Dawson City II
We allowed the weather to change our plans for today. It had rained overnight and continued on into the day, so we decided to hang around Dawson City rather than tackle gravel/dirt roads in the rain.
We had a little more time to check out the buildings in town. Some of them have been nicely restored and others are just quaintly rundown. The Palace Theater has been restored by Parks Canada and was today being used for part of the music festival. The old post office, the first government building in the town, is in fair condition but appeared to be unused. On the south end of town there are some beautifully restored homes which are private residences or hostels. Dawson City once had a larger population. It was the first capital of the Yukon Territory; however, the capital was moved to Whitehorse in 1953 as Whitehorse, which is on the Alaska Highway and train routes, had become a busier hub. The stores along Front Street all seem very prosperous and were fairly busy. I did a bit of grocery shopping and was staggered by the prices — $3.65 for a can of soup!
On the way back to our campsite we took a dirt road that led us by some current mining operations. They look like strip mining in Western Maryland. Along the main road are huge piles of tailings (rocks) left over from the mining (dredging) that was done in the 1890 – 1930 period. Neither dredging nor strip mining seems very environmentally friendly. We did not take the Bonanza Creek Road which takes you to the site of the original gold strike in 1898 where today tourists can still pan for gold, and most likely find some.
Back at our YT campsite dinner was soup ($7.30!), grilled cheese sandwiches, and salad.