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A Taste of the Yukon

In the short time I spent on the whirlwind Whitehorse Olympic media day last February, there was much to see and do!    (This post is well overdue….)

The trip started right from the moment we checked in at YVR. The woman handing out the boarding passes was dressed in traditional dress from the gold rush days. She wore this while hosting the flight to Whitehorse with contests and games.

Upon arrival, our media group was ushered to waiting school buses to take us to the local Whitehorse tourism centre, where we were introduced to the Province’s premier, Dennis Fentie, and members of Yukon Tourism. We were also treated to a dance from the Snowshoe Shufflers! Yep, dancers with snowshoes strapped to their feet! They also had past Olympians and Special Olympians present from the local area. I was honoured to personally meet Christine Larsen and she allowed me not only to hold her medal from the Atlanta Games, but to hang it around my neck as well!

Me and Christine Larsen and her silver medal

Christine Larsen's silver medal

Travel Yukon hosted a quick lunch with tastes of various restaurants in the city with traditional loca foods, such as moose, bison, and venison meats! It was all absolutely delicious!

We were then separated into our respective groups, depending on the activity we had previously chosen. The one my partner and I chose to be a part of was the Wildlife Reserve and Hot Springs tour. In between the two, we even stopped at t a local coffee roasting company, Bean North, where they roast organic beans from around the world that are purchased via fair trade.

Bean North Cafe

Bean North Cafe Bean North Cafe

At the wildlife reserve we saw many animals, from reindeer, to mountain goats, mountain sheep, elk, and  deer, to my favourite: a lynx!

Lynx at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

Yukon Wildlife Preserve Yukon Wildlife Preserve

Yukon Wildlife Preserve

The Takhini Hot Springs were heavenly! We didn’t have a whole lot of time to enjoy them, but in the -20 degree Celsius weather it was a welcome warm up! The great thing about these hot springs was that you did not get that rotten egg sulfur smell that you often do with hot springs. There was no odor at all! Just two big pools of different temperatures to enjoy at your leisure. We were told that if you’re enjoying the hot springs at night, you may be lucky enough to catch a great light show from the arora borealis. Now THAT, I would love to experience!

Takhini Hot Springs

Connected to the hot springs is accommodation in the form of small cabins in the woods. The cabins looked very cozy and a good place to warm up as a nice winter retreat. With snow shoeing and cross-country skiing as daytime activities, and the hot springs to warm up in at the end of the day, you will never get bored at the Takhini Resort!

Takhini Hot Springs Lodge

Takhini Hot Springs Cabins Takhini Hot Springs Cabins

Takhini Hot Springs Cabins: Group shot

Next, we were taken to the Whitehorse Museum where we had an opportunity try our hands at gold panning, taste some locally brewed beer and attempt the Sour Toe Cocktail. You’ll find more details about interesting cocktail, continent a mummified human toe in this previous post. You can watch a video of me drinking the cocktail on YouTube.

SourToe Cocktail

SourToe Cocktail Drinking my Sourtoe Cocktail in Whitehorse, Yukon

From the museum the media group was taken to our last stop of the trip, the banquet dinner for the Yukon Quest dog sledding race. (http://www.yukonquest.com/) We were invited to partake in the celebration and announcements of the winners of the 2010 Yukon Quest. We had the honour of meeting the winner and speaking with him about the challenges he experienced over the 1,600 km of rough, sometimes hazardous terrain between Whitehorse, Yukon and Fairbanks, Alaska.

Yukon Quest Hans Gatt, winner of Yukon Quest, a 2 week Dog Sledding Race

We had one final surprise at the Whitehorse airport to round off our Yukon experience as we waited to check in and board our chartered flight back to YVR. Cancan dancers! Pretty sure this is not a regular occurrence for travelers to Whitehorse…

Cancan Dancers at the Whitehorse Airport

After a full day of travel and activities, we arrived back in Vancouver around midnight. It was a nice break, but I was happy to jump back into the Olympics craziness the following day.

I’d like to thank Travel Yukon and Canada’s Northern House for inviting me to come along on the Yukon media trip. It was truly amazing to see such a beautiful part of our country. I know I’ll be back again to see and experience all that Yukon has to offer! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that will not be forgotten!

Daily Photo: A Lynx in Yukon

During the Olympics, I was invited on a media trip to Whitehorse, Yukon for a day. On the trip the group visited a nature reserve where I saw this beautiful lynx.

For more photos from the Yukon trip, please visit Flickr.

Lynx at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

Sourtoe Cocktail Anyone?

I was very fortunate to be invited by the Yukon Department of Tourism to go on a trip to Whitehorse during the Olympic Games on February 20th, 2010. It was an absolutely amazing day! We left Vancouver on an 8:30am flight, spent the day in and around Whitehorse and were back in Vancouver just after midnight the same day. Awesome!

One of the crazy experiences of the day was drinking Captain Dick’s Sourtoe Cocktail from Dawson City.

What is a Sourtoe Cocktail you ask? You may be sorry that you asked. I tried not to think too much about it  too much when I swigged the cocktail and you will understand why in a moment…

A Sourtoe Cocktail is your choice of either Yukon Jack Whiskey or Klondike Vodka, both distilled in Yukon. Then the Captain drops a mummified human toe (toe nail and all!) into the drink!

Before you drink it, the Captain recites,

“The toe goes into your drink. You can drink it fast, or you can drink it slow. But the toe must touch your lips, and I must witness that.”

Once you’ve swallowed the liquor and it has touched your lips (do NOT swallow the toe), you sign the book and the Captain signs your certificate and wallet card and BAM! You’re a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club!

As you will see in the video below, I became a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club that day. I received a certificate and wallet card to prove it! In fact, I am member number 34,958! (That’s a lot of toe kissers!)

For more photos of the cocktail and the rest of my Yukon trip, please visit my Flickr page.

For more information about the Sourtoe Cocktail, see the Sourtoe Cocktail Club website.

 

SourToe Cocktail

SourToe Cocktail

SourToe Cocktail

SourToe Cocktail


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