Day 22: Being Flexible

This segment of the trip is all about being flexible in the plans. Yesterday I changed my route to avoid the Campbell Highway. Today I arrived in Dawson to a huge forest fire blocking the route to my preferred campground. Sometimes on a roadtrip you have to be flexible to the things you can’t control. That is sometimes a challenge for me. Weather interrupting plans to paddleboard. Road construction. Road closures. Road conditions not favorable to driving a school bus. And of course unexpected repairs.

The third photo is of the Yukon flower, the Fireweed. It grows all over, but is especially pretty along the side of the roadways.

Today was filled with construction delays and slow downs for bad roads. But the biggest change in my plans came when I arrived in Dawson. As I approached the city I noticed a huge cloud of grey smoke blanketing the area. As I got closer it smelled like I was standing in a campfire. There was definitely a forest fire nearby. As it turns out, the fire is on the road to Tombstone Territorial Park, where I was planning to camp tonight. While the road is technically open, there are several hour delays for blowing smoke creating a traffic hazard. Not wanting to complicate the lives of the firefighters, I decided to spend the night in Dawson.

Dawson is a cute town that is very much geared toward serving the tourists. It’s a little bit like Georgetown in Colorado. And the history is very similar. Old mining town, preserved gold rush era buildings, etc. It’s quaint. And a great stopping point for the night. I found one of the last campsites at the Gold Rush RV Park right downtown. It’s a cheap unserviced site (no hook-ups for water, power, sewer) but it will do perfectly for the night.

I set off to explore town and grab a drink. I’ve heard there is a bar here that serves a shot with a petrified human toe in it. That sounds like a perfect thing for me to check out. I head to the Downtown Hotel and Jack London Grill which serves the infamous drink. Unfortunately, it isn’t available until after 9pm. It’s 4 now. I can’t sit and drink for 5 hours. So back to the bus to make dinner.

So Dan is parked next to me in the Campground. He’s retired and was a mechanical engineer by trade, but more of a project manager in practice. Super nice guy. We’ve been basically on the same itinerary, even overlapping at the same campgrounds, but only met tonight. He’s from Park City, UT.

Dan decided he wanted to do the Toe Shot too. Perfect. It’s always easier to do something with a little peer pressure. We walked down to the Downtown Hotel (downtown is a relative term in Dawson) and ordered a shot of Yukon Jack and a Yukon Brewing IPA. It was about 8:45 so we had some time. Around 9, we lined up to do the Tow Shot. Yes. There was a LINE! Here’s the video I shot of the experience!

It even came with a certificate and my name is forever in the log books. I’m number 72459. Yes, 72,458 people have done a shot with the toe (or the previous toes) before me.

For more info on the toe, click here:

Back at the bus it’s 11:30 and basically twilight. The sun just set and it’s still completely light out. Love summer in the north.