To Dawson City and back again

24 Jul
Dawson City is a beautiful place!  I’ve heard people say that Whitehorse is a beautiful city, but if there were a beauty contest between Whitehorse and Dawson, well, there would be no contest, because Dawson would win, hands down.  I really liked the feel of the town, although I don’t know what it would be like to live there, of course.  One of the things I realized as we were touring the picturesque streets is that with Michael’s business, it wouldn’t make sense for us to live anywhere in Yukon except Whitehorse.  I really enjoy living in Whitehorse, but I must admit that this realization made me feel constrained!
We arrived in the historic town around 10 p.m. on Friday night and drove around for a bit, admiring the architechture, dropping off the hitchiker we had picked up about 30 clicks out of town, and trying to find the house of our friends Anne and Nathan.  We eventually found the place; they were both off volunteering at the music festival, but their wonderful neighbours helped us pick out a relatively dog-poop-free area to set up our tent.  (There are 5 dogs in the apartment complex and our tent is huge so this was actually a bit of a challenge.)  I immediately set about putting Jade to sleep, but it was difficult with the light, and the music from the festival grounds, and yahoos driving 40 km/h down the alley behind us, and the helicopters buzzing down overhead.  It wasn’t as bad as our first night at Kusawa, but it wasn’t very restful, either.  Fortunately, Anne and Nathan had enough room in their apartment that we were able to move inside for Saturday and Monday nights.
We didn’t see a lot of the music festival on Saturday.  The music didn’t start until noon (or was it 11:00?) and with the interrupted night’s sleep and the blistering hot weather in Dawson, Jade’s schedule was totally off, so we pretty much spent our time sleeping and eating.   We did have an amazing supper at the Aurora Inn; it is the best restaurant we’ve been to in a long time, and rivals many of the gourmet experiences we’ve had down south, let alone in Whitehorse.  (Honestly, I can’t think of anyplace in Whitehorse that even comes close, but I haven’t tried them all.  If you have a recommendation, let me know.)  Michael went out to catch some music after Jade was in bed and saw so many people he knew that we figured half of Whitehorse was in Dawson City.
Sunday we had a little more activity.  Jade had a morning nap again (crazy, she hasn’t done that in months!) and so wasn’t interested in sleeping during her usual nap time.  That meant we were able to catch the "Ancient Voices" workshop that included a group of Tuvan (Siberian) throat singers that are nothing like the throat singers we have here in Canada.  The sounds they made were totally other-worldly; I thought at first someone was playing a flute or asynthesizer but eventually realized that it was one of the gentlemen we had come to see.  It’s hard to call it singing — it’s more like his whole throat and skull were being used as an instrument.  I think you have to see it to really believe it!
It was so hot when we went for lunch that we used my glass of water to cool off.  I used lots of it to wet down Jade’s hair and arms and legs and I let her slosh her hands around in it (as she usually wants to do but isn’t allowed).  This had the happy side effect of getting her hands clean after she had been playing in the dirt.  I also managed to tie Jade’s hair up into a little ponytail for the first time.
We decided to get some ice cream after lunch to help beat the heat.  I opted for frozen yogurt since I knew I’d be sharing with Jade and I wanted to choose a healthier option.  The girl making my cone messed up, though — she accidentally put in two servings of frozen yogurt.  The mango flavour was thus rather dilute, but it meant there was lots left over for Jade!  She got a cup to herself with her own spoon.  She ate the whole thing up and then fell asleep in her stroller.  She never sleeps in the stroller!  So this gave us a chance to head over to the festival grounds to catch some of the activity there while she snoozed.
Yesterday we spent the whole day travelling.  After eating breakfast we packed up and loaded the car and finally headed out of Dawson City around 10 a.m.  Between the road construction and stretching and diaper change and meal stops, the drive that takes most people 6 hours took us 9.  We were all very glad to get home. 
Michael headed out for a bike ride with Nanuq, while I went to the playground with Jade.  It was technically her bedtime, but I figured she needed a chance to let off some steam after being strapped into a car seat all day.  Her friend Cambria, who is almost exactly a year older, happened to come to the playground at the same time, and the girls had a ball chasing each other around.  When Jade was in the swings, Cambria was in the swings.  When Jade decided to go on the slides, Cambria did, too.  Sometimes Jade chased Cambria up the steps, and sometimes it was the other way around, with Cambria copying Jade’s baby talk and adding other commentary.  It was so much fun to watch them really interacting!
Jade finally went to sleep around 8:00.  I don’t know about her, but when I finally went to bed, I was very glad to be back in my own bed.

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