A Taste of the Yukon

Dog mushing in Whitehorse

I never expected to be doing many of the things I’ve had the chance do during these Olympic Games. The pavilions during the Games have been a great way to learn more about my country and a boon to the various tourism organizations in Canada.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Alberta rented out a train to give people an Albertan experience but the Travel Yukon folks took it one step further by offering folks a one day Yukon experience by actually chartering an Air North 737 and flying a bunch of us up to Whitehorse for a day:
Yukon Day Experience

A Taste of Yukon

Once there, we were met with dancing Klondike girls and an amazing feast of Yukon food (sorry no food pictures – too busy eating before we had to head out):
Yukon Day Experience

Since it was a very short trip, we were then whisked off to our chosen tours right away. I picked dog mushing at Muktuk Adventures as I’ve never done it before and it seemed to be the perfect Yukon activity to do.

Yukon Day Experience

Yukon Day Experience

Yukon Day Experience

My sled team lead dog #tnmh

Yukon Day Experience

Yukon Day Experience

I took turns with my partner riding in or driving the dog sled.

Yukon Day Experience

While I really wanted to just sit in the sled and take photos while someone else drove, it really was amazing to be in the driver’s seat. Not that I had to do much, the dogs know what to do and all I really needed to do was hold on and step on the brake to slow them down occasionally…all they seemed to want to do is run.

Yukon Day Experience

I nicknamed her “Crazy Tongue” for obvious reasons (but I found out her real name is ‘Sweetie’):

Yukon Day Experience

She also kept looking back at us as if to say “hey, lay off the brakes dude, we just want to run!”. Watch for her in this video:

When the dogs overheat, the stop and roll around in the snow and eat it to cool off

Yukon Day Experience

Yukon Day Experience

Yukon Day Experience

Yukon Day Experience

As you can see, we had perfect weather for our adventure

Yukon Day Experience

Muktuk Adventures is run by Frank Turner who as run the Yukon Quest many times and raises/trains dogs for the race. He talked to us about how the dogs work as a team and how important trust is in that relationship. It was clear to see he really loves his dogs and treats them as if they were his children.

Yukon Day Experience

Once back from dog mushing, we then headed to the McBride Museum for a reception and had the opportunity to sample some great local Yukon beers:

Yukon Day Experience

try out panning for gold (it’s harder than it looks):

Yukon Day Experience

I even managed to find some (about a dollar’s worth):

Yukon Day Experience

and to experience the Sour Toe Cocktail:

Yukon Day Experience: the Sour Toe

That really is an actual human toe that you put into a shot of whiskey…it must touch your lips for you to officially ‘do the sour toe’…but here’s Captain Dick to explain what this is all about:

Yes, I did it…and have a certificate to prove it:

A Taste of Yukon

I did the Sour Toe! #tnmh

Yukon Day Experience

After the Sour Toe, we were once again whisked off to a dinner banquet for the Yukon Quest participants.

Yukon Day Experience

This is a gruelling contest where entrants spend over 9 days out on the trail with their dogs covering 1000 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon. I was honored to be in the same room with these folks who truly push the envelope of human (and canine) endurance. I quickly noticed how big of a deal this was as there were many people at the banquet that were collecting autographs of all the mushers…it was just like they were rock stars.

Unfortunately, we had to head out early from the banquet to make our plane back to Vancouver. Before we got onboard though, there was one more surprise for us at the airport:

Yukon Day Experience

Something tells me this doesn’t happen for everyone that visits Whitehorse but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

I don’t think I can express my thanks to Travel Yukon for the once in a lifetime chance to experience a day in the Yukon. It was truly an amazing day that I won’t forget.

5 Comments

  1. pascal Krebs says:

    “I nicknamed this guy “Crazy Tongue” for obvious reasons…”

    it’s a girl an her name is sweetie, she was my favorite during my 2week adventure @muktuk

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