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Day 51 - Whitehorse, YT

Today we all took a ride on the boat that goes up the scenic Yukon River through Miles Canyon. We are starting from Schwatka Lake, which was named after U.S. Army Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka, who surveyed the length of the Yukon River by raft in 1883.

These three float planes were tied up at the the dock next to the boat dock we would use for our boat trip. I just loved the reflections in the water. I was told the owner of the Beaver on the left has flown it three times, on floats, to Jamaica.

It is another rainy morning as we board the
M. V. Schwatka for our morning cruise.

The Captain is ready to sail.


There was seating for all of us in the warm cabin on the lower level, and

seating for 16, who wanted to experience the open air, and rain, on the upper deck.

On the left is the hydro-electric power plant and dam that was built in 1959 which created Schwatka Lake. Prior to the lake, this was the site of Squaw Rapids, which was one of the most treacherous hazards on the Yukon River.

The reflections in the still water were mesmerizing as we move up the lake from the dock.

We are entering Miles Canyon. Originally called "Grand Canyon" by the early gold seekers. The canyon was renamed in 1883 by Lt. Schwatka for Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles.

Miles Canyon was an imposing challenge for miners and stampeders on their way up the Yukon to the gold fields, mainly because the narrow channel through the canyon was followed by the more daunting Whitehorse Rapids and Squaw Rapids.

Both rapids were eliminated when the dam was completed in 1959 creating Schwatka Lake, raising the water level in Miles canyon. This is a suspension bridge across Miles Canyon which is now used to connect walking paths on either side of the river.

As we proceed up-river, the Yukon River widens

and narrows in many spots. With the calm wind today it made for magical reflections on the water in any direction we looked.

The captain spotted a young bald eagle that landed on the top of a river cliff and sat to watch us go by. As you can see, it still has its mottled brown coloring.

We were told this property is still owned by the family whose ancestor was here during the gold rush, staking out a large section of land. As a result, their property is surrounded by First Nation's property. The family subdivided part of it and there is at least one more home just up river.

We have turned around and are heading back down river and approaching the suspension bridge again.

The sun has come out and it is warming up as we approach Schwatka Lake.

A panoramic shot of Schwatka Lake with the dam in the middle between the two sections of shore.

Approaching the dock with the float planes on the left, the dock in the middle and the dam on the right.

Everyone had a great time and all are pleased that the sun is now shining for their afternoon activities.

Everyone split up to take in the many museums and activities available in Whitehorse. A small group of us ended up at the highly recommended Klondike Rib & Salmon Restaurant for lunch.

This group is looking over the menus prior to ordering.

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