Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thoughts in Northern Climes: Whitehorse

heading south down the Alaska highway, towards Skagway and Carcross

It is my third full day here in Whitehorse and I'm beginning to settle into a quiet daily rhythm. Ian's beautiful cats are warming up to me, and now that they realize that I can and will give them food periodically, I seem to be in their good books.
Waking up with fresh lungs filled with clean air is a fabulous feeling...then to take that feeling outside for some exercise in the brisk wind and sun on your face make a morning here truly wonderful.
As you run down the paved trail there are subdivisions quietly sitting amongst the trees, the odd cyclist, people walking their dogs and always the pacific view of snowy mountains on the horizon. I try to savour and bottle the feelings of freedom and movement, the lack of pollution and the ease of breathing as I finish my morning dash.

The sun was shrouded a bit by angry looking clouds
but rain didn't fall until later in the afternoon
The view down the hill on Hamilton Blvd.
A great 8km distance for a morning run

Yesterday Ian and I drove down to Carcross, a small town that is rather dependent on the tourism industry and thus was rather quiet when we rolled into town. Tourism season picks up in May and continues until the end of July.

Emerald Lake, en route to Carcross
We took the Alaska Highway south and I remarked on how little traffic there was. "RV season hasn't begun yet" Ian chimed in. I then imagined a caravan of RVs trundling northward towards Whitehorse and the wilderness the surrounds the city.

The view out over Bennett Lake as we look out from Carcross
Quite quiet, Carcross seemed to be waiting for the inevitable crowds of June

When we arrived in Carcross we saw not a single soul. One truck trundled down a street but for all intents and purposes it was a ghost town. Even the public outhouses were locked up. Nevertheless, appreciating a place when it ISN'T active and bustling is enjoyable in it's own right. I believe it offers a peek into the true nature of a place, when the fluctuating crowds have not arrived yet, when there is quiet, and a feeling of waiting, hibernating even. We didn't stay long but began our way back to Whitehorse as raindrops were coming down and we had errands to run in lieu of the Viking party we are having tomorrow night. If we are adopting names, I'd like to be Freya, Norse Goddess and leader of the Valkyries. Not a bad gig I think.

Marsh Lake, on the way back to Whitehorse

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