That first afternoon there we took a drive into town to get our bearings. After driving down a few of the dirt streets looking at a lot of the homes and businesses we drove over to the ferry landing to see what that looked like. When we leave Dawson we must traverse the Yukon River on the free ferry to get to the Top O the world highway toward Alaska.
There were two very long lines, one of cars and small trucks and the other was of RV’s. We parked near the ferry and i walked over to the guy in the first RV in the line (next to get on) and asked when he had gotten there. He said 9am. it was after 4pm when i asked. Ouch!
The ferry was VERY small. Probably held 6-8 cars or a few cars and two RV’s. I watched it load and go to the other side of the river and come back. On the way back i was not sure the captain would be able to get back to the “ramp” as the river current is really fast there. He was able to do it, but it looked like a thrilling ride for the folks on there.
When i say “ramp”, there is no ramp. They pile up a dirt embankment with a large Cat Front loader that looks permanently parked there. That’s it. There is no dock whatsoever and from what i can tell on the other side of the river either.
i asked one of the ferry workers what the hours are, and was told it runs 24 hours a day when the river is not frozen which i guess means it runs just a few months a year. The towns folks say that 40 below zero here is very normal. That seems unimaginable to me… it never goes below 40 above zero at home.
While we were standing there by the river i saw off in the distance another larger vessel and wondered what it was. Later that afternoon we saw it was a side paddle wheeler. i think we should take a ride on that this week. We also walk over to the visitor center and get some info about the area. We find out the parks Canada has a guided walking tour a couple times each day. Now that’s added to our list also. This could be a fun place!