September 22, 2012
We wanted to go through Dawson City and see Robert Service’s cabin and listen to his poetry recited there, but it was a few hundred miles farther and didn’t fit either time or budget, so we satisfied ourselves by camping at Lake Laberge about 30 miles north of Whitehorse on the Yukon 2 highway. It’s an important boat launch for fishermen; most of the RV’s pulled out before evening, so they had either spent just the weekend there and had to get home to work/school on Monday, or they were there for the day only. There were several others at the campground all night, but it certainly wasn’t crowded. There aren’t any Robert Service signs; just our knowing that he used the name, changing it to “LaBarge” for rhyme. Skus read to me, as we settled into our cozy bed,
“There are strange things done ‘neath the midnight sun,
But the strangest it ever did see,
Was the night on the marge of Lake LaBarge
That I cremated Sam McGee.”
It doesn’t matter that our lamp isn’t very bright—he has most of it memorized. He’ll recite it for the grandchildren when we tell them about our trip.