Teresa Earle has spent 15 years exploring Canada’s North, but she still has a yearning to see more. With bucket lists all the rage, we asked Earle to come with her own life list for discovering new lands North of Sixty, delivered to our media centre one amazing experience at a time.
The Yukon may have the highest concentration of wild mountain rivers on the continent, but it also has the storied Yukon River, a mighty, murky conveyor belt of a river that drains most of the territory. I have notches in my belt for the Alsek, Wind, Snake and Firth, but somehow I’ve never paddled the Yukon. (I’ve always half expected someone might try to revoke my Yukon residency for this grievous oversight.) The river has a living history: I want to retrace the route of the Klondike Gold Rush all the way to historic Dawson City. I’ll start in Dyea, Alaska, with a heavy pack on my back, hike the 53-km (33-mi) Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site to Lake Bennett, then paddle down the lake parallel to the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway tracks to Carcross and onward through Tagish and Marsh lakes. I’ll carry on down the Yukon past the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site sitting on the riverbank in Whitehorse, The Thirty Mile section of the Yukon River and impressive Fort Selkirk. If I time it right, I’ll arrive just in time for the Dawson City Music Festival. I will do all of this with a good friend, someone who is a capable paddler and even stronger in character, because this is a character-building epic journey.