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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Be smart like a fox

Aug 16, 2022 (Tue)

Not a lot happened today, as this was a “Pan Day.” Pan Days are named after a feral cat Robert used to look after—every once in a while, the cat would take a day-long nap in a pan Robert kept outside for him. He’d sleep so hard, Robert would check that he was still breathing.

Everybody needs a Pan Day (or two) every so often and today was one of ours.

Still, we did have to be gone by 11:00 am, because this RV park (the one next to the bar with no bartender) was booked solid. Apparently, “Discovery Days” extends to the entire region and tens of people flock to the area to celebrate.

Which means emptying some tanks and filling others. This has gotten very routine and our robust procedure has kept fluids in their proper places. This time, however, Gini feels “very secure” as she uses a nearby tree for balance while her feet keep our pipes in place.

Gini in her “very secure” position holding the drain pipe in place

11:30 am Carmacks, YT

We have a place booked at the other local RV park, but we have to wait until all their lazy bone customers clear out before we can go there.

Something is over here, but nobody knows what

We learn (from a sign) that the main things happening in Carmacks include berry-picking and snow-mobiling. Call us naïve, but we have a difficult time imagining those activities being a significant contributor to the local economy.

A little research shows that the biggest industry in the Yukon is mining, where there are now three mines operating in a territory slightly larger than California. That and tourism are the main economic drivers.

What we notice is that the settlements we run across have been here for over a hundred years. There are no new settlements, and even the existing ones are tiny (Carmacks has 500 people). This area is pristine because hardly anybody comes up here.

Happily, we also learn from a sign:

Soyez rusé comme le renard: faites le plein d’energie

Which we think will be our motto from now on (“Be smart like a fox. Sustain your energy.”)

2:00 pm Carmacks, YT

After taking a nap at a nearby rest area (we’re faites le plein-ing our energie), we wander two miles down the road to the Coal Mine RV Park, which isn’t actually a former coal mine (“Darn!” says Robert), but is right on the banks of the Yukon. Of course, the way the Yukon meanders in this area, pretty much everything is on the banks of the Yukon.

Robert by the banks of the Yukon at our campsite

When we arrive, we announce that we have reservations.

“We don’t take reservations,” says the clerk.

“I think you do, and we’ve already paid for them,” replies Robert. The clerk disappears to the back and we hear, “We don’t take reservations,” repeated several times.

Finally, the guy who actually took the reservation shows up and says, “Sure, just pick a spot along the yellow fence!”

Small towns.

There’s a fast food stand here that sells burgers, ice cream and coffee (“We grind our own!” proclaims one of the workers). They also helpfully provide the following sign:

Multi-lingual sign warning about coffee

The rest of the day is consumed with naps and reading. Showers are once again put off until tomorrow (which also helps with social distancing!)—but today for sure…

By the numbers

We didn’t go anywhere, but time kept passing.

Miles traveled so far: 3,002

Estimated Percentage of total road miles: 96%

Days so far: 24 days

Estimated Percentage of total road days: 77%

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

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