Category Archives: Yukon Yarns
It’s a busy weekend for me. Today, Robert Sirman, who was appointed Director of the Canada Council for the Arts in June 26, 2006, is visiting Dawson City. I will be hosting him at the Berton House this afternoon at 4pm, followed by a reception at KIAC — Klondike Institute of Art and Culture — which I really need to talk about, but in another post.
I wanted my friend Lulu to be here, but she will be out of town, (best of luck). However, Dan Davidson, editor and writer for the Klondike Sun is coming over and I’m sure Mr. Sirman will have people with him as well. It will be a thrill to meet the man who heads the Canada Council. Without that organization, I wouldn’t be here, and a lot of artists and writers across the country wouldn’t be able to do what they do best: create.
On Saturday, Dawson City is holding a health day and I will lead a workshop on creativity for the Women’s shelter. After that, I’ll dash across town to the Commissioner’s Tea, an event open to everyone, being held at the stately old Commissioner’s House on Front Street.
In the evening, there is a ball, which I’m going to skip in favour of soaking up some live music in town. A great weekend lies ahead.
The skies have opened up over Dawson and this rain forest girl is thrilled. It’s been raining all morning. My fellow southcoast dwellers will understand how wonderful this is. Now, the sun is creeping back into the sky, but the clouds are fighting hard to stay in position. I’m on their side. There’s a reason why the grass is greener on the Outside, and it’s called rain. I’ve missed it. Everything smells so good, and maybe, just maybe the grass surrounding the house will turn green.
I can hear it on the roof, and I can smell it in the air. I know, like other things in life, it’s not here forever, but while it is, I’m celebrating. Sourdough Joe’s has the best Alaskan Chowder possibly in the world and some pretty fine King salmon, and that’s where I’m headed.
Let it pour.
This just in!
It is so hot here today that stepping outside is claustrophobic. My thermometer reads 31 degrees in the shade. Hence, I have spent the day indoors and was in the process of baking brownies for a barbi I’m going to tonight, when my nose picked up the acrid smell of something burning.
“Damn,” I thought, running into the kitchen, “yet another ruined food item.” But my contribution to the potluck was in fine shape. The source of the smoke billowing into my office had nothing to do with my culinary skills, rather the base of Crocus Bluffs had caught fire.
What’s so interesting about a small town is that everybody seemed to come to the same conclusion at the same time, and as I raced out the door, I joined the line of cars, ATVs and people moving toward the disaster area.
Luckily the helicopter had already sprung into action — dumping three buckets of the Yukon onto the flames. (I always wonder how often unsuspecting fish land in the middle of forest fires)? If you have stats, let me know.
Anyway, when I arrived at the base of the bluffs, the firepeople had it all under control, but this was a blatant reminder: in this tinder-dry season we are having both in the Yukon and in BC small fires will turn into flames within seconds.
Be fire aware!
Interested in what’s going on politically in Dawson City? Want to know all about the Mayor’s wheels, or his artwork? Curious about his latest podcast? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, go to The Mayor’s Blog.
If you want to know what Dawsonites think, check out the forum.
And to all of those who have asked me about wi fi — Dawson is totally connected.
Dawson City is now basking in the heat and light of summer. Barbecues have become common, the Midnight sun is once again hosting Soul Sundays, and everyone, including the bears are out of hibernation. Last night, I went to a rib feast and met one of Canada’s literary icons; Dick North. For those of you who are really ignorant, 😉 North wrote The Mad Trapper of Rat River, The Lost Patrol , and has recently released Sailor on Snowshoes:Tracking Jack London’s Northern Trail.
This afternoon I am off to The Jack London Interpretive Centre and Museum, where Dick North continues to act as curator, although on a part-time basis. I have recently re-read both the Mad Trapper and Call of the Wild, and it will be an honor to sit in London’s original cabin, (the top half of which is in Oakland and the bottom half here) and listen to one literary icon divulge the story of another.
Dick North is the first recipient of “The Order of Canada,” that I’ve become acquainted with.
On May 16th/07, I became member 23938, when Toe Captain Al Sider guided me through the Toe Ceremony. I shall soon be listed on the website at Sourtoe Cocktail Club, a URL well worth a visit.
Witnesses included Dan and Lori, Wally, Karen and the wait staff at the Downtown. All agreed that if I let the toe touch my lips, they would stop teasing me about bears — a worthwhile trade indeed. It went down easily in a shot of Yukon Jack.
Here’s a little background:
“I know a prospector who lost his toe;
Froze it in the deadly cold and snow.
He ran rum with a fast dog team
(from Yukon to Alaska it would seem).
“Deadly Gangrene soon set in.
He cut it off his life to win.
To remember the gruesome task he’d done,
He pickled it in a jar of o.p. rum.
The poem continues on for quite a few verses, but the gist is:
To be a real Yukon captain, each claimed was so;
One had to drink a Yukon Sourtoe…