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Stories of the Road – Coal Mine Campground and the Yukon River

December 6, 2016
All materials © Henderson Productions/Sue Henderson. All rights reserved

In the summer of 2016, Henderson Productions and Poggio Amorelli B&B set off for a culinary and photographic journey through British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and Alaska.    Stories of the Road is a series of snippets of that journey.   Stay tuned over the coming months for additional stories of this and other journeys.

We landed for the evening at The Coal Mine Campground just north of Carmacks alongside the swiftly flowing Yukon River with a “famous” burger bar attached and a chatty hostess in Samantha.  While moving sprinklers around to tiny patches of grass between RV spots she told me “We’re in the banana belt of the Yukon.  It’s usually rainy enough I don’t need to do this but people want a little patch of green so…” and she continued sprinkling the patch.    “We moved here 17 years ago and there’s a pic on the wall over there of what it looked like.    Nothin.    We’ve built it up but we can’t retire here.   We have 3 other businesses down in Whitehorse and one or the other of us is always running up and down the road all day.   So if you know anyone that wants a little slice of heaven, it’s seasonal but a good season, and wants to give us $99,999 to learn our burger recipe, send them our way.”    Seriously.

Canadian humor at Coalmine Campground along the Yukon River

Canadian humor at Coalmine Campground along the Yukon River

It’s a lovely spot too.   They have canoes and kayaks and bikes available.   Flat rate of $27 got us free showers and free internet and free views of the Yukon.    Firewood also available with an axe to cut it smaller than the 12 inch rounds stacked in huge piles in a lean-to “over there.”     Tent campers in front in the trees along the shore and RV’s in back w picnic tables to place on your little patch of bright green.   The burgers were good if a bit pricey at $9 w no fries or chips.   But did the trick.   And we knew we needed to hit the road early so crashed comfortably just as the sun was going down around 10.

Camping with a tranquil sunset along the Yukon River

Camping with a tranquil sunset along the Yukon River

On Tuesday, once again I was up before the sun and this time knew it would be out alongside the Yukon River.   I’d been asked to wake everyone up so they could slowly rise and they eventually joined me for the end of the sunrise color.

I like studying the soft early dawn glow and seeing the scene warm as the sun rises.    This morning started with an impressionist blue with a hint of pink toward the center and slowly turned up the value and tints until it was poppin’ with bright blue on the edges and magentas and oranges and a lovely yellow in the middle.    All cast against the shore line with birches and aspens and a few pines.    Some brush and a few man-made objects like a hanging bird feeder or whirligig or a bench to break up the silhouettes once in a while.    It’s meditative.   And creative.   And energizing.  And peaceful.   And a great way to start a long dusty day.    (Wonder if I can just travel around and take sunrise pictures for a living!)

Yukon Gold - sunrise along the Yukon River at Coalmine Campground

Yukon Gold – sunrise along the Yukon River at Coalmine Campground

 

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