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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Morning folks. Even though the little wireless thingy on the bottom right is telling me that there is no signal, and the speed is 1.0 Mbps ( how does that work?), I seem to be on here. I did try it at the laundromat and it was no better, so I'm in my usual spot in the Bear, working on my usual cup o' joe.

I should explain what I think happened yesterday, and the night before, when I was so out of it. I'd forgotten about Thursday being one of the days I take my "head-pills". Normally if I get a reaction to them I just get real sick, but this time I felt not too bad, but was totally disoriented. It was a good lesson really, and one to remember if I'm travelling, because if I'd been driving yesterday I probably would have had the Bear up a tree.

For that reason I didn't go to the gold dredge yesterday, but no matter, I'm here long enough to do that and many other things before I leave. I'm only starting day 3, with 27 to go, which is good because the more I learn the more I want to learn.

Such an interesting place rich with history. I've sort of made friends with a lady at the museum that came here many years ago as a nurse. So when I want to know more about whatever I've just explored I go see her.

I found this interesting. The Klondike gold rush started in 1896, and by 1898 the population of Dawson City was 40,000. Today the year-round population is 1800. Hey, where did everybody go? They're still mucking for gold here, but with modern machinery it is not so labor intensive.

Before I go further and risk losing everything, I'll try posting this and if it works I'll come back later with some pics of the machinery they used back then. Wish me luck, here goes.

Well, that seems to have worked, so here's the pics I mentioned:

Ah poop! Had them up and captioned, then lost the connection. Hope you guys aren't getting tired of this, because I'm okay with it, besides what else would I be doing at 4 in the morning, nobody wants to come out and play. Wait...hey museum lady...heh heh.

Try again, got my fingers, legs, and eyes crossed.

Here's an example of the primitive machinery they used to dig the truly awe-inspiring mountains of rock up here.

With today's modern dozers, like a D11 Cat, being able to level a large building with hardly a grunt, can you imagine what this poor little thing could do. Hell, I think I could push more dirt with the Bear.

This is what they used for a dump truck to build their roads.

How would you like to lay 70 miles of this wooden "pipe" by hand?

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 3:53 AM


Friday, June 29, 2007

Morning folks. Well, here we are, first post from my new home, Guggieville. Don't know the origin, or background, of that name but I'll find out today. I must have settled in because I just got up a bit ago and noticed that I had gone to bed and left everything open. I know I was tired when I turned in, but holy smokes, even the door was open, except for the screen . All the windows open except for the screens, blinds up, table and chair still outside with the entertainment center still playing on low, lights on, etc. Hell, I even had to go outside to get my coffee cup.

Guess it's a safe place because everything's still intact, but I don't think I'll pull that stunt again. I remember having dinner, cleaning up, and lying on the couch, but that's it. Don't even remember going to bed, but that's where I found myself this morning, still flopped on top of he covers.

Although it was hotter than heck here yesterday, I was quite comfortable in the Bear without the A/C. The 15 amp service I have won't run the A/C, the 30 amp will run one, and the 50 amp will run both. Trouble is that each step up is another $150. So I thought I'd try what I have with all the awnings up (4), a bit of shade, and the way I'm parked in relation to the sun. It worked fine, plus I still have my generator for a back-up if needed, but it can't stay this hot much longer.

Internet access is another thing though, the signal is even worse here, but for some reason I seem to be able to get on even though most times it says no signal, or very low ( 1 Mpbs ). I've even had people sit outside my place that can't get on, so go figure.

Think I'll stick a few pics up and try to publish, and if it works I can come back later with a bit more. Hang with me, we'll figure it out.

Well, that didn't work. I'll try to publish just this. By the way Judles I haven't answered your mail because I can't get the Shaw site open. Again, we'll figure it out somehow. The manager said that it seems to work in the laundromat so that's maybe what I'll have to do until the signal is fixed.

Ah hell, the little thingy just popped up, I forgot to turn on the surge bar. Maybe that was the problem, or the fact that I've got to wake up. Sheesh!

Let's try some pics again:

I can't afford any more gold for you Judles, so I found you this boid house for your warblers.

Although if you want to come up here you can pan for some in this sluice box. You should be able to see the gold in the gravel here.

This is the type of Quartzy rock that is prevalent in this area, and as you know I'm sure, usually when you find quartz, you find gold.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 2:34 AM


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Morning folks, although I'm cheating a bit by starting this yesterday in case I run into the Blogger gremlins again. I really shouldn't blame Blogger because everyone here is having problems due to the very weak signal. At any rate, let's give it a try.

I mentioned that Baby Bear (the bike) is no longer with me so I should explain. I tinkered with the gears, sprockets, and chain so much that I had it running great. So great in fact that I was spending so much time on it that my knees started bothering me. I'd go off for a ride in the morning, and for the rest of the day I was almost limping.

One day at the campsite across the river I met a retired fellow, along with his son and grandson. He said every time I look over you're heading off on the bike, so I told him about my knees, and said that I'd like to find someone that could use it. The young fellow asked his Dad if he could take it. Well, duh! So the last time I saw the bike it was heading to Phoenix AZ, by way of Anchorage AK.

But I might see it again this fall, because the old fellow, after learning of my plans, invited me to park at his place outside of Phoenix if I go down that way. That is neat!

This morning I'll be moving over to the RV park next door, where I've rented a site for a month. I'm hoping that I have better luck on here, because there is so much to show and tell you about. Also the going out for a few days, then coming back in was wearing thin. Now I'll be able to plan my time a little better.

Health-wise I'm doing great. I still have the odd bad day, mostly from the "head-meds", but in general it's not anything that I'm not used to. Although I'm eating well, because of staying busy I've taken some weight off, almost back to fighting trim. But I think the main benefit of being up here for me is no stress. I'm where I want to be, and doing what I want to be doing.

Okay, enough about me, let's have some pictures.

The weather has been so hot here lately that this is considered a cloudy day. It popped over the hill, saw the temperature, and left.

This is an actual freight sled, pulled by dogs of course, that hauled goods from Whitehorse to here.

This shot I took in the museum, of the goods available in the General Store back then.

Another derelict paddle-wheeler on the Yukon River. That's the tinder box that burnt 1 1/2 cords, hand cut, per hour.

Just a shot of the interior of one.

Tomorrow another fellow and I are going to tour an old gold dredge about 9 miles out of town. Hopefully I'll get some good shots there. Once I get settled in my new home I'll try a post, so I might see you later today. Bye for now.

Update...12:45 pm

Well, I'm in my new home. I rented a site with just 15 amp service, which means I can't run the A/C, but with all my awnings out, the big Fantastik fan running, and a few scrawny shade trees, I'm OK. If it does get hotter than I can handle I can always fire up the generator and run both A/Cs long enough to cool things down.

Already have taken some neat pics here and will share them later. The WiFi is spotty but so far I'm the only RV in here that can get online. Let's hope it stays that way.

Se ya later today.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 2:04 AM


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Morning folks. I'm going to try real hard to keep my temper in check, but I just spent over 2 hours putting what I thought was a good post together, and other than the pics below, it's gone. I don't know whether it was because of the crappy signal here, something Blogger did, or what, but I don't have the heart to start over. I swear I could punch out a Kenworth right now, damn this is frustrating!

Basically I talked about how much I'm enjoying my time up here in the North, and how I'm thinking about staying put in an RV park for a month instead of this out and back, which is wearing thin. I also nattered about finding a home for Baby Bear, the bike, and why. I'll work it all in later, because I can't bring myself to re-typing 12 paragraphs right now. DAMN!

I don't even have the heart to caption these, but I'll try.

Heading up the Dempster it pays to be prepared, because as this sign says, it's a long way to help of any kind.

This is a shot, taken from a sign at the beginning of the road, of the Dempster in full bloom.

This shot I took at the entrance to the campsite at Tombstone, looking south. The road runs up through the hills in the background.

I took this inside the Dempster Interpretive Center. That's a Peregrine Falcon getting ready to attack a ptarmigan.

And finally at the home of The Great White Hunter.

Please excuse the whining. Also, for the late-comers, and because I wasn't due until today, please excuse the blog-whoring, but there is a post from yesterday just below.

I'll be back later today, if I can get on here, and let you know what I've decided to do about staying put in an RV park here for a month.

Update..11:45 am

Just got back from walking into town to mail a letter and pick up some groceries. Reminded me of the old joke about the fellow that asked the farmer how far it was into town. "Oh, about 2 miles as the crow flies". "Oh yeah, how about if the crow is walking and carrying 3 bags of groceries"? Thought I'd never get back.

Don't know how much to trust this getting out, so I'll back out and try to put some pics up later.

Update numero deux... 2 pm

Ah sheesh, not this stuff again. Hey! Put a cork in it.

Since I seem to be able to get on here I thought I'd give you the news now. For the next month you can call me Sourdough, instead of Sourpuss. I just rented a site at the park next door for a full month at, for this area, a reasonable price. Took a little finagling, but I got it done. They're actually real nice people, up here for the season from Saskatchewan to manage the park.

The big question now is how good the Wi-Fi signal is over there. Let's hope for the best, because I've got so much to show you and natter about.

Hope to stick a post up early in the morning before I move over.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 1:09 AM


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Morning folks. Back in town a day early because I had to concede victory to the mosquitoes. First time ever I've seen them so bad that even though I was completely covered, including a T-shirt tied around my head, they got up into my nose. I know I've got a good-sized honker, but DAMN!

Other than that pesky little problem the trip to Tombstone was great. Enjoyed the campsite, got lots of pics, and even a souvenir from one of my hikes. It's not a world-class specimen, but I brought back a set of Caribou antlers. One side has been chewed up by the critters, but still. I'll put a pic up later.

For now I'm going to settle in here at the RV park, a different one, and as before I'll be updating through the day until we're caught up with the natterin' and the pics.

Here's a few to get started:

This is where I just got back from. Heaven on earth!

This is where I stayed.

My site, with the Klondike river in the background.

We don't need no steenking Tombstone Explorer, right Bear?

Little Dempster Interpretive Center humor.

Hope you're all well, and I'll see you later today.

Update...5 pm.

I've been hours trying to get back online here. Of course they assured me the signal was strong. GRRR! At any rate I'll try this and hope it makes it.

Here's some more pics from the last excursion:

We finally got a little rain. Here are a couple of the boys that just came off the Dempster.

If you look at the top corners of his grill you'll see the damage from an encounter with a moose. That's what prompted him to put this skookum moose -humper bumper on his Peter-car.

Hey Ralphy, remember this place. The one-armed guy that I threatened to pull the other wing off of is no longer there. Too bad, I'll bet I would have got good service this time. A fellow from Inuvik is leasing it now.

Yum Yum!

Actual jail from Dawson City in 1910.

Not going to try any natterin' in case this doesn't make it. Signal should be stronger during the night ( I hope).

See ya in the morning.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 9:02 AM


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Morning folks. Well, I just crawled out of my lair, and have started priming the pump with some coffee. I usually inhale the first cup, then settle down as everything comes into focus.

My first thoughts this morning are where have the last two days gone. It doesn't matter whether I'm camping, in town, or moving from place to place, I'm enjoying this so much that I wish that I could freeze time.

The other thing that I'm enjoying the hell out of is being able to share this little odyssey I'm on with you guys, and the encouragement I get from you by your comments. One without the other would still be fine, but together they complete the package for me.

In a few short hours I'll start getting ready to head up to Tombstone. But first another shower, a little brekky, stow things so that they don't end up on the floor, dump my holding tanks, fill the other tanks ( yes, even the water this time ), last minute shopping, and on to the next adventure. My camera batteries are all charged up, along with the coach batteries, and I hope to have some nice shots to share when I come back to Dawson, probably in 4 or 5 days.

But first here are a few more from the ones I've taken around here:

This is the original Bank of Commerce where Robert Service worked. Hey partner, if you're going to wear shorts, get a pair that fit you. And what's with the color of those socks? Sheesh!

Yesterday I mentioned permafrost, and here is a shot of a bucket of dirt being dug out of a lot right behind where I'm sitting. When you embiggen you can see the chunks of ice. They will dig out the lot, fill it with proper "dirt", then start the building. It was well over 100F when I took that.

Alex seemed impressed with the mansion on the hill. Wonder how she'll feel about me now when she sees the only "mansion" I can afford? Hey, c'mon Alex, it's a start.

This is a shot of the ferry ramp on the other side of the river, also the start of the Top of the World Highway. The campground I was at, and that I'm returning to, is just off to the right along the river.

Finally, the birth home of Pierre Berton that I messed up the other day.

Well, there you have it guys. I've taken so many pictures, and will be taking so many more, that it would take forever to put them in any kind of order. So I'll just keep putting them up at random, and trust that they make some kind of sense.

Once again, thanks to all of you for allowing me to share. Wish me luck, and I'll probably see you next on Wednesday. Also, as always, take care of yourselves.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 4:06 AM


Friday, June 22, 2007

I had intended to put this latest walk-about up as an update to this morning's offering, but that would have meant too much scrolling down, so for what it's worth, here it is.

This first one is an example, of which there are many in town, of what happens when you build on permafrost. Although it is blistering hot here today you only have to go down about 1 1/2 feet to hit ice, and it goes as deep as 14 feet.

It was one-stop shopping here back in the day, you could get your horse shod while you bellied up to the bar.

When you got those things looked after you could slip next door for a little something for the missus for those long cold nights. For all the map work Jude has been doing I bought her a gift there that I guess falls into the unmentionable class. It's best that way, saves embarrassment.

I'm not sure who was less enthused, the horse or the driver. He was there when I went downtown, and hadn't moved when I came back.

This is what happens when a young bull-moose, in the background, challenges the dominant one for the attention of the ladies. They locked horns and both died.

It is super-hot here again today so I'm holed up in the Bear enjoying the A/C, even had a little power- nap. I'll make one more pass through town later this evening when it cools a bit, but won't do what I did last night. I hit the Casino at Diamond Tooth Gertie's. 'Nuff said!

I'll see you all in the morning before I leave for Tombstone Mountain.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 3:33 PM


Morning folks. Okay, enough teasing (see last post), here is what my next adventure is going to be, and let's hope that it doesn't turn out to be prophetic.

When I leave here, probably tomorrow or possibly Sunday, I am going to Tombstone Mountain. Yep, going to tempt fate. To get there I'll backtrack about 25 miles towards Whitehorse, then head up the Dempster Highway. That's the road that leads to Inuvik, NWT., and although I have been that far before by truck I'll not be going near that far with the Bear. In fact roundtrip from here is only about 135 miles.

There was a Park Ranger who checked the campground I just spent 4 days at on a twice daily basis, and after chatting with him a few times, and him recommending the campsite there, I decided to make this sidetrip.

I'll probably spend 4 or 5 days there, then return to Dawson, couple of days getting cleaned up etc., then back across the river for another 4 or 5 days at the last place, then back over here for another 2 day stay. By the time I get that done it will be time to start making my way home, slowly. Much more on the return trip later.

Other than a surprise dump of snow at Ralphy's, and the extreme daytime heat here, the weather so far on the trip has been perfect, and as far ahead as I can see it looks like it will continue to be nice. In fact if it did turn turn for a few days it wouldn't bother me a bit, give me a chance to catch my breath because I've been staying busy.

This morning it's (ugh) laundry time again, then down to the bank to throw my hat in the door. If it doesn't come flying back out I'll go in and further eat away at the grandkid's inheritance. Just kidding, but dreams can get costly, but worth every damn penny!

Here are some more pictures, again in no particular order:

Because there are a lot of bears in the area, some of the campgrounds have food caches like this for the tenters that don't have proper storage. Must admit that when I'm hiking around in the bush and hear a noise I do get a bit spooked, but so far lot's of bar stools, but no bears. I did see a neat Arctic Fox walk through my campsite one night, but wasn't quick enough with the camera.

When I was rigging up the Bear I thought about a car dolly to tow my baby along behind, and mentioned it to my bud Bill the Barber. Knowing him I think I found the one he was trying to get me to buy. KIDDING!. Not sure what this is, or was, just something I happened upon.

Here's one of the abandoned paddle-wheelers along the river. It turns out that there are actually 7 of them there, and rather than being "ship-wrecked" they were dry-docked and left to nature because they were no longer usable. This one plied the water between Dawson and Whitehorse, and would burn 1 1/2 cords of wood an hour, all cut by hand! I have many more that I'll put up over time.

Another derelict at the same spot.

Finally, this is Dawson from the other side of the river. If you embiggen you can see the little ferry just pulling away, and the lineup of RVs waiting, sometimes as long as 3 hours. The current is so strong he heads upriver, then masterfully works it across to the gravel ramp on this side.

There are just so many things to natter about, and I will over time, but the wireless signal is real weak right now, and if I have to mess with it better this much for now. I'll probably post again later today, and certainly in the morning before I leave.

Hope you're all well. Take care of each other, and I'll see you later.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 2:08 AM


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Well, look who's back from the wilds, Trucker Bob, or as how he's known until we get him into a shower, Pepe Le Pew!

Morning folks. Cut my time in the wilds by a day because I was running low on water, and was getting so rank even the skeeters wouldn't come near me. Every day the weather was so nice that I would go off hiking, and sweating, until finally it was clean up time. But what a time I had exploring over there. Got some great pictures of 3 shipwrecked paddle-wheelers I hiked to up the Yukon River that I'll put up later.

Wait til you hear of my next adventure, but first, scrub-a-dub-dub. Just got set up here at the same RV park I left on Sunday, all plugged in and back online.

See you all later today.

Update 1, 12:40 pm

There, that's better. Wasn't so bad after-all, it only took 2 sheets of sandpaper to get it all off. Some foo-foo shampoo and soap, a big ol' splash of smell-good, and I'm ready. Bring on the dancin' girls!

It's hotter than heck here right now, but I'm a cool dude sitting in the Bear with the A/C running. As I was showering and realizing where I was on the planet, I marveled at the conveniences these modern motorhomes afford one. Especially considering the harsh existence the people endured when this area was first settled. Feel very fortunate, for that, and oh so many other things.

Going to head downtown now, do a little shopping, buy a bottle of bubbly to have with dinner (steak and shrimp), and just marvel at where I am and what I'm doing.

Back later with some pictures, and a whole bunch of natterin'.

Update 2, 2:45 pm.

Just got back from shopping, and was I glad to see my ol' bud Alexander Keith waiting for me. Why you ask, because it is HOT! How hot?, well, take a look:

Going to cool off with a cold one (or two) and see you all later.

Update 3, a few cool ones (hic) later.

We can do the serious stuff in the morning, but now let's have a little fun. While walking along the river bank yesterday I saw a piece of driftwood that got my devilish mind to working. So after getting my pictures, on the way back I lugged this piece (it was much bigger) back to my campsite. After much sawing, and 2 hours of whittling, I had what I consider a great gag photo. The story unfolds:

Since none of you heifers that volunteered to ride shotgun showed up for duty, and also since it gets mighty lonely sitting by the campfire under the Midnight Sun by myself, I decided to hang out my shingle.

Unfortunately it didn't work out the way I had planned, and I ended up burning it. The amount of work I put into it was just good exercise that I didn't mind wasting, but the guy in the site beside me seemed put out. Wait, you don't think that....nah. Really?

That's the Yukon River through the trees in the background. I sat there for 4 days, and after leaving here for my next adventure, that I'll tell you about in the morning, I'm going back over there.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 10:26 AM


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Morning folks. Well, here I am up at my usual time, 3 am, feeling great, and with so many thoughts in my head. Oh, where to start? Before I begin I should mention that I'm thinking of staying here in this RV park for one more day, because I'm enjoying being back on here with you guys, and once I cross I'll be incommunicado until I come back over. We'll see.

Wandering around town here the last couple of days, soaking up the history, feeling the peace I've long sought, makes me realize how truly fortunate I am. To have wrestled Timmy to at least a draw, and finally reach my goal, humbles me. Over time I'll try to express what it all means to me, but for now just know that as I sit here in the Bear chatting with you, I'm at peace.

Okay, enough of the heavy stuff, show us some damn pictures! Ooh, feeling a little testy are we? Alright, in no particular order, here's a few:

On Friday I mentioned to Big Dave that I was getting tired of my own cooking, and was going out for dinner. This is where I went. Feeling adventurous I ordered the Artic Char Quesadilla with a Lime Margarita (real Yukon fare). I realize that it is tourist season, but I'd have been better off to stay at home and have a can of sardines and a glass of Gatorade. Lord!

This is the cabin of Jack London, who wrote, among other things, The Call of the Wild.

For my Canadian friends, this is the birth home of Pierre Berton. Should have stood further back I know, but for the price, that's what you get. It's just a few hundred feet from both Robert Service's and Jack London's. Oops, where did the picture go? Oh well, I'll put it up later. Sorry.

Finding this beautiful home in the same area blew me away. Especially when I learned that it is owned by a single retired female schoolteacher. Now do you know why I'd like to live here? KIDDING!

Check out the mural on the back of this kick-ass motorhome. Beautiful! These folks are from Mt. Rainier WA.

People arrive here in all kinds of "RVs". I'll bet this fellow from Minnesota got better gas mileage than I did.

So there you have it guys, my offering for today. If you don't hear from me later today, or in the morning, it will simply mean that I've gone camping and will be back in 5 or 6 days. If you haven't already read the previous post, please do so, because it is special to me. Thanks.

Take care of yourselves, and I'll see you soon.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 3:33 AM


Saturday, June 16, 2007

You guys that followed along with me last summer know how much it meant to me when I finally reached Cape Spear NFLD. As important as that was to me at the time, it in someways pales in comparison to what I just did here in Dawson City.

Thanks to a wonderful couple from Prince George B.C., who share an interest, I just returned from visiting Robert Service's Cabin. No matter what else happens on this trip, in general or to me personally, this is the highlight. I won't go on, but you all know of my feelings for his work.

So here, in no particular order, are some pictures of where he did a lot of his writing.

The cabin, or in my mind at least, the Shrine.

His desk

His typewriter

Ol' Smiley

Just a shot along an outside wall.

I have so very many more pictures from Dawson, 44 today alone, to show you some of the history here, but I just wanted to share these few now. What a day it's been for me, with oh so many more to come.

Getting to this point of the trip has been a joy, but truthfully I would have gone through hell to stand on that porch. He, and his writings, have touched my life in so many ways. For example:

The Men That Don't Fit In

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

See you all in the morning before I head across the Yukon River on the ferry to the campsite.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 8:19 PM

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