Monday, June 27, 2005

"At four o'clock the normal world seems very, very far away" : By: Andrew Hoshkiw

Wise words from a band called Pulp. Go listen to the song. It's a good description, on a grander scale, of what the night in Dawson was like.

So today I went on a mini-shopping spree. Groceries, rechargeable batteries, a battery charger and a set a funky wine glasses. Oh, and also a candy jar and a bag of candy, to put on my desk at work.

Not for me, mind you, but because I'm evil. Just something to draw more people over to my desk when I'm working. All the women at work will complain saying it'll make them fat, but they'll still all come over.

I never did get into what the weekend trip was like.

Drove down to Skagway on the Alaskan coast after work on Friday. I drove fast, wanting to get there before dark (ha ha!) and only stopped once... not to look at the sights or take photos, but to stick my head under a mountain waterfalls.

It was very hot and dry last week. I hate it when it's dry here, which is most of the time. It makes me thirsty constantly.

Skagway though was hot and humid and beautiful.

But that and the drive were the only pleasant aspects of Skagway. This time it seemed like a flimsy, fake tourist town.

Of course, the first time I went there I was in the company of a beautiful Swiss lass named Beatrice. Maybe that helped put things in a different light back then.

I even went to the pub where we got drunk on Alaskan beer and had a few pints, but it just wasn't the same. This time I was just lonely.

Driving out of town Saturday morning (after purchasing a bottle of Wild Turkey), I turned down a dirt road and followed the coast for about 20 km to the ghost town of Dyea.

It was like driving on the Sea to Sky Highway, with towering mountains on one side, and a ragged coastline on the other.

Dyea was nice. There wasn't much left, but if felt real.

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I took lots of pictures, hiked and explored a little, and then drove to Atlin.

This time I drove slow and made lots of stops. It's amazing how I can take seven hours to drive 250 km, and yet the drive to Dawson was 550 km in four and a half hours.

In Atlin I didn't linger. I drove around and looked at the sights, and out of curiosity checked the liquor store to see if they stocked Wild Turkey, but then drove south along the lake to the warm springs.

There I turned onto a tiny dirt road, and after putting my car through hell, found myself at the backwoods cabin of Stephen Badhwar.

Cabin probably isn't the best word. Estate would be better. It's a large plot on a hill with a majestic view overlooking the lake.

Stephen is sort of a hippy, but not really. An interesting character who likes to recite poetry and, for the last several years, has been running the local music festival.

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Image taken by Stephen Badhwar

He has several cabins, a large greenhouse (which I watched him expand while I was there). There's no electricity or phone and the water comes from the springs. He has a sauna, an outdoors kitchen and an organic farming business.

It's like a youth hostel too, as there are international travellers who come and work on the farm in exchange for food and a place to sleep (in a big teepee)

I spent a good night there and on Sunday drove back to Whitehorse.

This weekend I have no plans beyond staying at home and recovering my strength. Perhaps I'll work a bit on articles for upcoming festivals: Faro is next weekend and Atlin the week after.

Oh and there's a French Solstice/Saint-John Baptiste Day celebration in the park tonight. That could be interesting...

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