Winterval in Whitehorse

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Brent & Dorian, Day Hiking Ambassadors

Every year in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, there is something called “Winterval”: the Santa parade, lighting of the Main Street Christmas tree, carol singing, arts and crafts, pictures with Santa, bonfires, and rides on a vintage streetcar. It’s definitely small city cool, and event volunteering when traveling is something we’d highly recommend. You get to meet all kinds of people, and by throwing yourself headfirst into an event you become a “temporary local”. Friendships have been made doing these kind of things.

Our gig was to help out in The Old Firehall with participants who wanted to do crafts like make postcards or prayer flags. It was a lot of fun, and sadly the time went by too fast. We made a flag that got put on a parade float, and one we kept (scan attached). What a great souvenir of Winterval!

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We got to spend a little more time with Santa than usual, and he wanted to show off his favorite mukluk footwear. He even let us take a picture of them! They were beautifully crafted, and he told us that he’s had them for many years.

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A major find for us were a pair of hand carved, mammoth ivory igloo earrings for Dorian. Unbelievable!

There are many interesting shops and stores all over Whitehorse. Who can say no to Bison Jerky?

Even though the snow levels were not up to seasonal depths, we got out and had many wonderful hikes and adventures. We saw some Auroral activity, but not as much as we had hoped. It’s always hit and miss with the Northern Lights. A highlight was out at Takhini Hot Springs under the full moon. Wow, what a great spot! People have known about the natural hot water there for over 100 years. Their website is easy to find, and well worth the 20 minute drive out of town.

Whitehorse is a very outdoorsy place. Mount McIntyre recreation center has an amazing network of Nordic trails that are all snowshoe friendly. We’d recommend doing some research on the Yukon just to see what’s going on up there. There is a lot of history because of the Gold Rush. Right now, the days are short; but come June the sky never gets completely dark. In fact, it’s hard to see the stars in the summer.

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One saying that stirs your imagination: “there are strange things done in the midnight sun”.

We didn’t make it to Dawson City. We’ll save that adventure for next time.

We were able to promote Tubbs all over the place; ’cause when your an Ambassador, that’s what you do!

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