Last week Jeff took a week of vacation so we could start the summer off right!

Our adventures started with an overnight trip down to Whitehorse so he could pick up his new ATV. After a long hard ride the weekend before, he decided it was finally time to upgrade to a quad with power steering, and within a week he had stripped off his upgrades and sold his ATV.

It was a really wet rainy weekend and by the time we were heading out of town, all our rivers were starting to flood. Highest water we’ve seen since we moved here!

Hank just hates sitting in the back seat while we drive. He likes to be part of the action.

Monday night we hiked the Millenium Trail in Whitehorse with Hank. It’s about 5km, around the water, starting at the S.S. Klondike and goes near the hydro dam.

That wasn’t enough for Hank, so we walked again that evening down by the river, Jeff with Hank, and me catching some Pokemon on my phone while we walked.

The Klondike Rib & Salmon had just reopened for take out only, due to Covid restrictions, so we had their fish and chips with a Caesar salad and Jeff had a cup of chowder.

The next morning we went to Yamaha to pick up Jeff’s new ride. Here he is giving it a thorough look over before he loaded it up into the truck.

While we were in the shop, I had to sit in this new side by side and see what it was all about. Only $28k! Ha! That’s more than I paid for my truck.

Soon we were heading back north for home, with a new quad, cooler full of frozen burgers for the freezer, and a couple duffel bags of groceries.

Wild rose bushes are flowering now. Here is one of my pit stops. Every outhouse should have such fragrant flowers beside them!

I can only assume some numbskull destroyed this newer concrete slab privy at Fox Lake.

Heading back to Dawson, the rivers were all high. Here is the Stewart River. Usually at this spot you have to walk down some rocks and past these trees to get to the river.

The next day, Wednesday, we loaded up our camping trailer and headed up the Dempster to one of our favourite spots. It was still raining and the road was its typical shade of Dempster dirty. By the time we drove up 100 km, our truck and camper were covered in mud. While I unpacked inside, Jeff took a bucket and some paper towels and wiped the windows clean.

We had a bit of sunshine when we arrived, but it soon changed over to rain and snow pellets, so we spent most of the first day and more than half of the second just hanging out in the trailer. No one else was around. The Blackstone River was high, and we had to drive through a foot of water to get to our spot. This place is up in the tundra, but along the river willows grow, and animals use it was a wildlife corridor. When Jeff took Hank for walks, he always took his rifle because visibility is poor and you never know what else is going for a walk (grizzly, moose, wolf, fox, are all likely).

We only saw a moose on the drive up, and a beaver swam by a couple times. Hank saw or smelled something the second night and was not willing to be on the far side of the camper from it. Although tied up, he kept going under the trailer to the far side to watch, which tangled everything up, including the barbeque which got dinged up when he snagged it and flipped it over.

The rainy weather had us playing Trivial Pursuit and I was watching some Netflix shows I downloaded and reading a book and magazines. I never make time for magazines anymore, but being off grid, where there is no signal at all, is great to read and flip through a stack of magazines.

Finally on our second night, the clouds parted for a few hours so we could have a fire and sit outside. Jeff brought a full garbage can of scrap lumber from his garage projects that started the fire quite nicely!

The river was high and swift and dark, so we didn’t get to fish, like we like to at this spot.

The mosquitos were fierce though, but burning a mosquito coil kept them tamed.

Soon the clouds rolled over again from the Tombstone range and the rain started.

Our camper is so perfect. We love everything about it. Well, maybe except for the mattress. It’s a nice mattress, but we are so used to our foam mattress. This one is so hard we both kept flipping all night to relieve the pain in our hips. We just may have to order an RV size bed in a box for the camper too.

And I’ll admit it, we did the first night without the furnace, but we caved the next day and had it on during the day and at night. Outside may have been about 6 C / 43 F. Sure it was summer, but this is not a place that gets too warm. In fact there is still snow around in the shady spots, and up on the peaks.

We ate like kings. What is it about camping? We had so much food, and good food. It’s fun to prepare it in a little kitchen and serve it on our little dinette. We had strawberries and whipped cream with our breakfast, grapes, vegetables and dip, and even a strawberry rhubarb pie! Jeff cooked steaks on our portable outdoor barbeque and I made some rice and beans on the stove.

We had a second fire after the rain passed, and hauled out our lawnchairs, mosquito coil, and a couple beers.

By Friday morning Jeff was just too bored. He couldn’t fish, it kept raining, he had no Netflix downloaded, no TV or radio, he had read all the magazines, and the manual for his new ATV, and wanted to get back to town to go for a spin.

So we packed up camp and reorganized the trailer, keeping it loaded with everything but clothes, the food in the fridge, and fresh towels, so we can quickly depart for a couple more short camping trips this year. We didn’t get to do our 6 week southern USA trip this spring, and even Alaska is out of the question this summer with the international border still closed to tourists. But camping around home isn’t so bad either.

It is so nice to be away from the Internet for a couple days. If you haven’t experienced it, I so highly recommend it. It is so peaceful to just shut off all the noise, distraction, news, anger, and all the voices. I often think of people I wish would take a time out, and what it would be like to bring them up here for an adventure.

When we got home, Jeff fired up the pressure washer so we could wash the Dempster dirt off the camper.

We dumped the tanks, drained the fresh water, turned off the propane for the fridge and parked it again until next time.

Hank is sleeping it off (on my pillow for some reason) and Sally was so happy we were home again, she jumped up to watch TV with me while Jeff headed out on his new quad.

Now we’re heading into my very last week of my sabbatical before I return to work. I haven’t looked at anything at work at all. Not once. I’ve been completely disconnected. I bet I’ll have a few emails and Slack notifications waiting for me! Until then, I have a week left to explore!