Aug 18 Mayo to Dawson and illiteracy?

mayo-the-heart-of-the-yukon-signWritten Aug 18 from my campsite in Dawson

I am camping at a good sized RV campground just outside of Dawson City. As I ate my meal the wind was cold and rain was falling but now the sky is clearing and the wind has dropped. It is a nice night. I am leaving my curtains open hoping to see some northern lights but I saw a rainbow tonight as I was coming back from my shower so maybe one sky performance a day. I will keep watch though.

Mayo Landing  Not a bustling waterfront now

Mayo Landing Not a bustling waterfront now

I enjoy climbing into the back of Vincent at night. He is so warm and cozy. It doesn’t seem to matter that I have spent all day in the front end. The back end is differnt. It is becoming home.

I started out today in Mayo. Last night I came to the campsite before I reached the town. I was tired and pulled in without looking around. In the morning I went into Mayo…or rather found out that I had camped in town. The campground backed onto the school yard. I did here dogs barking during the night but had no idea that I was so close. Reading the history and seeing a film here in Dawson City I realize that Mayo is just a shadow of it’s former mining self when silver was transported from there on the steam boats but it has character and was fun to visit. Before lunch though I was on the road again heading for Dawson. I stopped at Moose Lodge because the owners obviously have a sense of humour. I got a good look at a Yukon mosquito and a moose that vaguely resembled an Ontario moose I saw when Sue and I drove out. At that stop I saw a van that said “On top of your dreams, you’ll find the North.” As I write it now…I am not sure why, but this morning It caught my imagination as I took deep breaths of the northern air. I have been asking myself why I live in SOUTHERN Ontario. Oh yes….family…right.

Yukon Mosquito

Yukon Mosquito


I stopped at a rest area on Gravel Lake for lunch. There was a Yukon Roads truck there and a worker was tidying the area afer the long weekend rush. He came over and asked me about my sign on Vincent. He stuck his hand out and I met Gorden Hardie of Dawson City. He is on an adventure of his own. 3 years ago in his 50’s when reading with his neices and nephews he realized that they were not going to put up with his imaginary tales any longer. They wanted to read the words to the stories. Gorden couldn’t read. He started going to the Yukon Literacy coalition and after three years he is making headway. He has had a series of tutors, not all of them good but he is struggling on. He now represents the Yukon Literacy Coalition in meetings all over Canada. What a guy. He is a man with great courage and I admire him. I could have stayed and talked to him all day. Luckily he had a job to do so off I went.


Again I was startled by the space between settlements and wondered at the few driveways that do go off of the main road. Who chooses to live THAT far from the most basic of services. Once I almost pulled off at a little homestead but that seemed a little too out there.

The road into Dawson City is strewn with huge piles of gravel. Remnants I imagine from the great rush to dig into the ground and sift huge piles of gravel looking for gold. It is strange to see. Once my brother-in-law who drives a dump truck told me that gravel was a limited resource. Once is is gone from an area…it is gone and companies have to find new sources. I wish I could think of a way to get it from here to there. There is plenty of it in them thar hills. I remember the great ships taking gravel from Sechelt. Today it must be worth almost as much as the gold that hid in it in the old days.


The town is quaint and reminded me very much of Barkerville. The streets are dirt and there are boardwalks lining the down town. The buildings are painted colours that would make winter seem much brighter. I was in a couple of museums and of course the Yukon info centre. There is also a North West Territories Info centre for those of us thinking of hitting the Dempster Highway. I watched a movie telling me what to expect and got info. The woman who helped me was named Evelyn. She told me to look up her best friend in Inuvik when I get there. She says that Naudia is an amazing woman. My kind of lady. I hope she is working when I get there.


Why we walk on the boardwalks

Gorden gave me some insight into why tires get punctured out there. He said the road is made of crushed shale and the shards of shale work their way up and through the tires. He gave me some tips on how to get them out before they cause harm. That will be useful to me.

I am starting out tomorrow unless it is really raining. They don’t recommend being on it in the rain although I am told that it drys very fast when the rain stops. Wish me luck, lots of interesting people adventures and no car adventures. Send good energy to Vincent and his tires for the next 4 to 6 days. I can’t imagine I will have internet (although I have said that before and been surprised) so don’t worry about me if I am not in touch. I have my rainbow and the people who will be traveling the highway with me are a great bunch. Talk soon.

Rainbow over my campsite

Rainbow over my campsitelk soon

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