Day 42 in Dawson

August 12, 2007

Suzanne arranged complimentary tickets for us on the Yukon Queen II round trip from Dawson to Eagle, Alaska.

We had to get up early to get to the dock for the 8:30am boarding. We are not morning people. We were a little late.

The boat was really nice. A catamaran hull, but similar to the ill-fated fast ferry from Rochester, NY to Toronto. [Both boats were built in Australia] They fed us lunch on the way up, and dinner on the way back. The food was excellent. The coffee & tea were free!

Eagle itself is a town of 129 people and an assortment of historic Gold-Rush era buildings. We had to go through customs both ways because we crossed the border. In each case, the customs agent came on board the boat and we showed our IDs and answered some basic questions to get off the boat.

There was not much to buy in Eagle as "The Eagle Mall" is closed on Sundays. "The Eagle Mall" is a tent with 4 vendors selling homemade crafts & jewelry. I'd have liked to have seen it. But, because the tickets were free, the boat people said we had to go on Sunday as that's their slow day.

The courthouse museum shop had stuff for sale from the same 4 vendors. I bought a necklace with an interesting metallic eagle hanging off it.

They did a cute mock-trial at the courthouse with people from the tour bus as judge, defendant, and jury. The defendant was excellent, given he had no preparation ahead of time. And the judge was chosen for his uncanny resemblance to the actual judge of the time — whose portrait hung behind the bench.

Eagle was named Eagle for the bluff beside the town where bald eagles nest. Their claim to fame seems to be that Roald Amundsen telegraphed the news from Eagle to Norway, that he had found the illusive northwest passage. He also asked them to send money.

On the way up in the boat we saw two moose and an eagle. On the way back we saw a much closer moose and a bear trying to swim across the Yukon River. He changed his mind when he saw us coming. And more eagles.

The weather was great! The next day it poured rain all day. We were lucky.

I'm starting to think that Holland-America owns the Yukon: the boat is H-A, the tour buses were H-A, the Westmark Hotel is H-A.

- Carolyn