Bill & Deanie's Trip To Alaska 2012

Home Page June 16th June 17th

Today we used up our 40 mgs of Internet time in about 30 min! We are getting email on the phone. Our daughter, Tara is going to have labor induced today as she is past her due date. They are having a daughter so this will mean 2 girls and a boy. We are so happy for them!

We started our tour day at Dredge #4. This is the largest wooden hulled bucket line gold dredge in North America. Built in 1912 for the Canadian Klondike Mining Company’s claim on Bonanza Creek. The dredge was shut down in 1960 and pulled from the muck in 1992. The dredge would have been in pretty good shape, much as the last crew left it some 32 yrs earlier. The only problem was there had been a dam just upstream from the dredge’s last location. The dam broke (due to poor maintenance) and the dredge was turned completely around and listed severely. Parks Canada bought the dredge for $1. They have been restoring it since 1992.

The dredge worked in a man made pond. It took 4 operators to run the entire thing. The dredge was capable of digging some 60 ft down to bedrock. This was the most likely place to find the placer gold that lies in the valleys around Dawson City.

Next we went to see the SS Keno. The SS Keno was the last steamer to run the Yukon River. The route was from Whitehorse to Dawson City and back. The last trip of the SS Keno occurred in 1960, five years after the completion of the road. We watched a 25 min video that was taken during the last trip from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Very interesting and glad someone took the time to record such an historical event. She is only one of two riverboats to survive in the Yukon.

We went to the Dawson City Library to get online and upload the June 13 & 14 trip log. I was given 30 min and I never got the images uploaded! Deanie got an additional 30 min (ea person only gets 30 min a day) and I still didn’t get everything (images) uploaded! Really slow.

Last tour of the day was a guided walk of Dawson City. A nice Parks Canada lady (dressed in period outfit) conducted the tour. There were quite a number of people in the group. At one point she asked if anyone had been to Dawson City before. Only Deanie and I indicated we had been. The tour was to bring to life the hardy entrepreneurs who came to Dawson to “mine” the miners. Of the 100,000 who started the trip to “gold country” 70% saw their big dreams die due to illness and hardships or just bad luck! Some of those coming were smart enough to turn their “bad luck” into a different type of gold. They started bars, hardware stores, mail services, brothels, banks, any sort of service the miners needed. The miners paid very high prices for these services (fresh eggs in the spring went for $1.00 each).

Parks Canada has done a terrific job of restoring some properties and stabilizing and improving many more buildings. People still dream of striking it rich in the Klondike “gold country”.

 

June 16 at Dawson City, YT.
 
 
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(If you don't see the "blue line" grab the map and pull it to the left or right and the line will appear - Also the little minus on the left side zooms you out and the plus zooms you in)

 

Dredge #4.  The bubble on the right side is a hull reconstruction project being done by Canada Parks. 
   
This is the docent describing the workings of one of the shovels on the dredge.  They each weighed over 2 tons and they held 1 ton of material. 
   
   
Looking out the back of the dredge.  These are two of the anchors.  I would call them pilings as they would drive them into the pond's bottom and use that leverage to move the dredge to the left and right.  This is why the tailings are humps that look like giant worms.
   
This clearly shows the entire operation of the dredge.  First step on the left and the remains on the right.
   
The SS Keno.  After many years of working the river, it now sits on the banks of the Yukon.
   
Deanie standing on the deck of the SS Keno. 
   
One of the store fronts here in Dawson City.
Our walking tour included the various Gold Rush businesses that were here in Dawson.  The little buildings you see here (on left) were called "cribs".  An "entreprenuial lady" Ruby came to Dawson and setup "nightly entertainment" for the men.  If the little window's shade was up business was open.  If the shade was down, business was closed!
   
This was our docent during our tour of downtown Dawson.  She was iexplaining the various drinks that gained fame in Dawson.  One was called the "ice worm" drink.  I will let you look it up as for the explaination she gave. Another still famous drink is the Toe cocktail.
   
We had to have a picture of the "tourist" behind the bar!
   
Another note worthy building here in Dawson City.  Lots of hotels for the weary miners in town to spend their gold.
   
What we are looking forward to on the "Top of the World Highway"!
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