Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blue Skys in Whitehorse

Of course blue sky today and I am leaving. Oh well what can you do. Next time I will come in better weather hopefully and rent a vehicle and see more around Whitehorse. Well AFTER I do the sled dog thing that is.

It's been a good trip and have enjoyed it. Slippery underfoot this morning when I walked downtown to get breakfast. A dusting of snow overnight.

Will be taking the bus to the airport because I am cheap. I really hate taking taxis - don't ask me why. It's just not the money - most taxi drivers creep me out. Trust me I am not a person who is afraid of many things and I am not a germ phobic of any kind but just prefer NOT to take taxis. I've had bad experiences with taxi drivers ripping me off and I don't trust them generally. Although there are always the exceptions.

Having problems with internet explorer on my netbook - can't answer emails or get on Facebook and it's not the pop up blocker and on Google Chrome I can't figure out how to allow pop ups so haven't been answering emails - it won't even let me send emails. I hate SaskTel webmail for that.

Anyway will post pictures on here soon - had hoped to do it on the road but it doesn't seem to be working so have to practice on pictures I KNOW are backed up as I want to be able to post pictures when I am in Nepal.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More snow!

Well it is melting pretty well as soon as it hits the ground but it's still SNOW. So this morning I walked over to the Chocolate Claim and had a muffin and coffee then on to the bus exchange where I took two busses to different areas of the city just because....the bus driver was doing both routes (they do different ones during one shift which is interesting) so I only paid one fare for both. Got to see their beautiful Canada Games Centre - from the outside anyway. Had some hot soup at a nice coffee shop - they have such neat coffee shops here. Then took the bus to the Barengia centre - the bus driver was kind enough to drop me across the street from the centre. I enjoyed the centre - all about the area of land that was formed during the ice age between Russia and North America and the animals that lived there. (here) So interesting. Then walked over to the airport to get the bus back to town and had a lovely lamb dinner at the kebabery. Then after I got bavck here Angus and I went for a walk together.....Now I am sitting in the basement freezing waiting for Nancy (hostel mgr) to finish cleaning the floor upstairs. My netbook is acting up and I can't access Facebook or reply to emails....the pop ups seem to be working. No idea.

Tomorrow I am not sure what to do for breakfast - sourdough cinammon buns sound good but then again so do one of those egg, cheese and ham paninas at the Baked cafe. Decisions, decisions....then it's off to the airport by bus.

I need to go home to thaw out - all I can say is better still be warm when I get there!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's that yellow thing in the sky?

Yep the sun finally came out today...well for a few hours anyway. It's disappeared behind loads of clouds now but while it was out it was wonderful. I went to the Baked Cafe again this morning and had a cheese and ham croissant warmed up and a big cup of coffee...yum. Then I headed out on the TransCanada trail in a different direction than last time. I walked for about an hour along the Yukon River until the trail came to an abrupt stop with a sign saying "contaminated area". Hmmm.....So I turned around and walked back along the trail for a bit. Did a detour over to Superstore and ahem..took care of business...and then carried on along 4th Avenue which is the main drag through downtown. I visited the Pioneer Cemetery and walked through a cute little neighbourhood park and got some good views of the hills/mountains. My cameras were very busy.

I was starting to get a bit peckish so stopped at a hotel restaurant and had some Rye toast with peanut butter and headed off again this time in the opposite direction past the SS Klondike (paddlewheeler now retired and on land) and along the river. If I had carried on for another two hours one way I could have gone to Miles Canyon but I knew my bladder, my foot and my knees would not like it one little bit. So I went as far as the Welcome to Whitehorse sign and turned around and came back.

Popped into the wonderful Whitehorse library where I am now - can you believe they are open 1 to 9 on Sundays? I may come back here after I have my supper.

No busses running today but tomorrow I hope to take a bus to the Berengia Centre for a couple of hours as well as another bus around to see more of the city.

In fact I plan to take the bus to the airport on Tuesday. The hostel is strange as check up time is 10 a.m. and you have to leave - you cannot store your luggage nor stay until your bus/plane leaves. So I will cross the street and get the bus to the airport and hang out there for a while I guess. Needless to say it's not a very big airport.

I am dying to try a place called "The Chocolate Claim" which is a bakery/coffee shop. I am thinking lunch tomorrow and breakfast Tuesday morning when they bake...sourdough cinammon buns!!!! Oh my!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Busy day

Well here I am back at the hostel after a very busy but fun day. Woke up to more snow coming down but it did stop. I had breakfast at a place called The Baked Cafe - had coffee and a breakfast panini which was egg, cheese and ham. Very good. At 10 I headed over to the MacBride museum where the walk box was. Sue, the cs mgr there was very friendly - gave her my box of chocolates for the staff. After clearing up stuff in the walk box I stamped my books and headed off. It was slow going in town as I stopped to take photos of the many beautiful murals in town, the log cabin "skyscraper", log church, etc. Walked by the SS Klondike, an old river boat used until 1955 and now a Heritage site. Walked over a bridge to the other side of the Yukon river and walked along the Millenium trail to the fish ladder. Unfortunately it is now closed so everything is blocked off and couldn't see a thing. I did get a glimpse of Schutka lake. Then off on another trail through the Riverdale area of town, almost got misplaced due to snow and not being able to see when the trail broke off but all ended well. I got back to the musuem in time to have a good visit. It is really an interesting display of Yukon history including Sam McGee's cabin and of course the Gold Rush. I wandered around a bit afterwards and picked up a few bits and pieces. Then had dinner at Antionette's - a place Frank had recommended. It wasn't cheap but very good...I had chicken breast in phyllo pastry followed by a decandant flourless dark chocolate cake with chocolate rum sauce. Very good! Waddled back to the hostel and here I sit. One of the girls from Muktuk is here on a day off so we had a good chat - I helped her feed the dogs yesterday. Small world!!

The rain has held off which is good - an overcast dull day today but I did get some interesting photos.

Meeting all sorts of interesting people - everyone here is so friendly and positive. I can already say Whitehorse is my favourite northern destination....despite the bad weather and not seeing it in it's best light I love it.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring...will see when I get up...

Friday, September 24, 2010


Yes it is snowing here - way too early. Even the natives aren't happy as it normally doesn't snow until late October. Of course it will melt but that doesn't help me - rain forecast for tomorrow and the rest of my stay here. Oh goodie...and I get to walk 11 km in it tomorrow. I may do a bit and do the rest on Sunday/Monday we shall see how I feel. I had such hopes of doing lots of hiking here and now it looks like indoor activities. Oh well what can you do.

I cried when I left Muktuk kennels - I loved it there and plan to go back in 18 months to do some mushing. I hope my Sweety, Destiny, Mischief, Shelby & Talitha are still there. Poor old Lady (15 years old) and Terror will have gone to the big sled race in the sky. I loved it there and got so many doggie kisses - it was great! Today Frank and I walked down to the Takhini river with the dogs and it was amazing - they were so happy to be free and raced all over the place. Frank took some photos of me with the dogs and they turned out pretty well.

Now I am at the Beez Kneez hostel - it is pretty good and the price is right. One part of me wishes I had spent more and stayed at a hotel so I could be watching TV curled up in bed right now but oh well here I sit in the living room listening to the Eagles. No TV on the premises which is a good thing really. So far it seems I am the only female - all young guys so I feel pretty ancient.

Just had my supper at the High Country Inn pub/bar - veggie panini with sweet potato fries...and water....just wasn't in the mood to have a drink. I have the restaurants I want to visit in mind so at least I will eat well while I am here.

I just wish the damn snow would stop.....


Forgot to mention that while I was out Falcon who was sitting on his kennel started howling and everyone started howling....it was very beautiful. It was quite the experience to be standing in the middle of them all.

Did I say I love it here??? :)

Doggies galore

Taking a warm up break - snowing today very gently. Am loving this....the dogs are great and love having cuddles. Letting my cameras warm up - my Nikon was doing strange things so hope it's the cold.

Frank Turner, the owner of the kennels has been in the Yukon Quest 24 times and won in 1995 He is so interesting and has lots of good stories to tell. All his dogs are very much loved and every name has an interesting story behind it. Next up is a walk to the river with the dogs (not all 130 I don't think!) which should be great. I am cozy and warm in the lodge. What a fantastic experience this has been...already thinking of coming back some winter and mushing....no practice sessions today unfortunately. I could be wrong on this but I have a feeling Whitehorse could become my favourite northern haunt.

Had some wonderful bread this morning from a bakery downtown - maybe I can grab me some before I head off on Tuesday...yeah right Laurie.

Sounds like some great restaurants in town so can't wait!!!!

Sled dogs howling

yep they are really going at it as it's time for breakfast. Shortly I will be out there helping to feed them. It's been quite the experience. I got all slobbered over and jumped on, luckily they give you clothes to wear. Mine were quite exquisite - a plaid jacket, huge black ski pants and to complete my ensemble animal print wellies!! Oh I do look a sight but no way could you wear your normal clothes without having to wash them right away. It's mucky out there.
So mucky that they can't do their training run today - I am cursed! Oh well I still get to go for a walk with them down to the river (which I did on my own yesterday)
They were noisy last night so not much sleep but how many times do you get to stay with sled dogs so I am not complaining at all.
Last night had a huge meal....arctic char, elk steak & bison sausage with carrots, baked potato and salad. It was HUGE - of coures I paid a huge price too but it was worth it for the experience.
Oh think they are going to feed the dogs now - activity in the lodge here so I'd better end this for now...wow the howling is really something now!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I am in doggie land!

It is so awesome - 130 dogs. So I definitely got my doggie fix this afternoon. Love it. Some were friendly and jumping and others just wanted some loving which I was glad to give. The flights were good and I only waited a bit and Frank picked me up. He is the musher who runs this operation - Muktuk. I am staying in the lodge tonight. Very nice but it is "off the grid" so no shower tomorrow as they want you to limit useage. But hey I am with lots of dogs. I walked down to the river which was beautiful. It's dull and overcast but not too cold - snow for tonight. So I spent as much time outside as I could as who knows what tomorrow will bring Well I am a "Rookie for a day" tomorrow which includes a river walk not sure if the dogs are going out for a training run or not as it's very mucky here.
So beautiful with mountains in the distance - snow capped of course. And the fall colours. I can only imagine what it would be like on a good weather day - amazing.
Was just out when they were feeding the dogs - they were going crazy. You would definitely need to be a dog lover to stay here!
Dinner will be coming up in a half hour or so so guess I should get changed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One last medal

I did the Queen City Half Marathon walk today...first half marathon I've done in three and a half years. Back in the day (2003 to 2007) I did 13 of them. Guess I should have stuck to unlucky 13 as this one was ugly. Of course didn't help that I wasn't trained up properly but I had my worst time ever - over 4 hours which is way worse than I anticipated and the absolute worst ever by a long shot. I had hoped for 3:52 - still a personal worst but better than over 4 hours. It was long and ugly as my foot with the bunion and arthritic big toe decided to act up about km 6 (it was 21 km) and was swollen and so it was a struggle. I was in tears a couple of times when the pain was really bad but I refused to give up. I got asked by course marshalls if I was all right as I hobbled by and I said yes and carried on. As if that wasn't enough my bladder decided to join the party and I had to use the porta potty three times - another "record" for me. I probably lost a good five minutes at least on that.

The weather was beautiful and it was a perfect day for a walk....just not for me today. Nobody's fault but my own for not training enough - not that I didn't try but I had to cut training short due to dizziness, foot pain - take your pick. I guess I should have clued into that and not thought that somehow a miracle was going to happen on race day.

It was lonely out there as I had no one to walk with - everyone was faster than me except some way way back... out of 350 walkers I was about number 345..how humiliating. Me, who is on the Board of Directors of a walking club! So I just want to say thanks to John, Paul, George, Ringo, Mick & the boys, Gerry R, Neil D, the Wilson boys & Mike Love and more....MP3 players do have their uses. I needed something to keep me going and they did it for me - and I dedicate my medal to them!!! :)

But I guess I walked 21 km more than a lot of people today and I am grateful that I am able to do it when so many can't.

And I've got a great big honkin' medal!!!

Bopping around Budapest - The Old Town of Buda

F riends had raved about Budapest and having read quite a bit about it I knew it was on my "to visit" list. And I knew it was goi...