Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Silver Trail and on to Dawson City, YT


Our plan for today was to pack our lunch and continue the remaining distance of the Silver Trail.  We started on the trail when we turned off the Klondike Highway at Stewart Crossing yesterday afternoon and stopping in Mayo for the night.  It was below freezing overnight and windy this morning, but we got a fairly early start and started driving northeast toward Elsa and Keno City.



One of the prominent sights along the road was Mount Haldane, elevation 6,023 feet.



Elsa is on the route to Keno City.  It is now an active mining and reclamation site with no visitor access.





When we arrived at the town of Keno City, it was still below freezing and we weren’t up to a walking tour of the town.  Here are a couple of photos of historic buildings in town.  This one is the All Saints Anglican Church which is now used as a library. 



I found this building to be the most unique in Keno City.  It is called the Beer Bottle House.  This house was moved by Geordie Dobson from Calumet, an abandoned mining town nearby in the late 1960s.  He had bought the Keno City Hotel prior to refunds for glass bottles.  He felt that there was some insulation value in the glass since many of the oldtimers used stacked bottles instead of window panes.  So, he began to layer the bottles around his house.  His project began in 1966 and it took him 4 years and 32,000 “stubby” beer bottles to finish his job.  The house is very warm which is probably helped by 60cm (2 feet) of mortar.



Once again, we found that we here to early and the museum and other places of interest were not open yet.  There seems to be a magic date of May 15th before things open in the north, and they’re sticking to that date.  We were back to the motorhome by noon, ate our picnic lunch, packed up and were on the road north.  We were headed for the junction of the Dempster Highway to spend a couple of nights and to be able to explore that road.



Once again, our plans changed and we headed for Dawson City figuring that we would just add the extra mileage from there to explore the Dempster Highway.  When we were in Dawson City in 2009, we stayed at Bonanza Gold RV Park and decided that would be a good stop this time.  When we checked in, we asked about when the Top of the World Highway might open and they thought it would be the 17th or possibly the 19th.  Usually it is open by May 15th (that magical date).  We’ll plan on going into town tomorrow and see what we can find out at the visitor center.  We traveled a little over 141 miles today from Mayo to Dawson City in the RV and from Mayo to Keno City and back in the truck was about 65 miles.  We did see some wildlife today, but they were quicker than my camera:  1 moose, 1 bear, and 1 porcupine.


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