Saturday, August 31, 2013

Muskox, Hot Springs, and Shopping: Whitehorse Day Six!

Today was a very outdoors-y nature-y day! We started off at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve where we saw a whole bunch of different animals from the area. To learn more about the preserve and the amazing work they do click here!
This is Yukon's official flower, fireweed. It is all over the place and I think it is really pretty!
We saw a ton of different animals at the preserve including elk...
Baby goats... they were super small and adorable and cute! I loved it!
Here are more goats enjoying a snack.
These crazy creatures are muskox- something I have never seen before and they were so interesting. Our tour guide said that during the peak mating season you can actually smell them from pretty far away. I am happy we didn't have to smell it. :)  
The caribou, the caribou is a beautiful sight to see!
Some more goats/ sheep? I can't remember which one... do you know? Also you have to watch this video put out by Parks Canada about sheep and goats- it has been stuck in my head for a long while!
These are reindeer. I was THIS close to a reindeer! It was so cool to be so close to wild animals.

This little critter is an arctic fox. He was just hanging out in the bushes and I had to really look to find him.
One of the girls with a moose antler. The moose was really hard to see and you had to use binoculars and even then you were lucky to see it.

We went to the Takhini Hot Springs for a little while and it was a true, authentic hot springs! The water was really warm and I even chatted with a few people from my hometown. It was very relaxing and I liked swimming in the "Healing Waters."
On the road again... we headed back into Whitehorse to do a lot of shopping for souvenirs and things and just kind of relaxed to get ready for our very early tomorrow.
As we were heading back into Whitehorse we stopped for a quick photo at the entrance to the city with their sister cities labeled. If you go back to the blog post when we went to city hall there is a bit more about the sister cities.
That is the end of day six! Tomorrow is going to be AMAZING! We are going to Alaska on a train so stay tuned!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Facing Fears and Fish, and Finding Fun: Whitehorse Day Five!

Our morning started off bright and early with a visit to Miles Canyon for a guided interpretive hike and a special event that showcased artists from the area out in nature. We piled into the tank (our white fifteen passenger van for a few days) and hit the road! 
I am TERRIFIED of suspension bridges. I am a two feet on the solid ground kind of person and the idea of having to cross a suspension bridge to get to the hiking part did not sit well with me. In fact I almost considered not doing the hike, but I faced my fears and did it- even if I had to scamper and gently move girls out of my way. :) 
We made it to the other side and it was so worth it. I mean look at this place! It is the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen! 
This artist did so much of his painting in the time we first walked past him and when we came back it was amazing! I loved his piece and I would love to see it completed. 


Watch out for cross country skiing sasquatches! 

This is my favourite picture from the whole trip. It is a historical photograph of the cart that was set up to carry the wealthy's gear down the path lined up with the land today. It is SO cool to me to see these sort of things and get the human connections behind them. 

The purpose of the hike was to go and see Canyon City. The term city is used very loosely in this case as all it is now is rusty cans, outlines of buildings and the history behind it. Of course I loved it! The fact that there were so many things that showed how the gold prospectors lived is amazing to me. As we were looking at the tin cans we could see that some used can openers, while others used knives, and others had all sorts of tools. It was amazing- I get chills just thinking about all of the trouble the men and women had to go through to try and find their fortune. It is a really cool part of Canada's history that I really didn't know too much about. 


Here is some of the other art we saw on our hike!

The very scary suspension bridge!

On our way back into the city we saw this plane landing on the water. The girls were very interested in it!

We decided to check out this 50s diner for lunch and it was delicious! Grease was on repeat and the food was excellent. I love going to restaurants that are an experience and a meal.

After our hike at Miles Canyon we headed down to the salmon ladder to hopefully see some fish! When we got there there were no fish so we decided to go and see the exterior of the ladder and the dam on the river. A few of the girls saw a beaver that they were absolutely thrilled about and couldn't stop talking about! They had a really cool art display as part of the walk to the river. Here are a few of my favourite fish from the many there were. 

Finally when we went back into the building some fish had showed up! It was only two of them but I can proudly say that I saw two real salmon. I had no idea they were that big! 

We took full advantage of having the rental vehicle and zipped around town taking pictures at various places- including this school with a Batman symbol.

This is a log cabin skyscraper. enough said. 

I am a geocacher and I wanted to do a few while I was up North. Because the girls were curious what I was doing I taught them all about how it worked and they loved it! I successfully dropped off the two travel bugs I brought with me and logged a few finds so I was very happy! 

This painting was at the art gallery and I thought it was really pretty!

This was in a toy shop and I thought the hot air balloons were really adorable.

We went to the Klondike Rib and Salmon restaurant for dinner and it was delicious! The restaurant was really cute and very Pinterest-y. :) 

I had a grilled vegetable plate which was DELICIOUS! The garlic mashed potatoes were totally worth the wait in the restaurant.

This was such a great day! I was proud of myself for facing a fear of mine and the scenery was so worth the two minutes of terror. :) I also loved teaching the girls about geocaching. They were so excited to see how it works and I am certain they will go home and want to try it on their own! Tomorrow is another busy day full of fun sand adventure! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mammoths and Rapids:Whitehorse Day Four!

By the fourth day in Whitehorse it was hard to believe that it had only been four days! We had already seen so much and done so many things it felt like we had been here for a month! We started off our day with a trip to the Beringia Interpretive Centre aka Mammoth Nation! I did not know a lot of the information about Yukon during the ice age and I was fascinated to learn that that is where a lot of the "Ice Age" things we hear about occurred.  

We watched this documentary put out by the BBC about what it was like in Beringia and it was really interesting and I learned a lot of new things- like the mating habits of goats- it was very interesting and became a joke for the rest of the trip amongst the leaders. :) 

This is the skeleton of a sloth. Imagine if sloths were that big now!?

Mammoth Teeth are very interesting specimens...
This is a real mammoth tusk. Not a cast, not a replica, a real mammoth tusk!

We got to try our hand at spear throwing, a definite highlight of the Beringia Centre. All of the girls improved immensely in the short time they were doing it and I was proud of them for trying it even though a few were apprehensive. 

Look at how professional they look! 
We also visited the Yukon Transportation Museum, which was a real thrill for me! I am a HUGE fan of all things transportation (I know that sounds ridiculous) so to have planes, boats, trains, cars, sleighs, dogsleds, and wagons all in the same place was incredibly exciting... 

We learned about how and why the Alaska highway was built and saw some of the trucks that were used to do it. We also heard a ghost story... Apparently one of the workers who was building the highway was run over by one of the trucks and his spirit stayed with the truck and is now in the museum... Spooky! 

We spent the evening at the Canada Games Centre. It was our second time there and the kids loved it! The best part of the swimming pool is the "lazy river" aka "help I just fell in the Yukon River and can't get out!" It was very fast and so much fun even though everyone left with cuts and bruises. If you are ever in Whitehorse check this place out!   

That's all for day four, we are halfway through the trip! Stay tuned to see more!