After a too short stay in Yukon it is already time to take the air again for the second part of my trip, sadly, less exotic as this part.
At the end of the report you'll find the first part of the touristic bonus about Dawson City.
YDA airport is quite remote, around 15 miles away from the town. As Dawson City is surrounded my mountains plus the Yukon and the Klondike river, there is no chance to have the field close to town.
The airport is very small, from outside or from inside:
Free parking folks!!
The time field is adjusted according to the ATA/ATD and not STA/STD.
Air North flies in twice a day, with the exception of saturdays:
In the summertime there is a regular flight between YDA and FAI, and some charters using 737-200.
Snow covered runway:
The arrival zone of the terminal:
The sole boarding gate:
Hand lugage is more than limited, just as an exemple, a laptop and a reflex are already too heavy:
An ad for one of the two hotels that are opened year round, a view of the toilet doors and the only airport office:
Our HS 748 lands with a 20 minutes delay:
U turn on the runway:
It's the same A/C as for the way up to YDA. Once the engines shut down, the Air North employee opens the tarmac doors and shoots a Flight to Whitehorse is ready for boarding folks.
We are 5 people to board, nobody unboards. As we climb the stairs, the lugage cart is taken to the plane. The Hawker landed at 03:05, we are on board at 03:07, engine start up 03:10, take-off 03:15. That's Yukon efficiency!!
As most of the passengers are in transit to take the 05:00PM flight from Whitehorse to Vancouver (me included) delays are to be avoided at any cost.
The flight is almost full (one open seat). Lots of Yukoners go on holiday that Friday evening:
4N onboard magazine, very well done:
That's my friend and his B&B:
Unfortunately no outside pictures, it's free seating and all window seats have been taken from passengers incoming from Old Crow or Inuvik.
As for the outbound, the cabin crew takes the orders using a tray. As for the outbound, I had a coffee with an apple juice. She will then offer snacks, but unfortunately all sandwiches have been eaten on the former legs. There is, however, still a good assortment of snacks, I'll have some peperoni sausage and cheese:
A second round of snack will be performed as the cabin crew said: Everything must go ! :)
That's it for the the flight. Now the bonus about Dawson City and its surroundings. This part is about West Dawson.
This is the Yukon river almost entirely frozen:
Dawson is on the two banks of the Yukon river, in the summer time, to cross the river, there is a ferry boat. In the winter, the frozen Yukon is the natural way to connect one side to the other.
But before being able to cross the frozen river, there is a time called freeze up (same happens in late spring, and it's call break up). When freeze up time begins, the ferry service is stopped. Then, ice blocks begin to appear on the river. At a certain point of the river, a natural dam of ice will form (usually where the river is the less large), this will enable this part of the river to totally freeze. When the ice is thick enough, the local police will put some water on it, to make the ice smoother and thicker. At that point a road will be created, first only for people by foot, then by snowmobile, and then for cars and even trucks. The road will then stay open until break up in spring.
Crossing the Yukon on a snowmobile was absolutely fun.
People leaving on the East bank of the Yukon have no problems during freeze/break up, as there is a road to Whitehorse and the airport. People leaving on the Western bank of the Yukon have absolutely nothing. There is a road to Alaska but the border and the road are closed from Autumn to late Spring. So people have to plan enough of supplies for the freeze/break up time. To make it even harsher, the West bank has no electricity nor running water. But people leaving there are used to it, and would never ever see this on their side. (Nor any idea of a bridge).
For emergencies only there is always an helicopter available. It is well known that German people that leave in Dawson City West, use it from time to time to bring in beer ^^
Just next to the Yukon River here is a boat cemetary:
Some pictures of East Dawson City and the Yukon + Klondike rivers taken from the most northern Golf in the world, as Dawson has a golf (plus an ice skating ring, an indoor swimming pool, a casino!)
That's the maximum sunlight you get in decembre, it is 12:30PM (sunrise is at around 10AM, sunset at around 02:30PM)
This is the cabin where my friends that take care of the dogs are leaving:
The cabin is heated by wood fire, for the water they use snow that they let melt on the stove. All lights are LED's and they use a car battery to make them work. Toilets are outdoors, of course, so you got to think twice before you go:
Inside the cabin:
Air North Charter - Canada
Dawson City - YDA
Whitehorse - YXY
Quite difficult to give marks to this flights, as it is a special plane, a special flight and for the love of flying, 10 every where, apart from the slight 10 minutes delay that we had on arrival.
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