It’s Canada Day!
Today was a busy day with long drives and amazing sights. We started out door eating a quick breakfast at AINA. Then we headed towards Haines Junction and made a pit stop at Frosty’s, a quaint local ice cream parlour and restaurant. We received t-shirts as gifts of gratitude for helping out at the local Fishing Derby.
Afterwards, we went to the Village Bakery at Haines Junction, a busy bakery, café, and gift shop rolled into one. Some people purchased delicious baked goods, such as Danishes and cookies, while others bought paintings and prints featuring the Indigenous arts and cultures. Then we headed to Whitehorse 159 km away. In Whitehorse, we went to the Adaka Cultural Festival held in downtown at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre. The Festival is a Yukon Celebration of First Nations Art and Culture. There were a variety of workshops including weaving and beading. In addition there was an art gallery that showcased traditional and contemporary Indigenous arts and craft. Fry bread, a traditional Indigenous food, was also sold beside the artisan tents. Moreover, we saw the Dugout Canoe River Launch where two canoes built from tree trunks by digging out the core of the trunk. It was a way for the Indigenous people to heal from the effects of substance abuse on the community.
On the long drive – over 5 hours total – we were fortunate to see a variety of wildlife. Along the side of the highway we saw 3 bears, including 2 Grizzlies and 1 Black bear. The last Grizzly bear was right on the edge of the road and as we rolled down the windows to take better photographs, our vans were surrounded by a mob of mosquitos and insects. Poor bears! Part of our eventful evening included a near collision with a mother and baby elk which seemed intent on running across the highway before stopping right before the road. Luckily, thanks to Sara’s fast reflexes and excellent and smooth driving skills, the van and the elk stopped right in front of each other. Phew! Not so lucky were the family of 4 ground squirrels which decided to cross the road…
~Sharon & Bushra