Days 17 and 18

Day 17
We woke up, made plans to meet the bus kids for a climb in the rock gardens later in the afternoon and took nugget for a walk around long lake. For nuggets ‘bath’ substitute we forced him to fetch sticks and swim in the lake. We headed back into town, got some coffees and watched a banjo player sling some tunes for a while.

His name was bob. He lives in an a-frame far outside of Whitehorse in the woods with his array of instruments—‘it’s not that I don’t like people, I just don’t like them all the time’-bob. Makes sense, I feel the same. We headed over to copper cliffs outside of Whitehorse for some top-roping and then to rock gardens to meet the bus kids. The bugs were brutal but it was a blast climbing with them.

We were then all hungry and thirsty for beer but our group indecisiveness led us to taking votes on bison burgers from dirty northern restaurant or cooking at camp. We decided on the burgers and delicious beverages from dirty northern. We all then caravaned to ear lake once again for camping and met a new friend-Matthew-from Quebec who was already there at the spot. We now had 6 people which was perfect for a yukon gold sunset. Since the sun doesn’t really set, I decided it would be a good idea to shotgun beers when the sun went behind the trees and then howl as a group. We then had a lesson from jordan on how to prep your beer can for a successful shotgun by using your knife and cutting out the perfect mouth opening    in square or diamond format near the bottom of the can. The only one who didn’t spill everywhere was jordan who is pro and we all howled at different times because we suck at chugging cold beer in a simultaneous fashion. We stayed up til about 2 again, hanging out on the roof of the bus and finishing all the beer. I drunkenly used my fancy markers to draw everyone’s spirit animals on their hands, as that is apparently what I do now after consumption of 3+ beers.

Day 18
Of course we were hungover on the day we had to bring the car to fountain tire by 8am to be worked on. Good thing we were close by. We left ear lake at 7:45 and, looking like shit, dropped the van off at fountain, grabbed our backpacks full of stuff and headed over to midnight sun for much needed coffee. The guys at fountain said they’d call when bagheera was done which could be about 2 hours. We waited, slept on chairs on midnight sun’s patio and nursed hangovers with muffins and cookies. When they called us 2 hours later we were SO RELIEVED to hear that everything went smoothly and bagheera was fixed without issues!! We decided to get him an oil change too before we left as he was about due. We ran errands, ate the greasiest food we could find and had jiffy lube do their thing with our guidance on how to change a delica’s oil filter. We met Neal (he worked there) who was ex coast guard with a broken arm. He was super friendly and helpful in getting the van in the shop and talked to us about several business ideas in helping with ocean/wildlife conservation. We finally got out of Whitehorse and headed northwest toward Dawson city. We made it as far as Ethel lake campground turnoff where we thought it’d be cool to camp for the night. Turns out Ethel lake road is over 24km of rough rocky dirt going over 2 mountains to even get to the lake. We camped at a pull out home to 1 million hungry mosquitoes. We made salads inside the van and passed out.