on the city tour, we saw the railway station which was built during the gold rush, the old log church with the story about the minister eating his leather boot to stave off starvation one harsh winter, a cafe slash 4 story apt built entirely out of wooden logs, the decommissioned klondike paddlewheeler and the yukon tourism office, where we watched a film on the city.
our tour guide, gabe, told us about the midnight sun in the summer. he told us about being able to play tennis at 11 o'clock at night, because it was sunny and bright. and that in the winter, although there's never 24 hours of night, there's normally about 5 hours of sunlight per day. the sun rises around 10am and sets at 3pm!
when i talked to another tour guide, she told me that even after 8 years of living in whitehorse, she still hasn't gotten used to midnight sun. she has to black out her windows, in hopes of mimicing night. i, for one, couldn't get used to it. i love sleeping and i need it to be dark to go to sleep. when it's summer in vancouver, i inwardly cringe, going to bed when i could see the dawn breaking.
after the tour, we were dropped off at the hotel to either enjoy the day on our own or join other arranged tours.
on a whim, i called muktuk adventures and asked if they allowed guests to just visit the kennel and not have to sign up for the dog sledding trips. one of the staff, manuela, said yes and went so far as to arrange for another staff to come back into town and pick me up. so nice of her because a cab ride out to where they are (again, in the woods) would've cost me $50 one way!
me and blaize
these cuties kept closing their eyes whenever i tried to take a picture
so i got to spend the afternoon with 128 beautiful, health and friendly sled dogs. i was even invited to eat lunch with the staff and got to meet and hold newborn pups and hang out with their retired sled dogs. really, their hospitality went above and beyond.
trying not to feel lenny-ish with a days old pup
muktuk has around 20 retired dogs (10 years+ in age) on the property. almost all dogs like to stay outside and be with each other. they all have their own crates to sleep in and keep warm. muktuk also buys trapper dogs when they unable to do their jobs anymore (for whatever reason). instead of trappers putting trapper dogs down, muktuk adopts them instead.
the most beautiful blue eyes
the happiest dog in the pack. seriously.
how happy was this dog? he was super playful and couldn't get enough of me. he wanted to be constantly petted and played with. adorbs.
got back to the hotel by dinnertime. i was surprised that downtown, on a saturday night no less, things start to close at 6pm. save for a subway, a japanese restaurant and pubs located inside hotels, everything else was closed, including shoppers drug mart and the starbucks! what do northern folks do on a saturday night?
met the buses at 10pm for a second night out to the woods, but i knew from getting up this morning, that we weren't going to see anything tonite. it had been overcast all day and the chances of the clouds disappearing were zero to none.
it wasn't all a wash though. as we didn't have the northern lights to see, the group got to mingling and socializing with each other. yesterday, everyone was out for themselves, wanting to watch or photograph the auroras. tonight, we were chatting about where we're from, what tours we've been on, how long we're staying etc.
i feel incredibly lucky that i did get to see the northern lights yesterday because tonight was a total no-go. and it's forecasted to be cloudy again tomorrow. fortunately, i came up here for friday and saturday viewing, rather than saturday and sunday. a tourist couple i met who flew in today and staying until monday will most likely not see the northern lights. sometimes, it's a crap shoot, which is why there are up to 5 night packages to increase your odds.
although it was a bummer about tonight's viewing, i got to spend the whole afternoon hanging out with over 100+ four-legged friends. and that is a "win" in my book.