Under the autumn aura, and away from the Pacific Northwest forest fires, the quiet simplicity of Whitehorse, Yukon was a breath of fresh air. I visited the Yukon Public Library just down the street from where I stayed, and a charming bookstore a few blocks away that had pretty much everything I could find as I would in a big city. At the library, one of the first items on the showcase shelf that caught my eye was a worn book of photographs taken of homeless people. The teen author/photographer shined the light on the human condition of homelessness, simply by giving derelicts the voice to be heard through their spontaneous words and gestures during photoshoots. Many of these individuals have lived a normal life before, and unfortunate circumstances led them to where they are, without a roof over their head but still human like all of us. This small observation was just another hint of the inclusivity that Whitehorse seemed to strive for.
Whitehorse was not a ghost town by any means, but the rustic city reminded me of my trip to Beatty, Nevada where I felt I was going back into time, not really as far back as the Gold Rush era, but to a time that was not so digitized with distractions– where stories were told, and enjoyed through in-person interactions and not through social media channels.
One of my favorite parts of this trip was actually away from the city, and visiting the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. It certainly reminded me of my time at the African safari, with the diverse range of animals against scenic backdrops.
By nightfall until dawn, I was joined by other aurora borealis hunters as we sat by our campfires, bundled up in layers and watching the flames dance before our eyes, likely what the northern lights were doing as well above our heads. We waited patiently for the invisible aurora to magically unveil, as our predecessors probably did with all their early imaginings.
On the last day of my trip, I was escorted in style by a strong, but gentle snowfall, leaving me blissful with the chance to see another side of Whitehorse, transformed and cloaked in pristine white.
The Yukon, Canada Galleries
Across the vast, picturesque Yukon Wildlife Preserve, animals seen included the elk, moose, mountain goat, mule deer, lynx, cross fox, thinhorn sheep, musk ox, woodland caribou and more.
Waiting by the campfire and cozy cabins for the aurora borealis to appear, despite the low chances and heavy clouds.