Lots of people enjoying another beautiful day in Istanbul, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

It wouldn't be like us to back off from a little more exercise

Once again, we woke up early and hit the road right away. It's pretty tough to find internet access up here in the middle of nowhere and we like to get our internet work done as early as possible in the morning. So sometimes that means getting to the nearest town... and even that doesn't always work!

In this case, we headed for the town of Carmacks.

The day started off with a clear blue sky, which made the scenery all the more beautiful. Quite a lot of forest fire damage along the way. Not recent stuff though... one major one was from 1998 and another from 1969. It sure does take a lot of years to get back to the way it was.

Fox Lake.

About 22 years worth of growth.

It takes a long time to get green again!

The green stuff is slowly overtaking the burnt stuff.

We made it to the town of Carmacks, where we found fast, free wifi internet at the Post Office in the Barracks Building. We got some work done, and then set off to explore the town. Ruth had picked up a Carmacks Walking Tour pamphlet at a tourist office along the way somewhere, so we set off to explore the town.

Welcome to Carmacks!

Most people just drive right through Carmacks, or maybe stop for gas. But we've found that these little towns offer glimpses to a past that is difficult to comprehend. 

4 on duty RCMP members were killed in a plane crash here in 1963.

There's a boardwalk running along the riverside with different interpretive panels. 

Carmacks is located right on the Yukon River. Many of the river communities from the early 1900's did not survive when the Klondike highway opened up in the 1950's, and some though that Carmacks itself would become a ghost town. But Carmacks had three different successful coal mines over the years that employed the local people and even today has a population of 539 people.

The bridge over the Yukon River at Carmacks.

A good stop for people canoeing the river.

A prospector's cabin from the early 1900's.

Coal cars. 
The Tantalus Butte Mine operated from 1923 to 1978!

Carmacks was the location of one of the roadhouses built along the Whitehorse to Dawson Overland Trail which followed the frozen Yukon River. The roadhouses were spaced every 50 kms (30 miles) or so along the trail to provide a change of horses and offer travelers a meal and a bed. 

The Carmacks Roadhouse.

I had a peek in through the windows.

 Carmacks, Yukon.

We walked 6.2 kms (3.8 miles) in Carmacks. We think that deserves some kind of a medal. 

Or at least a certificate!

Just north of Carmacks is the Five Fingers Rapids on the Yukon River. There's an interpretive display there right by the highway, and a 2 km (1.3 mile) roundtrip hiking trail for those who want to do the 219 steps up and down to get to the trail! It wouldn't be like us to back off from a little more exercise, so off we went.

The Yukon River at Five Fingers Rapids

219 steps down... and back up.

The Sternwheeler Paddle Boats had to make their way through here!

It would be fun in a canoe!

It's hard to tell what is natural and what is not. 
They did quite a bit of blasting through here trying to make the passage wider.

Ready to go back up!

A little further down the road is another Yukon government campground, but I had seen on iOverlander.com that there was a free campsite just before that on the left hand side. We drove about 600 meters on a narrow gravel road and came to a turn around that fit Sherman perfectly. I got out and walked a little further on, and it came to an old fishing camp. There were a few more camp site possibilities, but there were some low hanging branches and for one night we figured we were fine right where we were.

Sherman, parked for the night at GPS 62.285846, -136.320823

Later in the evening, we walked down to the river. While we were standing on the bank, I saw a fish jump out of the water further down and I mentioned it to Ruth. Just then, there was a big splash from right behind us, and we looked at each other and said "that must have been a big fish!"

A minute later, we saw our big fish...

It was a beaver!

Erosion beside the Yukon River.

This was taken at 8:30pm.

Sunset is midnight tonight!

Today, we are driving off the beaten path to the town of Mayo (pronounced as in Mayonnaise!). Lots of hiking in that area, so hopefully we'll find some decent internet to show you some pics tomorrow!

All versions of the classic Swiss Army Knife are on sale!

And in Canada...


  1. First time commentor, So glad you are going to Mayo, is Keno in your travel plans?

    1. You can't go to Mayo and not make it all the way to Keno City. :-)

    2. That welding job was to add 4 wheel drive to Sherman wasn't it? Keno, hope the road is good for you.

    3. They say the gravel road to Keno is well maintained probably about the same as the 24km gravel road that Sherman has had to drive a number of times to get to and from the Cabri Regional Park that we worked at in Saskatchewan. :-)

  2. Breathtakingly gorgeous! We saw rivers swollen with water in spring time...sort of scary to see them flowing so fast and the rivers were massive (this in Alaska). Some lookout points had eroded so they were gated off & some had marshy areas much like quick sand. We saw the forest fire remnant in Willow but it was recently so no greenery at the time we travel through. It does take forever for regrowth. Oh, another animal to add to your list...beaver! Our favorite thing was to hike also and we did do a lot of the stairs like the 219 stairs you did. Except we saw glaciers and tons of waterfalls near Portage and Whittier. The following year we went back and the steps were underwater where the beach was...the lake had risen. My granddaughter took us to some awesome non touristy hiking trails that were absolutely beautiful. We even hiked to a lookout point to see the massive mud flats...no one around except us and the eagles high in the trees.

    1. Thank you Rita, it really is a gorgeous area. Apparently the rivers aren't even at their peak yet, so I would expect that they stay pretty fast moving most of the summer. There is definitely lots of erosion happening along the river banks.

      Yes, we have added the beaver to our list along with Trumpeter Swans and lots of ground squirrels, they look like prairie dogs.

      Looking forward to getting in more hiking as we travel along.

  3. Carmacks was fun.....at the General Store, we bought ice cream, a native woven shawl and a jean jacket for Paul with the Carmacks logo as souvenirs. Five Fingers was quite memorable for us too.....thanks for the gorgeous pics as usual. Safe travels.

    1. So glad to see that you stopped in at Carmacks but did you wander around the town at all and see some of these nice old log buildings? We think most people miss out on these little bits of history.

      We enjoyed seeing Five Fingers Rapids and doing the hike down to the bottom, they are even more impressive closer up. Hard to believe that they took those big sternwheelers through them.

    2. We didn’t have time to see the log cabins but will definitely check them out next trip up! We did climb those stairs at Five Fingers though... it was quite a workout! Lol!

    3. Try to remember to get a pamphlet of the walking tour of Carmacks, that way you won't miss any of them. I think we picked up our pamphlet in Watson Lake but I am sure that most of the Visitor Centres would have copies of it.

      Yes, the steps are a work out but that's what you need to get the ole heart pumping. ;-)

  4. Beautiful pictures. You're having a wonderful time, enjoy!

    1. Thanks Chris! And yes, we are having a fantastic time. :-)

  5. You are bringing back so many memories. I continue to wonder about your driving your rv all the way to inuvik or tuktoyuktak. Slippery roads when wet, dust when dry. It took us a year to get all the Dempster dust off our car. But it was worth it. If anyone can do it, you can. We saw lots of campers but no rvs. Good luck!!

    1. So glad that we can bring back some good memories for you. :-)

      We are used to driving on Saskatchewan gravel roads and we know that the road up to Inuvik will be different from those roads but we also know that if you take things slow there shouldn't be a problem. The hardest thing will be having lots of patience to do the slow drive. ;-)

  6. Some beautiful photos today gotta love the way everything just looks so much more amazing under a blue sky.

    1. Yep, things always look nicer with a beautiful blue sky!

  7. Oh my those pictures are so awesomely beautiful! I think I'd be saying WOW all the time, and nice that you can find these campsites! Love the Carmack Roadhouse!

    1. Thank you so much! We are constantly saying WOW to each other. We are really loving the scenery here. :-)

  8. Wow what gorgeous pictures. You guys are really getting your exercise on this trip great job. Very interesting history there. Glad you had some good weather for a change. Take care and enjoy!

    1. Thanks Brigitte! We are getting exercise but we still aren't getting in as much real hiking as we thought we might be. There just seems to be so much to see and do on this trip. Hoping that we will continue to get some nice weather.

  9. Maybe someday that'll be us traveling to the Yukon! Thanks for all the great info and pictures!

    1. You have an RV so there is nothing stopping you. It is definitely worth it. :-)

  10. A beautiful slice of our country. Stunning scenery again.


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