This was a most interesting day. After a lovely breakfast at the B&B in Tok. we set off towards the east. A couple of hours down the road, I remarked on the bright blue sky and the unusual white fluffy clouds. We enjoyed the bright sunny day, the new snow on the mountain tops, the golden leaves on the trees, and the bright blue sky and the white clouds. About the time we stopped for lunch, I noticed the space ships. Remember we were in a very remote area, and I started envisioning Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind!
We arrived in Whitehorse about suppertime, and began what turned into a 2 hour search for our night's stay, which he thought he had reservations for, but obviously he didn't. First of all, he didn't know the name of the place. Second, he couldn't find internet access to look on his laptop or check email for the confirmation he knew he had, which would have included the name and address of the place. When he finally got online at a Starbucks, there was no confirmation waiting in his email. He checked his bank account, and there was no charge for a B&B in Whitehorse listed in the transactions. So that didn't help at all. He dug through his scraps of paper where he had jotted down numbers and he found a number that I matched up with a number on an advertisement in the Alaska Milepost. We got an address and drove to the place. No, she was closed for the season and would not have sent him a confirmation. (Today when we finally got access, he found an email from her stating that information. Only 3 days too late!)
So we started driving around, looking for a hotel/motel/B&B, anything. All were either full or closed for the season. Now it was 70 degrees that day, the highway was full of travelers, and they were closed??? Anyway, at the last motel, the kind person at the desk started making phone calls for us because we can't use our phones in Canada without incurring huge charges. After several calls, she finally located a room for the night. About 10 miles back down the road the way we had come from, out in the bush. An "Adventure" B&B. UH? Yup, an adventure B&B. A sled dog dude ranch.
Well, it was take this or sleep in the same seat that we'd been sitting in for 421.3 miles, so we took it, grabbed a bit of supper that was now over 2 hours late, and turned around and headed back in the direction we had come from, toward the setting sun.
The outside of the big cabin wasn't much to look at, nor was the inside. We were shown our room, and the shared bathroom down the hall, and I read the rules printed on a sheet of paper and posted in the room.
We have no electricity provided for us out here in the bush,
so we run generators to produce our own.
Please use as little light as possible.
And in the bathroom:
Please conserve water. Do not take daily showers.
Please conserve TP as we have a touchy septic system Use the 1/2 flush
button when ever possible.
I slept fitfully, and awakened often. Once I removed my ear plugs (yup, I sleep with ear plugs!) and listened to the mournful howling of the dog pack, and envisioned myself out on a trail with my sled, alone in the wilderness except for my dogs. And then I looked up at the dark night sky, ablaze with millions of stars. The magnificence of that Yukon night sky will be forever sketched on my mind and heart! A lump rose in my throat as I spied the same big dipper that I see in the Minnesota sky, except up here I felt I could almost reach out and touch it! I stood at the window for quite a long time, drinking in the awesome scene and thanking our God who created it all with a word.
In the morning at breakfast, we spoke with a young man who is working there for 6 months. He is from Denmark, and he loves the Yukon. He told us about 5 German men who are coming in October to spend 3 months working on the ranch with the dogs and sleds, and learning about dog sledding. We spoke with 2 couples about our age or a bit older, who were from California. One of the gentlemen was a German who was born and raised in Argentina. Another couple, French accents, told of their adventures in Newfoundland and Europe. And I remembered that when we had pulled in the night before, a bus/van, loaded with a dozen young folks from Japan, was pulling out, heading for the airport, I imagine.
The dog sled adventure ranch is run by a retired Yukon Quest dog sled racer. Some say the Quest is tougher than the Iditarod dog sled race. Such a place would never have been my first, second, or tenth choice of places to stay. But it was clean, warm, comfortable, and quiet. And no, it did not smell. The grounds were very clean. The staff was pleasant, the fellow travelers were interesting and internationally and culturally diversified.
The rest of the day was anticlimactic after that night's stay.