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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Dawson City, Yukon

Dawson City, Yukon is where gold was discovered in 1896 in Rabbit Creek (later changed to Bonanza) a tributary of the Klondike River, which merges with the Yukon River at Dawson City.  One million people, it is said, laid plans to go to the Klondike.  One hundred thousand actually set off and about thirty thousand made it. 
 Some interesting statistics – Dawson City’s population in spring 1897 was 1,500.  In 1898 it was 30,000 and in 1911 it was 3,013.  In 2014 it was 1,998.
In 1897, 120,000 oz of gold were mined, with a value of $2,500,000.
In 1900, 1,077,000 oz of gold were mined, with a value of $22,275,000.
In 2014, 46,000 oz of gold were mined, with a value of $61,442,000.
Every year the Yukon River freezes over sometime in October and doesn’t thaw until May.  There is no bridge here and tomorrow we will be catching the free car ferry across the river.  In winter you can drive on the river.

Dawson City is not quite in the Arctic Circle, but last night it didn’t actually get dark.  Although the sun did officially set and rise, there is a very long twilight.

There used to be 250 paddle steamers on the river.  There is only one now.

A lot of the buildings have been renovated and preserved.  This is our hotel.  Unfortunately the roads are not sealed and it had been raining so we had to walk in a mess of mud and gravel.  A bit too authenic 'gold rush days' for me.

Other buildings are just left abandoned.  In this case permafrost thawing has caused sinking and it will not be restored.

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