked like a camp may have looked including a
pole-house, drying racks and a moose-skin shelter. This centre has the only mammoth snare in the
Pelly Crossing is home to
the Selkirk People. In their old
beliefs, it was the crow that made the world, and when he made people, he
divided everyone into clans, Crow and Wolf.
To this day, the Selkirk Band government is elected on their clan system
of the Wolf and Crow.
This is a traditional
high cache used to store food and supplies out of the reach of animals,
restored and moved here for display.
They were built to about five feet high and the poles were usually
wrapped with tin to keep the little creatures from climbing up to the
cache. Many fish camps of the Selkirk
band use these to this day.
|Gray Jay at Moose Creek Provincial Park|
We stayed in the Moose
Lake Provincial Park that night and enjoyed a walk down to the creek after
dinner but our happy hour visitor was one of many gray jays we met along the
way. It takes nothing to get their
attention so a few scattered treats was all it took. They’re known to even land
on your hand, and although that photo didn’t happen, they did take several
pieces from Keith’s hand.
The history of this land
and its people is so very fascinating.
It is wonderful to be able to learn this in such an interesting way and
great to know that some of their old beliefs, customs and traditions are still
being carried on today.