What a few days in Dawson City!

The Yukon River’s water level has been rising with the meltwater of our record snowfall this winter. And then rain entered the forecast! Flood prep started again in earnest. The usable shoreline started to shrink, vehicles were moved from the edge, and the lower dyke trail flooded.

The Yukon Spirit tour boat, eager to be relaunched after a two year summer vacation, can not do so with the river so high the dock can’t even go in. But with the water coming up, it had to move (to the left in this photo) and Tony Beet’s Jasmine B barge had to be re-secured.

On Thursday night, we went to our friend Kyle & Ags house to celebrate Cerys 2nd birthday!

On Friday, the rain began to fall. With the storm sewer outlets already under water to the river, they couldn’t be used and pumps were set up with sandbags around the drains on the town streets. Soon the waste water treatment plant was having problems coping with all the water and had to put in a pump and flexible hose to pump its sorta treated water right into the river. It crossed Front Street, our only paved streets in town, so a gravel ramp was built so traffic could get over it.

By Saturday morning it was still raining and the water kept rising. There is a website where the hourly height and stream flow is recorded and graphed. They expect it will continue to rise for 10 days!

Saturday morning I was in the kitchen and noticed what looked like smoke down the street! A neighbour two doors down has left his extension cord for his block heater (used only in the winter!) lying across his lawn and into the street. Every day I walk by and wonder how someone can be quite *that* lazy, because it seemed a bit dangerous. I grabbed my binoculars and sure enough, his extension cord was in a puddle and smoking under the front of his car! I could have thought it would short out, but I guess not! It was a surprising amount of smoke!

I texted Jeff who was out doing errands, and told him not to step in the puddle out front when he got home. He was home a minute later and knocked on the neighbour’s door. No answer. No answer at the landlord’s house either. Jeff sure wasn’t going to attempt to unplug it. So he called 911 and got put through to the Fire Chief. He was here in about 3 minutes with backup (no lights and sirens though!) Jeff kept watch to make sure no kids went near it. The Fire Chief went on the lawn and saw it was an extension cord plugged into an extension cord, so he unplugged them from each other and took the cord. He said, if your neighbour wants his extension cord back, tell him the Fire Chief has it!

Turns out we were fortunate to call 911 because shortly after the phone lines went down across northern BC and much of the 3 territories. But this time we still had internet, with our new fibre optic service! I don’t know what caused the huge disruption but it was fixed sometime today (Sunday), about 24 hours later.

The rain cleared up in the afternoon, just in time for the Queen’s platinum jubilee! The Commissioner of the Yukon was hosting the celebration in Dawson City and chose the museum for the venue! Since I’m on the board (I think I’m the Vice President actually), I volunteered and was given the role of security! Another volunteer and I covered the door all evening, giving drive and food tickets out, and ID’ing anyone who looked under 40 (for the liquor license).

I arrived an hour before the event and helped set up a bit. My first task was to wash some buckets, removing the quartz gravel left behind from gold panning, so they could be used for ice and wine bottles!

Then I helped hang some jubilee banners. By the way, these two in the office make me jump every time I walk in.

People started to arrive by 5pm. It was barely advertised, and instead they seemed to just want to feed tourists? The Visitor’s Centre sent everyone over, so I met dozens and dozens of tourists, who mostly had no idea why they were getting free food and drinks, but they were up for a party! The Commissioner was handing out pins to everyone, and offering to pose for photos with tourists, and a member of our local RCMP force was there in full regalia.

Bonton provided an incredible spread of food for everyone, and Moe of Sweet Sweet Yukon provided amazing desserts.

We had politicians in the house, the mayor, councillors, and the Yukon’s poet laureate. Even though I didn’t get to hear any of the speeches or prayers, I could hear the children fiddlers, Barnacle Bob on the keyboard, and the final toast to the Queen was in the lobby.

Afterwards, we picked up Alex after he changed out of his tux (he was the MC) and we went out to our friend’s place in the dredge pond. Karine and Andre are moving back to Quebec 🙁 so it was a good-bye party.

I love summer in the Yukon. It never gets dark! This picture above was taken at 11:00pm. But it was cold and windy! I was full on shivering so we headed out early, just as the party was picking up. We left at the same time as a neighbour and he invited us to stop at his house to see all the trees he planted. We were there until 12:30am seeing the house he built, his garage, lawn tractor, and all the grass he’s been able to grow on top of all these dredge pond rocks. Super nice guy who lives alone and enjoyed showing off his nice place.

This afternoon I talked to Dad for awhile after the phone lines were fixed, and he asked for some river shots and short videos, so we took Hank for a walk and took these for him, and you!

Here’s the Klondike at the confluence of the Yukon. Super high river!

Sorry Hank! The lower dyke trail is under water!

The water is higher again today! This is normally a big parking lot.

The water is almost up to the flood gates!

Along the way we ran into Kyle and Hank’s brother Griff! Here they greet each other.


We made a dog park date so they could run off leash and carried on.

They are rebuilding the ferry landings every 3 hours because the river is so high and swift they are eroding away constantly. They are taking a reduced capacity on each crossing because the current is so swift, and there are rumours they may have hit debris in the river again, bending the prop. Because of the erosion, full sized trees are floating down the river so it is easy to see how that could happen!

I took a video of the ferry coming in to offload. You can see a sandbagged area to the right of the landing that has been built there to protect from further erosion.

During all the rain, the Crocus Bluff cliff side had a little rockslide! They’ve closed some of our hiking trails near the edge (top and bottom) to help prevent more.

There is another area of concern near the big Moosehide Slide so the trails up there are also closed.

What a busy few days!!