Bill & Jim's Alaska Trip

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June 30

SS Klondike


Double Cabin

First Class Lounge

Reindeer Milk carton

Victoria brand oranges


Whitehorse 'Skyscraper'

Miles Canyon footbridge

Miles Canyon overlook

We took in the sights of Whitehorse today. A tour of the SS Kondike was the highlight. Steam-powered sternwheelers were the lifeblood of the Yukon before the highways were built. From the headwaters of the Yukon (a lake upstream from Whitehorse) to the Pacific Ocean, steamships carried ore, supplies, people and other goods to the cities as well as more remote locations.

The SS Klondike, built in 1937, plied the waters between Whitehorse and Dawson City. Having lain neglected for 15 years after being retired in 1955, Parks Canada purchased the ship and moved it to its present location for restoration. Unfortunately, a highway bridge had been built between the boatyard and the desired location. Parks Canada employed three Caterpillar bulldozers to drag the ship down 2nd Avenue. To spare the pavement, the 'dozers drove over old tires. The boat was rolled on logs placed under the hull, lubricated with Palmolive soap flakes.

Parks Canada has restored the ship to its late 1930's condition. They have stocked it with fuel (4-foot-long logs of firewood) and shipping cartons for typical goods (including Borden's Condensed Reindeer Milk and Victoria brand citrus fruit). The cabins have even been outfitted with travelers' items.

After that, we took a drive to Miles Canyon to look at one of the rapid parts of the Yukon River. The water runs very fast and deep through the canyon. There is a suspension footbridge over the river here as well as a pullout on the road to the boat dock (where the MV Schwatka loads to take people up the river through the canyon) overlooking the canyon and the footbridge.
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