Dawson City to Watson Lake (See Map)
|We entered Canada via a small border post which is only open during the summer months except for one day in the winter when it opens for a snowmobile race from Tok to Dawson City.
|From the border post, the road follows the ridges of the mountains along the aptly named Top of the World Highway. This is a fantastic road to cycle with little traffic and fabulous views. Tough cycling though.
|It was a relief for our muscles when the road descended for a rapid 10 miles to the Yukon River. Dawson City lies on the other side. There is a ferry which took us and our bikes across.
|In 1896, George Carmack, Skookum Jim and Tagish Charlie struck it lucky at Rabbit Creek sparking the Klondike Gold Rush centred here in Dawson City. Within 2 years the town’s population grew by 40,000.
|Some of the original buildings remain and others have been built in keeping with them so that walking around you get the feeling you have stepped back in time. It is said that when the old theatre was renovated, $1000 of gold was collected from under the floorboards having fallen from miners pockets during performances.
|You can still gamble at Diamond Tooth Gerties, Canada’s oldest gambling hall. We managed to catch the nightly cabaret.
|Another tourist attraction is the Downtown Hotel challenge. You simply slip this toe, preserved in the salt jar, into your pint of beer and, making sure the toe touches your lips, drink the entire pint. If you do you win a T-shirt. They actually have a stock of several toes donated by generous frost bite victims of the town. We were told that should you accidentally swallow the toe you are obliged to provide a replacement.