August 29 2022 – Today marked the end of the rugged-north-west-and-wildlife section of our time in North America, as we left Whitehorse for Vancouver. It’s been a full-on three weeks (except for the boring waiting around for things to happen bits, of course) and it will be rather nice to have three days in Vancouver with nothing on the agenda! We can please ourselves as to where we go and what we do. Bet we end up walking a lot, though.
Anyways, we woke to a morning of slightly uncertain-looking weather, with showers forecast. Nonetheless, Jane suggested we go for a walk, so off we went. We headed for the pioneers’ graveyard
at which point it looked like it might come on to rain. I wimped out at this point, not least because I had a blog to write, and Jane carried on with her original plan, to climb the Black Street Steps,
all 250-odd of ’em. The view from the top was recommended, but, frankly, had too many things in the way to make it very rewarding.
The steps feature a side section which allows for pushing e.g. a bike up the steps,
which looks rather like hard work; Jane reports that this chap was suffering somewhat as he laboured up the steps.
The route back to the hotel led past some interesting houses,
some unsuspected lanes running parallel to the surfaced roads,
and some colourful touches.
(Above is a mural outside the Yukon Chamber of Mining.)
Jane joined me in the hotel restaurant, which we discovered sold Empress Gin,
and we had a lunch which featured enormous portions in the hope that it would keep us going for the rest of the day (which it largely did, actually).
Then it was time to get the shuttle to the airport, which sounds straightforward but wasn’t. We thought we’d booked a shuttle at 2.45, which was about right for a 4.45 flight. But the hotel reception told us that there was no shuttle at 2.45, only at 1.15 or 5pm, so we put ourselves down for the 1.15, of course. Came 1.15, but no shuttle. We spoke to the receptionist, who disappeared backstage and the next thing, the driver appeared and said, “I’ll go get the bus”. On the way, he asked us which flight we were on, and when we told him it was at 4.45, he seemed surprised that we weren’t on the 2.45 shuttle – which he was going to drive!
Whitehorse airport is, like Port Hardy, too small to support a café in the departure area, but sophisticated enough to have mains and USB charging by the seating. We had a longish wait, since we’d got there early, so the charging points and the free WiFi were very welcome.
The flight back to Vancouver passed pleasantly enough. We were right at the back, which I don’t normally care for, but there was adequate legroom and it was perfectly comfortable. Conversation with the chap next to us passed the time very nicely – he was a resident of Whitehorse going (with wife and four kids!) to visit family in Vancouver – and Jane took some photos out of the window, as conditions were clear.
Shortly after take off, we passed the hydro dam (bottom left)
and you can see the dam itself (we visited it two days ago, remember?) and the waterfall to the left of it – the barrier forcing returning salmon into the ladder which runs back and then forth past the dam. I think this photo gives a good idea of how long that salmon ladder really is (nearly a quarter of a mile).
Here are some of the other photos Jane took.
the Yukon River;
an interesting cloudbow;
some lumpy bits;
some lumpy bits with snow on them;
and finally downtown Vancouver, with the cruise terminal and Stanley Park to the left of the picture, the colourful port in the centre and Grouse Mountain to the top right.
When we arrived in the baggage hall, I noticed with some bemusement that the baggage carousel numbering started from 0. I really don’t know why, but there it is.
Our bags turned up eventually, as did a driver to take us the 30-minute journey into town and we found ourselves once again at the Fairmont Waterfront, just three floors higher than last time.
I expect that the next three days will take a toll on our shoe leather, but the weather outlook is very good, so I’m looking forward to exploring the place further. Assuming that happens, I may well take some photos, in which case they may well find their way on to these pages, should you wish to come back and check them out. See you soon, I hope.