Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada

After waking up we drove from Beaver Creek to Whitehorse. The roads were terrible and we were desperate to find a car wash when we rolled into town. The windshield wipers and washer fluids weren't making any difference on the bug splatter that I could hardly see through and the truck looked like it had been up the haul road to Prudhoe Bay (or out 4x4'n!). Once that was out of the way we were able to see what a cute little town Whitehorse is!

During our over night stay, we walked around and saw the shops and even made a few fun wooly mammoth friends the boys got to ride on! They were terrified of the big daddy mammoth but I just knocked on his leg and showed them he was fake and they warmed right up to him.


While we were there we went to see the local fish ladder and hatchery, which was really worth the stop. It’s on the Yukon River which is right in Whitehorse. Construction of the dam and ladder started in 1956 and was finished by 58. The dam was built to provide Whitehorse with electricity but created a problem for migrating salmon. In order to for the salmon to continue upstream and to avoid death in the turbines the city built what is said to be the longest fish ladder in the world at 366 meters. The salmon are able to bypass the dam and turbines and continue their swim up this man made chute they call a fish ladder. The hatchery was added in 1984 to compensate for the loss of downstream migrating salmon fry as they passed though the turbines. We saw a few fish in the ladder through their viewing windows but for the most part the salmon run is over for the time being. The power of the water coming out of that dam was really something to see. I had such a tight rein on the kids, I kept thinking how quickly it would be over if anyone fell into that water!

This is the fish ladder, where it curves around and heads up further to the top of the dam.

This is the top of the fish ladder at the dam.

We are off Watson Lake now!

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