September 22, 2012: In Whitehorse, Yukon. The Klondike isn’t open for tours–too late in the season, but we walked around it and read informational signs. The Klondike took its last run in 1955, was dry docked, donated to the federal government in 1959, and in 1966 moved to its present location from the shipyard. The move took 12 people, 3 weeks, 3 bulldozers, and 8 tons of Palmolive Princess soap flakes, slightly dampened. We saw the photo of the Klondike being pulled (and pushed?) down the street in Whitehorse, but it didn’t show soapsuds. Wonder how long it took to wash all that soap away!
Postscript: Sunday morning we worshipped at Christ Church Cathedral in Whitehorse. The baptism of 4-year-old Adam Lazurus Charlie-Kyikavichik was celebrated after the service by dinner served by his family including caribou-and-rice soup—our first-ever taste of caribou, a delicious soup—and bannock bread, which has the same name (in English) as a Scottish bread. Adam’s aunt (if I remember correctly) told me it can be either baked or fried and she made it one way, another relative made it the other, and I don’t know which one we ate. If it was fried, it wasn’t soaked in fat. I wish I had asked what kind of flour and seasoning they use.
We sat across the table from a lady about my age; we told her we’d walked around the Klondike and she told us her father was one of the men who helped move it and she remembered the excitement about the move—and the soap. What a treat to be so close to a tidbit of history like that!
Whitehorse is no fun to drive in–glad we’re not in the main tourist season. But the paved walk along the Yukon River is lovely and most of what we want to see is accessible from that walk, so we park in the visitor’s center and walk from there.