Monday, 25 June 2012

Yukon and Alaska - Summer Road Trip 2012

Tombstone Territorial Park (Yukon) and the Dempster Hwy

Summer 2012 has begun in grand style.  During the past few days I've be on the road updating the North chapter for the newest edition of the Rough Guide to Canada (due to be released in Spring 2013).  My tour took me up to the 220km mark on the Dempster Hwy and through Tombstone Territorial Park.  Stunning views of a rugged and raw landscape.  Then it was off to Dawson City for a few hours before crossing the Yukon River to meet up with the famed Top of the World Hwy.  Again, impressive views of rugged mountains, alpine tundra and drunken forests of spruce.  The highway took me through the gold town of Chicken and eventually to Tok.  Spent the night in Tok and continued my journey back to the Yukon via the Alaska Hwy. Along the way I stopped in Beaver Creek, Burwash, Haines Junction and Kluane National Park .    Total km: just over 2,000km in three days!

Join me in the coming days as I share my images and tales with you. 

I hope you are enjoying the start of your summer.


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Summer Solstice 2012

Poppies growing alongside the shores of the Yukon River
Whitehorse, Yukon

It's official - summer 2012 has finally arrived.  Yesterday's summer solstice marked the longest day of the year for folks north of the equator.  Here in the Yukon, the warm glow of the midnight sun promises endless new photo opportunities.  

Happy Summer and enjoy the days ahead!!


Sunrise/Sunset times - Whitehorse, Yukon (June 20)

Sunrise: 4:01 am
Sunset: 0:14
Day length: 20hrs 12 mins
Sun elevation:  50ยบ

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A most splendid view - Transit of Venus

Transit of Venus (aprox. 15:50pm Yukon)

Mid transit (18:30ish Yukon)

A most splendid day!!!

Success, and, relief!  The clouds broke free long enough to catch a few glimpses of the start of today's historic transit of Venus.  I caught my first peak of our sister planet sneaking across the solar disk shortly after 15:20pm (Yukon time).  Within a half-an-hour the clouds rolled in and obscured our view for the remainder of the transit.  I did, however, catch one last fleeting glimpse of the planet as it was in mid-tranist.

What an incredible privileged to have witnessed today's solar delight – and to think Captain Cook saw the same event while he was in the South Pacific in 1769.

None of us alive today will see the next transit scheduled on December 10-11, 2117!!

Good night,

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Wishing for clear skies for Tuesday

Sunset over Cape Cod (August, 2011)

From the notes of Edmund Halley (noted astronomer who 'discovered' Halley's comet) on the 1761 transit of Venus - he knew then that he would not be around to witness this celestial spectacle.  

I recommend it therefore again and again to those curious astronomers who (when I am dead) will have an opportunity of observing these things, that they would remember this my admonition, and diligently apply themselves with all their might in making this observation, and I earnestly wish them all the imaginable success:  in the first place, that they may not by the unseasonable obscurity of a cloudy sky be deprived of this most desirable sight, and then, that having ascertained with more exactness the magnitudes of the planetary orbits, it may rebound to their immortal fame and glory
Edmund Halley, 1716

Here's hoping for clear skies for Tuesday's (or Wednesday, for my European and Central Asian mates) transit of Venus.  The next transit will occur on December 11, 2117.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Yukon – from the air

Heading south from Whitehorse

Emerald Lake, Carcross

Carcross Desert

Bennett Lake - part of Chilkoot Trail

Tagish Lake - no, it's not the Caribbean
(Emerald green in colour thanks to fine rock particles suspended
in the lake - these particles scatter light rays)

Tagish Lake

Southeast of Whitehorse

Southeast of Whitehorse

Whitehorse - SS Klondike in lower right
(Yukon River bottom)

Our Cessna
(Tagish Lake)

Last week I had an opportunity to participate in what's known in our circles as a Media Fam Tour (Media Familiarization Tours for travel writers and photographers).  Yukon Tourism had invited me, along with two international journalists, to check out the Tagish Lake Wilderness Lodge, a remote wilderness resort located some thirty minutes, by plane, southeast of Whitehorse.  We flew onboard a Cessna floatplane and enjoyed the breathtaking scenery of snowcapped mountains,  turquoise lakes and miles upon miles of rivers weaving through an endless expanse of wilderness.  Fabulous! 

Gebhard and Sarah, the owners of the Lodge, greeted us upon our arrival.  We were treated to coffee and homemade cake while we discussed their facilities and tour packages.  Their beautiful lodge and cabins, nestled between the mountains and the rocky shores of Tagish Lake, offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy Yukon's wilderness and outdoor adventures.  I'll post more on the Lodge in an upcoming post.  

Unfortunately, our stay at the Lodge was a brief one as the pilot was on a tight schedule.  Regardless, we enjoyed our stay and look forward to returning to the lodge in the near future.  

I could not of asked for a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.