A couple days ago, this city girl got on a plane to the Great ‘White’ North. I say ‘White’ because, well it’s summer, and right now, it’s mostly the Great ‘Green’ North. Still spectacularly beautiful though. It’s so… Open. Or, as the Travel Yukon tagline says: Larger Than Life.
My flight was me and a very large Swiss tour group that comprised of very active senior citizens. Despite this, the plane was not full and I had not only the rare treat of a window seat (a battle I tend to lose with my pilot husband), but the entire row to myself. I must say, the Swiss looked, as most European tourists tend to look, very active and not their ages. Our pilot (who, during meal distribution, I randomly found out, is gluten-free) announced our descent and all of a sudden, there was all of this amazing landscape. The Swiss were glued to their windows. It was pretty cute.
Sean met me at the arrivals gate of the very spare, yet efficient, Whitehorse Airport and brought me back the very cute heritage home of our friend Geoff and his girlfriend, Collyn. While the house must be crazy expensive to heat in the winter, it is really lovely. (Geoff moved to Whitehorse last year and Sean and I have been trying to get up here for a while. Sean and Geoff drove up last weekend, and I flew up a few days later. So worth my points! It’s beyond beautiful here.)
We strolled down Main Street and along the Yukon River waterfront, and after a ridiculously expensive lunch at a local diner (though the black cherry ice cream milkshake was worth the $6.00(!), it was still $6.00 – things tend to be a bit more expensive up here), I learned about guns. No joke. Geoff works in the local outdoors sports shop, and I was blown away (ha) by the variety of firearms that are available to someone who comes in and shows their license to carry. Even a pink camo rifle. (To me, that seems a bit indulgent and would stand out in the trees, but that’s just my opinion!) Hunting season just started, so business is fairly brisk. There are also a lot of Canadian military in town right now for training (I think it was called Op Anook?…), so there’s lots of camo walking around.
Whitehorse was a Gold Rush city – a topic I know I studied in History class in high school, but I am rusty. A refresher at the museum is in order, I think. I got a bit of a refresher when Sean and I went for a hike in Miles Canyon yesterday. It is the site where Canyon City used to be during the Gold Rush, before the railway made it obsolete. In case you are curious, click here for the Wikipedia notes.
My favourite part of Miles Canyon? The stunning turquoise-blue colour. That, and the quiet of being in such a wide open space. Chipmunks make their weird chipmunk trilling noise (so bizarre!) and birds chirp, but other than that… Nothing. It’s pretty damn great when you are used to hearing horns honking, people yakking on their smart phones, and other miscellaneous noise.
There is a suspension bridge across the canyon that – at least for me when I cross a suspension bridge – makes the impact of such a wonder of nature, that much bigger. It’s a very real moment to stand on a swaying bridge a mile above the water and look at something so breathtaking. Scary, but real.
Something also scary (well not scary, but definitely rare) and real? I hung the wash out to dry this morning. Such a simple, and oddly relaxing task… We did laundry yesterday but as we are on the basement level, our load was still damp on the rack. And so, I hauled a basket out to the yard, stood on the picnic table, and hung the wash on the line. I haven’t done that since I was a kid and it made me miss my Granny. Amazing the nice memories that can be brought forward in your brain by the simple act of holding a clothes pin…
In driving news, I’m learning to drive Sean’s car today. Should be entertaining. Maybe I should have done an extra Sun Salutation this morning. 😉