The winter! the brightness that blinds you,

   The white land locked tight as a drum,

The cold fear that follows and finds you,

   The silence that bludgeons you dumb.

The snows that are older than history,

   The woods where the weird shadows slant;

The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery,

   I’ve bade ’em good-by—but I can’t.

From “The Spell of the Yukon” by Robert Service

Winter is a magical place in the Yukon, and I’m so glad my Dad finally got to experience it, after so many summer visits.

He prepared for his trip for months. He bought a one piece insulated snowsuit, that fit nicely under his slightly too large Canada Goose parka he was given by his wife’s uncle. I remember him calling, asking about what socks he needed, wool, smart wool, something else?

He had winter boots, and an even bigger pair of Arctic boots.

He was ready for the -40’s.

When I picked him up from the airport, it was -39C, but then warmed up for most of his visit! Which was probably nicer for everything, so cars worked, bodies worked, ice fog lifted, etc. I mean.. it still wasn’t warm – mostly in the minus twenties.

I’m going to share a bunch of his photos here. I won’t adjust them much in Lightroom, that is for him, the artist, to do before he prepares a book of his photos.

However, I do hope you aren’t on dial-up, because I’m sharing over a hundred photos here!

Dawson City

4th Ave
Front street viewed from the dyke
Third Avenue Complex – The “Kissing Buildings”
Billy Bigg’s Blacksmith shop
5th Ave
The start of the ice road across the frozen Yukon River
Our friend Brian getting his team ready for some Yukon Quest volunteers to mush down the river to Forty Mile to help at the Clinton Creek checkpoint.
A bunch of these dogs ran the Yukon Quest last year with Brian!
Me picking up the mail, and chatting with a raven
Dawson City Museum – always has impressive icicles on the roof
Sun peeking over the Klondike
The diesel backup generators and the Chinese restaurant
A cabin on 8th Ave.
Looking up 5th Ave.
A little skating rink along Front St.
The General Store
Looking up Queen Street
The Keno
The Monte Carlo – now the True North Company!
The Visitors Information Centre – temporarily the Yukon Quest checkpoint in Dawson City
Dawson Hardware – our Home Hardware
The Palace Grand
Klondike Kate’s restaurant – hibernating
The Post Office
SOVA – our School of Visual Arts
The Pit

After that picture, this spontaneously happened. Kudos to Dad for carrying cash in his parka so we could get refreshed.

Now the Masonic Temple. Built as a Carnegie Library.
The Triple J – also hibernating til spring
The only gas station inside the town proper
The Aurora hotel and restaurant – just reopened for the year – chicken & ribs!
Long term care facility
The Northern Lights weren’t out much, but here is a brief moment above Pierre Berton’s house.
YOOP cemetery – the first Yukon Order of Pioneers resting area.
The Bonanza Market
Neat angle of the kissing buildings
Our house – the full moon is BRIGHT tonight!
the Dawson City Museum
The Goat
The Downtown
the Keno
Bombay Peggy’s – hibernating for the winter
The Eldorado
4th Ave
Day care students out for a walk
Many streets dug up in town due to plumbing and sewer trouble
The Highways Department flooding the ice road (one lane stays open for travel while the other is reflooded)

West Dawson lookout

Photos from three different trips up to the lookout in West Dawson (across the Yukon River).

Looking across the river to Dawson City. A bit of open water here, and some overflow
The photographer’s chauffeur
Can you see my house??
Snowy spruce trees
Yukon River
Just posted this car for sale – wanna buy it?
Decent back to river level
Looking towards Dawson from the far side of the ice road
Dad wanted to walk back across the road, so I left him behind
From the ice road – we have sun! It doesn’t get high in the sky, but it is there!
Took a drive through the campground after the dog teams departed
This was the vet shack during the Quest, wrapped in plastic and heated with a woodstove
Look at the icicles left behind!

Midnight Dome

Similarly, we went up to the top of the Dome in a few different snow/light/weather conditions.

Snow fell off the branches, and rolled down into snowballs!

Up the Dempster Highway

If only we looked at the camera and smiled?

What a great time! I love the winter here, but it wasn’t until I took a week off to explore it with my Dad that I realized I don’t fully experience it through my regular routine. I highly recommend a winter staycation!


Lisa (Verkley) Schuyler is a blogger reporting live from her new home in Canada's Yukon Territory. Often found wearing a hoodie, covered in pet hair, Lisa is a mis-placed forester who now spends her days engineering happiness for WordPress users. Lisa loves nature, animals, and most importantly, her handsome husband Jeff.

4 Replies to “A winter visit

  1. So nice to see what winter looks like up there- because I don’t have the need to experience it in person. I love the picture of the snow that fell off the trees and made snowballs. Very interesting! Glad that you and dad were able to have so many adventures even in the cold.

  2. I loved the little snowballs!

    So, if there’s open water in the river.. how do you know that the ice road is safe? Do they test it on a regular basis, and if so, how?

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