Two great wheels, one on either side of the paddlewheeler, ploughed through the water, scooping and churning and spitting the waters of the Yukon River out behind them. The ship’s horn bellowed, announcing our passage to whoever might be on shore.
At this point, leaving Dawson City, the Yukon River is framed by mountains and sprinkled with wooded islands and a few tiny settlements, so it seems likely most of the listeners are wildlife.
Before it reaches Dawson, the river has been lazily rolling along on the hot August days through glacially carved metamorphic rock. In other words, it has nowhere else to go but on and on and on towards its final destination, the Bering Sea.
I, of course, was caught in the spell of both the Klondike Spirit Paddlewheeler, where I was on a dinner cruise, and the mighty Yukon, North America’s fifth-longest river.
Every summer thousands of people head north to the Klondike to find out for themselves about the mysteries of this part of the Yukon. My list of things to do had included Discovery Days in Dawson City, the annual celebration of the discover of gold in 1896, panning for gold at the Goldbottom claim site, and seeing the glaciers of Kluane.
But for that one August evening, I was caught in the pull of history, as I listened to the water splashing and watched the landscape passing, much as it would have looked to those miners who’d traveled thousands of miles for the chance of making it rich.
Here’s a photo tour of my journey…
Ride the Klondike Spirit Paddlewheeler
- Klondike Spirit Webpage – http://www.klondikespirit.com/