Saturday, 28 April 2018

Y is for Yukon ...




You might have guessed I'd be doing Yukon for the 'Y' post ... and yes once again I'm learning ... 

Map of Yukon from Wiki




Its name comes from the Gwich'in word Yu-kun-ah meaning "white water river" - referencing the glacial runoff in the Yukon River. 




The river rises in British Columbia, runs through the Yukon and out into the Bering Sea.  It is the fifth-longest river in North America, with about a third running through the Yukon; and is 3,185 km /1,980 miles long ...



Municipalities of Yukon - with the river
running through Whitehorse, and on to Dawson

 The Yukon is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three federal territories ... and is 'sort of triangular' in shape ... bordering the Arctic Ocean to the north, Alaska to the west, Northern Territories to the east and British Columbia to the south ... it does not have a boundary with the Pacific.





Chilcoot Pass - c 1898
Geographically, as you might expect, it is a subarctic plateau interspersed by mountains ... the Arctic coastal plain has a tundra climate.


Historically though it is indelibly associated with the Klondike Gold Rush.



Showing route through from Skagway
up to the Klondike


Before we get there ... in other words long before the arrival of Europeans, central and southern Yukon was populated by First Nations people, as the area escaped glaciation. 



Archaeological sites for example those in the Old Crow basin, north of the Arctic Circle, place the arrival of humans at least as early as 10,000 BCE and possibly much earlier.



The volcanic eruption of Mount Churchill in approximately 800AD, in what is now Alaska, blanketed the southern Yukon with a layer of ash ... which apparently can still be seen along the Klondike Highway ... and which forms part of the oral tradition of the First Nations peoples in Yukon and further south in Canada.


 
Skookum Jim - worked as a
packer on the Chilcoot Pass
Coastal and inland First Nations had extensive trading networks ... European incursions only began in the 1700s/ early 1800s with the fur trade, followed by missionaries.  Then the Gold Rush ...





Downtown Whitehorse

The 'new' capital (1953) of Whitehorse has 70% of Yukon's  population living in it ... (25,085: year c 2016) ... its name deriving from the rapids resembling a horse's mane.




Dawson, the previous capital, was at the centre of the Klondike Gold Rush, and surprisingly for a short period was the largest city north of Seattle and west of Winnipeg.

Diamond Tooth Gergies - Gambling Hall
which will give you the experience!


It lies in traditional Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in territory being named after Canadian government geologist Dr GM Dawson.




Most of the 'gold rushing miners' travelled up via what I term as the Glacier Bay fjord area and Skagway ... though there was a secondary sea route around Alaska ...


Sea Route for prospectors, and various
entourages
The Gold Rush only lasted a couple of years (1897 - 1899) ... it was estimated that a migration of about 100,000 prospectors battled through ... just over a century later the population is about 1,375 ...


... yet Dawson City is still a gold mining centre ... but the main activity now is tourism, based on the area's colourful past and historical importance.


There's a lot more interesting history ... so there will be another Y for Yukon post at some stage ... as it'll be good to have it linked here ...


That is Y for Yukon ... from Aspects by a British 'girl' in Canada ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

41 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Such a rush of people... only to dwindle again in so short a time. I have always like the sound of the name 'Yukon'; it evokes a sense of mystery and adventure all by itself! YAM xx

Liz A. said...

Gold rushes--where those who made the most money were the ones supplying the fools searching for gold...

Elephant's Child said...

The word triggers so many thoughts - even in people like me who have never been there, and probably never will see it. A rich and complicated history. And yes, I look forward to learning more.

Chatty Crone said...

A long and I mean long time ago I remember studying about the Yukon river and the gold - lol

sage said...

Paddling the Yukon has long been on my bucket list and will probably remain there when I’m gone. But I hope to at least visit and paddle part of the river.

www.thepulpitandthepen.com

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love the Yukon’s history and It sounds like a very interesting place to visit.

Hels said...

Isn't that a fantastic photo of the Chilcoot Pass. Those poor sods who risked life and limb in the remote hope they might find some gold!

Rebecca Douglass said...

An area and a history I mostly know through Robert Service... On Christmas day we were mushing our way, over the Dawson trail...

Bob Scotney said...

The Yukon name and its association with the gold rush must be known to everyone. The length of the river is what surprised me.

Rhodesia said...

At least I had heard of the Yukon but knew little about it. Thanks Hilary once again for enlightening me. Cheers Diane

Keith's Ramblings said...

So, that's where Yukon is! I'd heard of the gold rush, I'd heard of the Yukon River but never put the two together!

A-Z of My Friend Rosey!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Very picturesque - countryside and city both. I'd heard of the Yukon river but didn't know how long it was!

Jz said...

Oh, the romance of it all!
*sigh*

Sue Bursztynski said...

The Yukon is the area that appears or is mentioned in a lot of old Westerns! How fascinating to learn that it has been settled for so many thousands of years!

Aussie Children's Writers: Y is for Erica Yurken

https://suebursztynski.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-2018-y-is-for.html

Joanne said...

the word Yukon just conjures images of wild country. I can't imagine the folks who arrived seeking gold with not a clue on the harsh conditions. You explored a good Y in this post

Jo said...

I didn't realise how long the river was either. Amazing that the influx of miners lasted so short a time. Guess there wasn't that much gold there after all.

Deborah Weber said...

I enjoyed this glimpse at the Yukon. My husband had a very distant relative who was part of the gold seekers and the family has one of his diaries and we had a chance to look at it. Alas nothing very exciting, just detailed accounts of supplies and transactions and weather - nothing very personal at all. But I suppose in a way that makes me a gold-digger by marriage. :-)

Kali Delamagente said...

Very interesting, again. Yukon has a tough, rigor-filled connotation to it. No wonder GMC named a car after it!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yamini - yes ... it was a huge rush and then the disappointment - now I know more about the Yukon I think I'll stay further south - harsh conditions up there ...

@ Liz - how right you are ... the first who staked areas and then supplied the timber, supplies to make life more comfortable - were the 'winners' ...

@ EC - yes it is a complicated history ... but with a lot of interesting details ...

@ Sandie - I sort of knew where it was and the river ... now I know!

@ Sage - sounds like a lovely line on the bucket list ... so I hope you make it up here to fulfil that wish ...

@ Arleen - I think it would be fascinating to look around ... I'm just a wimp re the cold!!

@ Hels - there are other photos around of the prospectors and supplies at that time ... yes not an easy time at all ...

@ Rebecca - good to see you ... you're right - I've only just come across Robert Service, but will be looking into more on him ... he has a connection where I am too ... so that first line will make more sense ... Sam Mcgee I read ...

@ Bob - I almost didn't put the length of the river in ... so am now glad I did! I agree ... I'm sure most of us know about the Yukon ...

@ Diane - me too ... so this illuminated me a little about the area ...

@ Keith - I'm not sure I had either ... but I am a little better informed now ...

@ Nila - it probably looks pretty ... without the freezing conditions and depth of snow!! Well I'm glad I added in the length of the Yukon River ...

@ Jz - romance, but rough ...

@ Sue - I'm not sure how I heard about the Yukon ... probably via Westerns ... but yes interesting to know it's been populated for so long ...

@ Joanne - it does me too ... yet it seems like it'd have lots of snow and ice around. Oh how we get beguiled and drawn in, following the crowd .... and not realising what's ahead ...

@ Jo - it's interesting the length of the river ... but a better 'find' was found at Nome in Alaska ... in Beringia land ... so off they went ...

@ Deborah - thank you ... how interesting to see your husband's relative's diary ... even if there was nothing personal - I guess the detailed accounts would make interesting reading ... - yes Mrs 'Gold-Digger' - by marriage!! Irreverent thought ... but fun ...

@ Jacqui - anyone living in the Yukon must love the cold and be good at many things. Ok re the car name ... I hadn't taken that on board ...

Thanks so much for your visits and comments ... I think I'll stay south in the warmer weather, even if today it is raining - yesterday was lovely ... c'est la vie!! Have good weekends - cheers Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

I love these guys' names: Gassy Jack, Skookum Jim. But what I really like is how thoroughly you've embraced your time in Canada. You're enlightening all of us!

quietspirit said...

Thank you for showing us Canada through these blog posts in the A-Z Challenge. I have learned a lot about our neighbor to the north.

diedre Knight said...

Hi Hilary!

These posts have been so intriguing, so enlightening. I love that the name Yukon means 'White water river', and that they had a 'Gold Rush' too. Downtown Whitehorse looks like a lovely place to visit.

Debby Gies said...

Absolutely enjoying your Canadian series Hilary. :)

Betsy Brock said...

I remember just a bit of that from history classes in school. And I think we've all heard of Yukon Gold! How fun to do something right where you are living at the moment! And now there is only Z!

Inger said...

Reading this has inspired me to go and look at my old school atlas. I sometimes watch the Dr. Michelle, Wilderness Vet, show, set in the Yukon. Dr. Michelle frequently travels across the border to Alaska to see to animals in need. And I always assumed Alaska was to the north, not the west.

Jean Davis said...

Gold will sure draw the people in, won't it? It looks so cold there. I don't think there could be enough gold to make me put up with any more snow and cold than I already do.

troutbirder said...

Our road trip to Alaska saw many highlights in the Yukon. Unfortunately, stopping for a picnic, a raucous raven interrupted our lunch, Sadly, in too loud a voice, I cast a few aspersions upon it. Another nearby picnicker came over to point out the raven was beloved by all the people of the Yukon as it was their "territorial" bird. Embarrassed, the best I could do was apologized and point out that Minnesota' State bird was the loon.....

Juliet Batten said...

Canada embraces so much territory! and provides an ideal canvas for your broad brush strokes Hilary. I never really knew what the Yukon was before. Thanks for filling me in.

M. Denise C. said...

I always enjoy National Geographic articles and video on the Yukon Territory!

DMS said...

How fascinating! I didn't know much about the Yukon Territory before reading this. I also didn't realize the Gold Rush was so short! Thanks for sharing. :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Lynda - the names that stood the test of time are fascinating to know about ... Gassy - being from Britain, while Skookum was of the Tagish First Nation from the Yukon ...

Thanks Lynda - I just try and learn, while selecting different subjects so it's interesting too ...

@ Cecilia - it's been a pleasure ...

@ Diedre - writing these up has opened my eyes to a lot of things in so many ways ... enlightening is a good word. I'd like to see the Yukon ... especially the Beringia Interpretative Centre (museum) in Whitehorse ...

@ Debby - thanks so much ... it's been fun ...

@ Betsy - I remember the Yukon and the Klondike Gold Rush ... now I know a little more! Yes - it's been an interesting series ...

@ Inger - looking at flat maps and encountering the actual world in its sphere-like actuality is quite difficult for our minds to absorb - well certainly mine! The Arctic Circle is 66 deg N ... here on Vancouver Island southern part it is 49 deg N ... while London is 51.5 deg N. I hope looking at your atlas has confirmed Alaska being west of the Yukon!

@ Jean - it seems to be following the crowd ... and it must have been awful and there wasn't, in the end, much gold - a few got rich ... most were worse off ...

@ Troutbirder - that's great you were able to go through the Yukon on your way to Alaska by road - I'd like to do that ...

Interesting about you being soundly reprimanded about the Raven - but he is an important symbol to the First Nations ... I hope the other picnicker knew what a 'loon' was ... they might have thought you were talking about the loonie - or one dollar Canadian ...

@ Juliet - I think we have to remember I'm probably putting up 'flat maps' so the country looks even larger ... but it is enormous - and I've enjoyed exploring a bit to be able to write up some posts ... and I'm glad you now know where the Yukon is to be found!

@ Denise - National Geographic always do good write ups and articles ... another link for many of us ...

Thanks for your comments - lovely to see you all ... and to 'test' me a bit further with a few of your thoughts ... I appreciate you all pushing me on ... cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jess - you snuck in ... but I'm glad you enjoyed finding out a bit more about the Yukon and its short gold rush ... they all went off to Nome, Alaska - another gold rush! - that lasted about ten years to 1910 ...

Lovely to see you - cheers Hilary

Vallypee said...

One of the great advantages of you being there, Hilary, is that we learn all this fascinating new information about Canada. I'd heard of the Yukon Gold Rush before, but never knew anything about it! Thank you for the potted history lesson!

Susan Scott said...

Enjoyed this Hilary thank you - it's been so interesting to read the Canadian history from the perspective of an English gal ...

Lynn said...

I've learned so much from these posts! It makes me want to visit Canada - so close, but yet so far...

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. I thought Yukon was a bigger territory. I learn a lot from your posts. Thank you. Kim

Emily Bloomquist said...

How interesting that the one historical event I knew about the Yukon only lasted a couple of years. So much history and I have so little knowledge. Thank you for the education, Hilary. I look forward to your future Yukon post(s).

Emily In Ecuador

Sue said...

Loved my trip through the Yukon. And the wonderful people of Dawson City. I highly recommend it! Thanks for posting about it, Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Val - thanks ... I wondered about doing the A-Z on Canada and whether I was right ... but obviously so - so am delighted you've enjoyed the postings and this one about the Yukon was particularly interesting ...

@ Susan - thanks so much ... just delighted you enjoyed the posts ...

@ Lynn - well that's good ... it is an amazing country and at least you're on the same continent.

@ Kim - I suspect the Yukon area covered much of this north western part of America - but once delineated by borders came to be this size ...

@ Emily - I know I found the fact that the Klondike Gold Rush only really lasted (in the full swing of it) two years or so ... there is a lot about the Yukon that's fascinating history wise ... yes there will be more ...

@ Sue - I'd love to visit that area ... I suspect I won't get up there ... but I've learnt!

Thanks everyone - so glad I wrote up about the Yukon ... it's been a fascinating look at the heritage of this area ... cheers Hilary

Claire Noland said...

It's hard to believe that the gold rush only lasted 2 years. I want to visit Canada but I think the Yukon will be to cold for this California girl.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Claire - I know I was somewhat surprised to see how short a time the Yukon Gold Rush lasted ... and to think of those guys going up and down Chilcot Pass more than once to get their next load ... I can imagine it'll be 'freezing' to visit ... I'd like to go sometime - cheers Hilary