Sunday, March 09, 2014

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Yukon and the Borealis

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM
The ground was covered with thick snow and a steady fall of white flakes was descending from the sky. The air was icy and crisp. Reminiscence of Tahoe skiing days. The night before was cold and cloudy, not a star in the sky. There went our aurora viewing chances. But we knew as it was forecasted the weekend to be cloudy with snow showers.

When we arrived at Whitehorse the day before, it was sunny and the sky was clear and blue, and the mountains along the alaska highway were gorgeous, with their tops covered in white. The drive from Whitehorse to Haines Junction was smooth, traffic almost non-existing, allowing us alone to enjoy the glorious Yukon scenery. But sinister clouds were brewing from the south. They would be at the Junction by midnight.

The rooms in the Parkside Inn were big, clean and nicely decorated. The fridge in the kitchenette full of breakfast material. The bathroom had a nice deep soaking tub and the toiletries were nice smelling. The Hippo took a hot bath, steamy and soothing while outside the temperature was -14.

The snow continued to fall as we headed to Kathleen lake. And we never made it. The road just outside of the junction was snow thick, so we turned and went back to town. Did paint town a little and honestly the best part of downtown Whitehorse was the big moose trooper in front of the bookstore. We gathered food material and headed to the Sundog Retreat. Although all the cabins were taken, the resort itself seemed like a ghost town. No one in the clubhouse. no one using the hot tub. no one using the sauna. No one in the aurora and borealis cabins. we havent met a soul while we explored the resort.

Later that day we took a dip in the Takhini hot springs. To get to the alluring hot waters, one must traveled through a dark, scary, humid and freezing hall. The waters were not as hot as the Blue Lagoon but they didnt smell either.

Dinner that evening was roast chicken (from the store), steamed broccoli and roast potatoes. And that was after tripping the microwave fuse a couple of times. Then the most horrible Tribond board game, where the casualty was all Hippo.

The following morning we did dog mushing at Muktuk. The Hippo's not a dog person (the only dog she ever loved was BigDog who stayed quietly at home) but I did enjoy a bit of dog sledding and the scenery was spectacular.

For those who stayed an extra day, they did get to witness the aurora, albeit not a total plasma surge but nevertheless a natural light show like no other. But there was a price to pay. They had to stay up through most of the night in the cold and wait for the Aurora to display her lights. However, the Sundog Retreat provides 2 cabins, called the Aurora and the Borealis House where guests can stay inside to keep warm with complimentary coffee and tea and biscuits. Both cabins have big windows, offering unobstructed views of the northern skies.

Maybe next time the Hippo would get to see the northern lights. But not this time.



Yukon photos:




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