the

Fall colors near Denbigh, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Flying back to British Columbia on Wednesday, October 17th.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Chinook salmon in the Yukon River

The Yukon is still experiencing a heat wave. It's beautiful though... sunny, clear blue sky and the temperature yesterday was about 28C (82F). Supposed to be the same today.

We had parked up in downtown and I took the bikes off to go for a ride to the fish ladder. They have a nice cycling and walking path here in Whitehorse that runs on both sides of the Yukon River.

But the bikes needed some maintenance first!

Actually, we need new bikes. These ones are pretty much done.

They haven't been off the back of the motorhome since before our trip up to the Arctic Ocean. So they had been literally covered in mud and muck at one point, although the rain had rinsed most of that off, and I had taken the pressure washer to them at one point. But the chains were all rusty and things were starting to seize up.

And, my bike had a flat tire!

So, I took everything apart, patched a tube, and oiled things up enough to make them work.

Ruth, overlooking the Yukon River.

The S.S. Klondike Riverboat.

The story of the Chinook salmon is amazing.

The Yukon River is the longest salmon migration route in the world. The salmon leave the Bearing Sea and enter the Yukon River heading upstream for 3,000 kms (1,850 miles, the distance between San Francisco and Chicago) to reach their spawning grounds. The journey takes them three months! Some of them have been tracked covering more than 50 kms (30 miles) per day against a strong current.

The fish ladder.

The dam and generating station here in Whitehorse is the only human obstruction on their journey. When it was built in 1959 they had to also build a fish ladder for the salmon. This 366-meter (1,200-foot) chute allows the salmon to skirt the Whitehorse Dam and avoid its turbines.

This public art installation was created in 2009 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the dam. 

Amazing how the salmon can get through this current!


Unfortunately, we were a few days early. In fact, the very first salmon of the season used the ladder yesterday morning. The main part of the run will take place in about two weeks time.

Whitehorse fish ladder and dam.

But, it was an interesting visit anyhow.

We hopped on the bikes and across the bike/pedestrian bridge to the other side of the river. That's when I noticed something didn't feel right, and I looked down at the rear tire... to see that it was flat again! I don't know what happened... either my patch job didn't hold, or I got a new puncture? Who knows. We locked the bikes up (why? I wouldn't have cared much if somebody stole them!) and we walked the 2.5 kms (1.6 miles) back to the motorhome. We picked them up on our way back heading to our friends Art and Jean's place.

So we're parked up there for probably three nights. They offered to take us for a day trip in their truck down to Skagway, so we'll do that on Wednesday. But today is cleanup day to get all of the Dempster Highway mud and dust off of Sherman, both inside and out!

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Great deal on the Renogy 100 watt RV solar starter kit. If you ever wanted to try going solar, here is your chance...


And in Canada...





20 comments:

  1. When we were on the Alaska Marine Highway in 1995 we docked in Skagway and stayed at the Golden North Hotel

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    1. I bet it has changed a lot since then. Apparently it's a real cruise ship circus...

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    2. I was there on the 4th of July. When I first got there, there were very few people in town. An hour or so later the town was packed. I asked someone where did all these people come from? They said the cruise ships had let off the passengers. It was quite the shift indeed!

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    3. Well it will certainly be an experience! It seems like there are cruise ships in there every day now. Apparently yesterday there were suppose to be five ships in port. That makes for one very crowded town and today doesn't sound much better with four ships in port.

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  2. Yep. Whitehorse is on the list! Oh yes I've had many frustrating tube patching experiences as my car wash used to be a gas station, car repair, tire shop for many years. Really must stress that the tire must be thoroughly inspected by feel inside for the small thorn or else it just punctures it again when you get it back together. Hate it when that happens! Motorcycle tires are the worst. The tire is so tight it's common to pinch the tube with the tool when re-assembling. Sweat and struggle with it for an hour then it leaks and you have to start all over again. I don't miss that job. Looking forward to your tour of Canada's best province...B.C.!!! Don't forget to empty your propane tank before you get to Oliver. Cheers!

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    1. Good to hear that Whitehorse is on your list. Again there is a lot to see and most people to allow themselves enough time here for a good visit to see as much of it as they can.

      Kevin says he knows what the problem was as the sidewall of the tire is worn down from rubbing up against the rim itself. He is pretty sure that the patch itself is what failed. As he mentioned we really do need to find some good second hand bikes, these ones are pretty much done!

      No worries we haven't forgotten and we will make sure to stop by with an empty propane tank. :-)

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  3. That is a great deal on the solar panel and charger. It's minimal, but with that and just a single deep cycle house battery you can run LED lights, water pump, keep your phones and tablets charged, and run a vent fan during the day for a little cooling. The only thing you really might want to add is a bit of instrumentation to track your energy usage, to make sure you don't discharge the battery below 50%.

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    1. Yes, it was a great deal. I just use a standard plug in volt meter, but then I am aware of my usage and power needs.

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  4. Didn't Ruth just get a new bike last year? Yep man has certainly messed with nature big time by building dams and boats/ships. The boats/ships etc. not only interfere with salmon but with other sea creatures. I heard cruise ships are the worst. Our tour boat in Steward cut their engines off when they saw whales for which I was very thankful. BTW we saw salmon spawning in Vancouver Island. Fishing was off limits (thank heavens).

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    1. Nope, I needed another bike last fall but we couldn't find one that was in our price range and that was a decent used one. The one I have now we bought secondhand back in January 2015 in Quartzsite it wasn't a good quality one but at least it gave me some wheels to use.

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  5. I spent my first 34 years in Alaska, was a construction surveyor, and picked jobs to take me to remote parts of Alaska. Salmon consumption is funny...in Dillingham locals told me that salmon fresh from salt water were the absolute best. In Nenana, on the Tanana River, where fish wheels are used, locals told me that fish 10 days from the ocean were the perfect texture. Finally, visiting Whitehorse on the Yukon, with a 3-4 week travel time and flesh ragged on their bodies...yup, they were the best.

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    1. That's funny! I bet each ones of these places had never tasted fish from any of the other areas. It probably all tasted the same! ;-)

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  6. If you folks get down towards Banff(the ice fields parkway between Jasper and Banff is the most awesome drive I've ever done). Check out Fort Steele, it was a pretty darn cool way to spend a day.

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    1. We have been in Banff and Jasper before, once together back in 2006 and before that when we were kids with our respective families. Unfortunately it is not on our route this month. We do agree with you though, it is a beautiful drive and lots of great hiking. We will have to spend more time in that area on some other trip.

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  7. This has a been a great trip. The pictures are awesome.

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    1. It has been a great trip Chris, we have really enjoyed it! We wish we still had more time to spend here because we are still finding more places that we spend time at, especially for hiking!

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  8. Those fish ladders are amazing what a sight to see, too bad not any salmon there to watch.
    Our bikes finally packed it in this yeas and we decided we don't use them enough to warrant new ones, but we do walk and have our car.
    Enjoy your time at friends place.

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    1. They are pretty amazing, I just wish we could have seen the fish using this one.

      We still use our bikes enough to warrant replacing ours, especially if we can get some good quality ones that are secondhand.

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  9. When we were in Skagway in July 2013, there were 4 cruise ships who came into port that morning. I haven’t seen that many people in one little town scurrying about all at once...the bakeries had signs posting apologies that they were out of bread due to the tourists! We thought that was funny!

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    1. There were four cruise ships in yesterday as well and the little town was a zoo. Loved the scenery there and just the ride getting there was beautiful but way too many people for our liking. It was fun to people watch though.

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