It wasn’t long ago when I my perception of “up north” included places in central BC. The furthest north I had been in Canada was Fort Mcmurray, and in so many ways Fort Mac truly felt like the edge of the world to me.
Taking the unexpected plunge to move to Yukon Territory and try on some northern living is turning into quite a gift of a learning experience, gaining all kinds of knowledge about my own country.
Instead of flying up we drove to Whitehorse from southern BC, from my parents place in Cranbrook. The trip was 2434km according to google maps. We stopped halfway at a friends place in Fort St. John, a town I had considered way up north not too long before and I was shocked we had only covered 1103km… only about half way. Wow!
Our weather, though cold, was great the entire way. Clear skies and great visibility allowed me to really take things in and gave the endless scenic land we drove through serious depth. There is something amazingly awe inspiring about open and uninhabited landscapes… blankets of endless forests to the horizon, mountain after mountain after mountain. When we are lucky enough to experience these environments that put the vastness of this land into perspective it can make you feel really small, and yet in a way can show so clearly how each of us is just a tiny tiny piece of such a great big thing. As I’ve said so many times before, we live in one amazing country!
**Photos of the Drive North – 2nd half of the journey**
“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.”
― Aldo Leopold
My arrival to Whitehorse was complimented with mild temperatures of -5 for nearly the first week. I was thankful for the soft entry to my new northern home after watching the weather for the month previous linger between the -20s and -30s.
Though Whitehorse is the capital city of Yukon Territory it’s population is still small and I was somehow shocked to learn that 23,000 out of the territory’s 30,000 people (polled by the last census) live here. A rich and natural area, there is evidence that the region has been used by various First Nations people for several thousand years and that different tribes passed through the areas seasonally having their territories overlap. This to me is not surprising at all. Whitehorse lies in the rain-shadow of the coastal mountains and is situated right on the Yukon River. It is nestled by three beautiful mountains and boasts one the driest environments in Canada. As a person who holds the outdoors and natural world at the top of my list in regard to places I want to live, Whitehorse really does fit the bill. If you are bored here, with endless options to get outside, into the mountains, onto the trails and (in the summer) on the water it is definitely for lack of interest, not lack of options.
It’s been a wonderful first month in my new “home” complete with ski touring, snow shoeing, hot springs, cultural presentations, a film festival and an ever increasing amount of morning light, with the sunrise now seeming to grace us by 8:30ish. I haven’t noticed much of a difference really on the later end of the day from Southern Canada, but I’m sure that will soon change as the days get longer and longer. Our move to Whitehorse is only as set in stone as anything else in life. With no definite plans to escape any time in the near future time will tell whether or not this new northern capital could indeed hold us for a long period of time. But the one thing that is certain, there will be no shortage of amazing adventures to be had up here in Yukon Territory.
** Fish Lake, Yukon**
** The new hood. **
** Downtown Whitehorse, and views of town. **