Dawson City, Yukon Friday, April 13, 2001

The Yukon Rose crosses the Klondike River Bridge. Photo by Dan Davidson

Feature Stories

Rosie Hits the Road
Federal Government to Upgrade Safety Features at Dawson Airport
Percy DeWolfe Junior Sees His First Mail Race
"It was the blackest moment of my life," says Minister
Marina's Lifts its Skirts
Moose Mountain Gets a Posh Chalet
Time for an Attitude Change
Young Dawson Musher Grateful for Local Support
2001 Yukon Indoor Soccer Championships
Undertaking to Entertain at the Odd Hall

Welcome to the April 13, 2001 edition of the online Klondike Sun, which reproduces a selection of the 38 photographs and 25 articles which were in the 28 page April 10 hard copy edition. There were four pages of Spring Carnival results which we just can't fit in here.

We encourage viewers of this website to consider subscribing to the Sun (details on the home page). It would help us financially and you would get to see everything closer to when it's actually news. Since July 19, 2000, there have been 11,946 visitors to this website. Prior to that there had been some 25,000.

Rosie Hits the Road

by Dan Davidson

After resting for more than 3 decades on 3rd Avenue, the Yukon Rose hit the road last week, bound for a new temporary home at the American Highland Mining Corporation before taking to the river again sometime in the future.

That's the dream of Kevin Hewer, Mark Johnson, and Ron McCready, who have plans to restore the old boat, use her as part of an alcohol rehabilitation program, and put her back to work someday.

Past and future concerns will be the subject of another article someday. This piece is about movement.

It took most of the day on April 2nd to lift the Rose from her 3rd Avenue berth, where she had molded herself into the ground on which she had set for so long. Responsive to the procedure, she began to straighten her keel even before the big truck was hooked up and her first journey in years began.

Once on the street, her progress was swift. Unlike other things that have moved in Dawson lately, she was low enough (with her wheelhouse removed) to avoid wires and streetlights, and the trip to the corner at Saint Paul's was accomplished without incident.

The corner was tight there, but it wasn't long before she was up on Front Street and cruising toward the bridge across the Klondike River, where a small convoy had gathered to see her through the bridge (see our cover photo), an impressive, even if totally safe, sight.

From there it was smooth sailing for a few kilometres until it came time to turn into her new dry dock at American Highland. The driveway was slippery, even for a rig with that much traction, and then the whole unwieldy rig had to be backed into the space prepared between two Atco trailers.

These will be roofed over to become The Rose's shipyard during her refit.

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Federal Government to Upgrade Safety Features at Dawson Airport

by Dan Davidson


MP Larry Bagnell, Acting Mayor Aedes Scheer and C&TS Minister Pam Buckway pose with the conceptual drawings of the proposed improvements. Photo by Dan Davidson

The federal government will be spending nearly $4 million dollars for a safety improvement project at the Dawson City Airport. The announcement was made at the airport on Saturday, March 31, by Larry Bagnell, Yukon's Member of Parliament and Pam Buckway, the Yukon's Minister of Community and Transportation Services, who flew in by Alcan Air to break the news to a small crowd of a dozen or so.

"Safety is Transport Canada's top priority," Bagnell told the group in the airport lounge. "With today's contribution towards the Dawson City Airport the Government of Canada is helping to enhance not only safety, but also the economic potential of the region's transportation infrastructure.:

He described the airport as a "vital transportation link and gateway for tourism".

A press release described the project as involving "the rehabilitation of runway 02-20, Taxiway A, the apron area and replacement of the Visual Slope Indicator System (VASIS) and the Illuminated Wind Direction Indicator Systems."

This is not the hard surface runway that tourism operators and politicians have been trying to get for the airport for decades, but it is a step in that direction.

About 17 jobs will be created over the run of the project this summer, whose actual cost is $3.960,000.00

Funding for this comes from the Airports Capital Assistance Program a part of the National Airports Policy which was announced in July, 1994 and renewed in June, 2000. Under ACAP, airports may apply for funding towards capital projects related to safety, asset protection and operating cost reduction. To be eligible, they must receive regularly scheduled passenger service, meet airport certification requirements and not be owned by the Government of Canada.

Dawson's airport has been owned by the Government of Yukon since March 1990, and it meets the other requirements.

Bagnell read from part of a statement by federal Transport Minister David Collenette:

"ACAP is an example f the Government of Canada directing infrastructure resources to where they are most needed and can best enhance safety. This program is just one way the government - through the National Airports Policy - seeks to ensure a safe, efficient, and affordable airports system to serve Canadians well into the future."

"Don't under rate the scope of this project," Bagnell told his audience. "The mayor and I have been fighting for years that when things are done in the north they need more money that what is allocated on a per capita basis. There are more costs up here. This project is way more than 100 times what Dawson City would have been getting if this had been done per capita.

"This amount of is roughly ten percent of what's available in this program for the entire country for this year."

Bagnell was previously the executive director of the Association of Yukon Communities, where he and Mayor Glen Everitt, now in his third term as president, have been working closely together.

Acting Mayor Aedes Scheer played host in the absence of the mayor, who was still on a federally funded exchange program in Russia at the time.

C&TS Minister Pam Buckway expressed the gratitude of the YTG for the day's announcement and the choice to make it in Dawson rather than by press release.

"On behalf of the Yukon government, I would like to express my appreciation to the Government of Canada and the federal Minister of Transport, Mr. David Collenette for their generous support towards aviation safety and airport infrastructure improvements at this Yukon airport."

Buckway recognized the efforts of members of the aviation industry. M.L.A. Peter Jenkins and Mayor Glen Everitt and his council, as well as hotel owners and the KVA and local Chamber of Commerce.

"All of these people and groups have worked in recent years with my department to prepare and adopt a plan that will guide development at the airport, Without their efforts and their strong support for a united community position on airport development and planning for Dawson City, we could not have partnered, as we have , with Canada and the City of Dawson, to arrive at this happy occasion."

The plan worked out by these groups was the core of the application that led to the March 31 announcement.

The press release indicated that "funding for this project was provided for in the February 2000 budget and is therefore built into the existing financial framework."

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Percy DeWolfe Junior Sees His First Mail Race

by Dan Davidson


Percy and Ruth DeWolfe at the Downtown Hotel. Photo by Dan Davidson

It had been 12 years since Percy DeWolfe, junior, and his wife, Ruth , had been in Dawson. Both were tickled to be on hand for the 25th running of the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race, an event which neither of them had ever seen.

Percy and Ruth left the Yukon in 1976, before the race began and before the development of the paraphernalia that Yukoners are so used to seeing.

"These dogs live in little apartments, now," he said with a chuckle. " We looked in there and, God almighty, they got a little bed there."

He's never actually been here for the race before, though he has read about it or had it read to him as his eyes have deteriorated.

"We could only read about them, but now I know what it's all about."

He compared the feeling of his days here to the feeling he had when he attended the ceremonies marking the liberation of Holland in 1995.

Young Percy (85 years young) himself never hankered to follow in his father's sled tracks. He ran the mail route twice, both times in the winter, about two years apart. He recalled that it was some time in the 1930s, '35 or '34.

The first time he made the run things went just great, and it was quite enjoyable, though not something he wanted to do forever. By that time he was already working for the Company, as men of his generation often refer to the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation.

A couple of years later he said he decided to give his father another little holiday. This time, nothing went right.

The two younger pups of the team wanted to be with their mother, and she had been left at home, a bit lame. At Fortymile, Pete Anderson, his father's one-time partner, gave him two big replacement dogs to help him along.

"I left Fortymile, and there was a blizzard," Percy said. "Oh, it was a blast, whiteout and everything." He was to deliver something to the homestead of C.B. Tidd, a former Mountie and sometime writer who lived near Twelve Mile.

"I was doing all right. The trail was well marked with spruce boughs, but when I got on that river you couldn't see five feet ahead of you.

"I put 'em on the hard center - I could feel that. I worked about an hour, but the leader wouldn't go. He just turned around and that was it. He knew what was up. You have to trust your lead dog, y'know."

After that people weren't where they were expected to be and the trip was much more difficult.

"That put me a day late coming back. There was no communication back then. They had a wireless down there but nobody ever thought about wiring back to say I was gonna be a day late."

When he finally struggled back to Dawson, it was to find the Iron Man on pins and needles, worried sick.

"He said, 'Y'know something. I'd sooner take this trip myself then sit back and worry about you.'"

"I said, 'You know, you've got it now.' That was the last time I did it."

Percy junior went back to work for YCGC.

He said that people tend to forget that his dad often used horses for the trip even in the winter when the loads were too big for his usual nine dog team.

The old man never told the kids much about his trips. He'd come home chilled and frostbitten, they'd ask him how it had been, and he'd just say, "Fine." Percy was pleased, years later, to read about some of his dad's adventures after they were written up.

When the Second World War came along, Percy signed up for a hitch, eventually arriving in France just 30 days after D-Day and getting home "without a scratch."

Before embarking for England on the Queen Mary, however, he hitch-hiked from Halifax to Wolfville to see his father's home county.

"Pretty good down there, but it was a Sunday and everything was closed up. There was DeWolfe this and DeWolfe that everywhere, but I couldn't contact nobody. So I hitch-hiked back and that was the last I saw of it.

"People there in Wolfville wrote me a few times wanting information," he recalled. This happened a few years ago, after "Woody" Woodman, a retired newspaper editor from Wolfville, got interested in the DeWolfe legend following a visit to his family (the McCauleys) here in Dawson.

It seemed that the elder DeWolfe had followed a King's County tradition of going out west for the harvest, only he, unlike so many others, had never gone home again.

The senior DeWolfe also worked on a farm in Saskatchewan while he was making his way across the country, and Ruth DeWolfe encountered someone who had known him when she attended her high school reunion in Brownlee some years ago.

A one time school mistress who was then the post mistress told Percy that his father had worked at a farm in the area, but there was no way to prove it.

"There's no record at all, of course," he said.

After the war, Percy junior worked at a number of jobs, retiring in 1976 after a stint as a plumber with the federal Ministry of Transport. He and Ruth decided to make their retirement home in Qualicum Beach, where a program administered by Veterans' Affairs assisted them in obtaining a reasonable mortgage.

Since then they have come back to Dawson a few times, but have found it an expensive trip, unlike the days when they used to visit for a weekend from Whitehorse. On this occasion, they combined a couple of important errands, returning to Dawson with Dorothy (DeWolfe) Sonne's ashes for a final funeral and interment. She had died in the fall of 2000.

Percy likes the idea of a race named for his father. He can't see very well at all these days, but the sounds of the race brought back a lot of memories for him.

"What comes back to me is when these dogs are ready to start ... they're all tied up there, barking and everything. I used to help my dad when he used to start in the morning. I'd help him and hitch the dogs up. We had to secure the sleigh the same. Oh, man, they were ready to go - barkin' and everything. That brought back a lot of memories."

Thinking of watching the winner, Peter Butteri, arriving on March 16, Percy said, "I used to dress light like that, too. You don't get cold when you're running and moving all the time." It was a contrast to the warm clothing he was wearing outside during this trip.

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"It was the blackest moment of my life," says Minister

by Dan Davidson


The Reverend Dale Lang addresses students and parents at the Robert Service School. Photo by Dan Davidson

The Reverend Dale Lang knows what it is to lose a family member to a senseless tragedy. Just under two years ago his son, Jason, was gunned down at W.L. Myers High School in Tabor, Alberta. The shooter was a young man who had been driven away from that school by bullying, a victim of those who like to exercise their power over others. One day he decided to come back and find out what it would be like to exercise power instead of being a victim.

"I want to share my story," the Reverend Lang told the mixed audience of students and parents at Robert Service School, "because it's my hope that we can all learn together to treat each other in a way that helps people out and doesn't hurt people."

April 28, 1999 was, he told the crowd, a normal day in the life of his family. That morning he had had the time to take his son Jason out for a drive in Jason's new car, a five speed sports car that Jason wanted some pointers on driving.

As in all families, there was sometimes friction between father and son, but that morning there was none as they talked and drove. Lang is eternally grateful that he had that half hour with Jason, for it was the last time he was able to talk to him while he was alive.

Every school seems to have one of those kids that others just naturally pick on, who seem to have "kick me" written on their faces. The 14 year old who came back to school that day with a rifle seems to have been one of those kids. He warned a female teacher and a female student out of the hall and then opened fire on the first three boys to appear in his line of sight.

One boy ducked and was unhurt. A second was badly wounded. Jason probably never knew anything after the bullet hit him. He was still in a coma when he died.

The shooter was still leaning against the wall with the rifle in his hands when he was approached and disarmed by a resource teacher. It seems he was finished.

Lang has his own theories about what happened, and he focussed on the subject of bullying.

"If somebody comes up to you and punches you on the shoulder it hurts for awhile, maybe it bruises, but in a few days it'll all heal, all by itself.

"But when we put people down when we hurt them at the core of who they are, that pain ... doesn't heal itself. And if people get hurt often ... or deeply enough, they get pretty angry. If, like this young man, you keep stuffing it down inside and you don't know what to do with it, that sets up the opportunity for a moment when someone might explode."

It was early afternoon when the Langs got word that their son was in the hospital. At first they thought it must have been the car. Lang said he had never before felt that Canada was a place where anyone should feel unsafe. Watching news items about the military style shootings in Columbine, Colorado, just a few weeks before, he had been sure that nothing like that could happen in Canada.

Jason died in the hospital not long after his frantic parents arrived there and said a prayer for his wellbeing.

"It was the blackest moment of my life," Lang said. "I have never ever felt so empty or so alone. It was unbelievably painful. I hope, in your life, you never have to face a moment like that."

What some find most unusual about Dale Lang's story is that he says he has forgiven his son's killer. He first did so publicly at a memorial service five days after the event, praying for the boy and his family. Lang says that forgiveness is an essential part of his Christian faith, but also feels it is an attribute which is sorely needed in a society which is more and more dominated by talk about getting even and taking revenge.

Lang feels that it is our society which has created the conditions which breed people like his son's killer. A society which tolerates bullying helps to make the frustrated souls which feel they have to lash out in their frustration. Worse, we encourage the acceleration of that frustration by training our young to demand instant gratification and complete satisfaction. If being happy all the time is the greatest good we can imagine, then we are going to spend a lot of our time being disappointed.

Lang ended his talk with this advice, that people need to have respect for one another, need to heal and let go of their anger, and need to promote more positive ways of dealing with each other. For him, all of this comes from his Christian faith, and it is this certainty which has taken him all over the country with this message in the 23 months since Jason's death.

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Marina's Lifts its Skirts

by Dan Davidson


Marina's restaurant inches past the Westmark Hotel. Photo by Dan Davidson

Those dancing girls on the side of the building sitting at the corner of 17th Avenue and Front Street aren't looking for a lift. They've just had one, a big lift that took them all the way down the avenue, squeezing past the Westmark Hotel, the new Dawson Swimming Pool and the transformers at the Yukon Energy Plant across the street from where they're currently lifting their skirts in the April wind.

Yes, another Dawson building has been moved. It was a Saturday's work to heft Marina's from its location opposite the Westmark, looking prim with its new foundation and new front deck and south to a temporary home.

Owner Mike Palma bought the former pizza house, restaurant and laundromat from Holland America last year, when the big chain expressed an interest in developing more hotel units on the land across from its original buildings. That plan was delayed somewhat, but Palma had to move the building this spring to allow for site preparation.

He wants to move it to a location closer to Front Street, and has been before the municipal council with this proposal already, but his plan posed what council felt was a real parking problem in a block which now includes the rejuvenated Oddfellows Hall, Bombay Peggy's, the Bunkhouse, the enlarged Bonanza Market and the Ray of Sunshine drug store and Sears outlet.

Just a few years ago, none of these concerns were open in this area, and they have shifted the dynamic of the shopping area south on Second Avenue, leading to parking problems.

At the eleventh hour, late last week, Palma wrangled approval from the City of Dawson to allow him to move his building and place it on another of his lots for an interim of two months. The planning board, which is usually involved in such things, wasn't in this case.

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Moose Mountain Gets a Posh Chalet

by Dan Davidson


Moose Mountain has a new ski chalet, opened just a few weeks before the season ended. Photo by Dan Davidson

"It's been a lot of hard work by a lot of people to get to this point today, and we're really proud."

So said Moose Mountain ski club president Marty Knutson on the afternoon on March 24 as the members and the public gathered to celebrate the opening of the new ski chalet at the bottom of the hill.

This spacious building, with lots of room for socializing and storage, replaces the aging skid-shack which has served the hill so well for so many years.

For several years the club has been planning and raising funds to build this project, tapping money from the City of Dawson, the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and the now defunct Community Development Fund.

Speaking on behalf of the City of Dawson, Councillor Wayne Potoroka said, "The chalet is a fine example of what dedication and perseverance can accomplish. On behalf of the mayor and council and all the staff at the city office, congratulations on a wonderful facility, a job well done, and a great addition to the rec. scene in Dawson City."

Amid the cheers of the crowd some of the youngest members of the club pushed the over-sized shears through the crepe ribbon across the door to the lounge.

The project was just about a year in the making.

"Last April we started applying for money," said club member Minnie Beets.

The planning and earth moving took place in the fall, Knutson added.

Han Construction began the actual work on January 8, and were finished in just over three months.

"We're pretty impressed with that speed," Knutson said.

The chalet has eight rooms, including large lounge area with picnic tables, a kitchen, first aid room, rental room (for skis and equipment) and three bathrooms. it should serve the club and the community well during ski season and provide a possible venue for other events during the off -season. There's already a couple who wants to hold their wedding there.

Knutson says it's on budget and the club will be in the black when everything's added up. That's pretty good on a project which totals $224,000, including donations in kind and some sweat equity.

CDF was the biggest single source, with $90,000, but the City of Dawson kicked in $63,000 as well, and the club raised the rest from miscellaneous donations, sponsorships and fund raising activities.

Members of the ski club were quick to praise Marty Knutson for being the spirit behind the successful project.

"He did a lot of the work and he should be acknowledged for that," said Minnie Beets.

Knutson, typically modest, simply said he was looking forward to retiring as club president. It didn't sound as though the group planned to let him.

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Time for an Attitude Change

by the Humane Society

This winter has been one of the toughest on animals around here; no it hasn't been really cold and there has been work, so why?

This is a question we would like to ask the community. Did you know the Humane Society has dealt with the starvation of horses and dogs this entire winter? We have had to work with the R.C.M.P. to attempt to criminally charge these people and hope that they are deemed unfit to have an animal again. We currently have two more cases that we have to include the R.C.M.P. again. At this time I would like to thank the people in this community who are coming forward and saying animal neglect is wrong. So Dawson, why have we always had this "dog" problem? This town is always trying to fight to keep dogs off the street, keep them from packing, and keep them from attacking. Did you know that in Toronto, Ontario they have a dog park where pets run free, and that pets are allowed in some shops and restaurants? Toronto is a city of over 4 million people and we are town of two thousand. It's time some people in Dawson give their heads a shake and make changes in their attitudes about the care of their animals.

All pet owners should make sure that their pets are fed, housed, exercised, provided with veterinary health care and loved. When pet owners neglect their responsibilities the Humane Society, R.C.M.P. and the City of Dawson hears from concerned residents. We all receive many complaints of irresponsible dog ownership and are asked to resolve them. Humane Society Dawson's purpose and mission is to 1) work for the prevention of cruelty to animals, 2) provide a shelter for animals 3) foster a caring, compassionate atmosphere for animals 3) PROMOTE HUMANE ETHIC AND RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP

We receive complaints from concerned individuals that report starving, barking, roaming, and vicious, and neglected dogs. These pet owners need to become responsible.

Barking dogs drive neighbours crazy. Daily residents complain about the incessant noise. Dog owners need to address their dogs' barking problem. There is a reason that the dogs are barking and voicing their frustration to the neighbourhood. Barking dogs are bored, hungry, or uncomfortable dogs. All dogs need to be taken on walks by their owners. This does not mean letting barking dogs loose to go for a stroll by themselves. Dog owners should not be releasing their animals onto the streets even if they are friendly. The City of Dawson Animal Control By-Law was created to ensure the safety of the community but also for the dogs' safety. Unattended roaming dogs inevitably make their way underneath a traveling vehicle endangering their lives as well as the drivers that avoid hitting them. Dog owners should view loose roaming dogs like wandering small children crossing streets and walking along unsupervised. Their safety should always be considered.

Dog owners that think their dogs are friendly and therefore can wander the neighbourhood getting themselves into trouble fighting and breeding intact females need to wake up. The Humane Society receives hundreds of complaints regarding this By-Law offense. The Humane Society also receives the unwanted litters because all dog owners who have intact dogs have failed one of their major responsibilities. Unplanned breeding needs to be addressed by all dog owners of intact dogs not just the female dog's owner alone before the problem is to be improved.

Currently the Humane Society is maximized with dogs that cannot find homes. We are faced with having to euthanize perfectly adoptable dogs because there are not as many dog owners as there are number of dogs in this community. The decision of euthanasia is a subject that we do not want to have to face, however we do not have the space or money to take care of them being a non-profit society. Having puppies for the sake of cuteness is not a reason to let dogs breed. The Humane Society is not operating for the purpose of being a puppy store like a grocery store consumers shop in or want to return a dog when the old one develops problems that are not addressed by the owner.

Dog owners need to realize their responsibilities of dog ownership.

Humane Society Dawson is always trying to fill our purpose and mandate to promote, change and hopefully lessen the number of dog problems that are in Dawson and the Klondike Valley, but first of all we need the support and cooperation of dog owners to improve and address all of the concerns. In order for change we need the community to stop accepting poor dog ownership by overlooking it and to speak out to neglectful owners or in public. Healthy dogs mentally as well as physically are an immense benefit to the community with infinite joy and fun that dogs unconditionally provide giving everyone an appreciation to the amazing animals that they are.

We need you as a Community to talk to your neighbours, "hey neighbour if you're not taking care of your dog i.e., tying up your dog WE have a problem. Can we solve it?" Be nice, be cordial, and be friendly. If you need help call us - that's what we're here for but we cannot do this alone anymore. We need your help and support.

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Young Dawson Musher Grateful for Local Support

by Kyla Boivin


Kyla Boivin and a member of her team. Photo supplied

It's a cold February night in Dawson City, Over the past day and a half, Yukon Quest mushers have been filtering into town. Now, at 9:15 p.m. this Friday evening over a dozen locals stand on the dyke in front of the Quest checkpoint, awaiting the arrival of the eighteenth musher into town wearing bib number 11, 18-year old Dawsonite Kyla Boivin.

Twenty minutes later, at 9:37 p.m., my 13-dog team and I pulled into town. It was a heartwarming welcome!. It must have been easily thirty-five below with a bitter wind, but there was a big group of kids standing by the trail, yelling my name, and when I got under the arch to sign in, there was a huge crowd of people cheering, and yelling "Welcome home Kyla". That was a moment I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The amount of support my hometown has shown me this year during my first Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race has truly made all the difference.

I had started the race five days before in the chilly afternoon sun in downtown Whitehorse. The first few days of the race were exhilarating! I learned at least one new thing with each run. I was traveling with fellow Dawsonite Cor Guimond for a hundred miles or so (between Pelly and Stewart River). That was a great experience, we shared stories and people food and traded dog care tips. Cor left me behind at Stewart river though, because I miscalculated a mileage on a stretch of trail, and had to rest my tired team for an extra six hours. That one miscalculation lost me my chances of being in the money places, (top 15) but didn't dampen my or my dogs spirits. We had a beautiful run over from Stewart river; cresting King Solomon's Dome at sunrise, and mushing through Granville in the golden afternoon sun.

We arrived in Dawson full of bounce and left 36 hours later with similar enthusiasm, read to challenge another 560 miles on the trail. The river ice between Dawson and Fortymile cabin was rough, but not as scary as I had been told. (The Quest veterans love telling horror stories about the trail to the rookies, so I was pretty worried). The run on the Fortymile river up to the Taylor highway was beautiful (although cold) and then another smooth run up and over American Summit to Eagle. The dogs were running well, although, I realized, too slow to catch any other mushers. This was a disappointment, although the trail and the run were much too beautiful for the fact to get me down.

The river between Eagle and Circle was incredibly rough. There were patches of glare windswept ice for miles and then side hill ice (also glare and mirror-smooth) which ended at the bottom in jagged, sharp, paw-tearing jumble ice. That 200-mile stretch was a definite challenge. The rough river trail put my dogs into a depression so our speed diminished to 5 miles per hour. By Beiderman's cabin, however, I had discovered a trick to make my dogs pick up, and we did the run from Slaven's cabin to Circle City in 7 hours. From there, the run picked up, and it was smooth sailing right to the finish line.

Climbing over 3650 foot Eagle Summit was one of the biggest triumphs of my life. It was the hardest and most exhilarating thing that I've ever done. Over the year, the summit has forced Quest mushers, veteran and rookie alike, to scratch, just by it's sheer steepness and bitter conditions. But my dog team, my beautiful tough dog team climbed up and up and UP and over! Reaching the top was indescribable. All the dogs got a big hug and a treat from their grateful driver.

I crossed the finish line under the Cushman street bridge in Fairbanks at 8:30 am Alaska time with 11 dogs, after 14 days, 20 hours and 18 minutes on the trail. It was an amazing race! Looking back on the race, and my dogs' performance, I realize that, with more trail experience, and know-how, I would have been in the top 15 (as it was, I finished 18th). But, there's always next year, and I will be back on the Quest trail next year as a 19-year old veteran with an experienced dog team and more get-up and go than ever.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to my main sponsors in Dawson this year, Duncan Spriggs and Westminster Hotel for their fund-raiser/auction which raised $5,000.00 towards my race. Also, a huge debt of gratitude is held for the City of Dawson, who also donated a large sum of money to my cause. Fireweed Helicopters, Maximilians Emporium and The Bonanza Gold Motel donated $500.00 each, I would also like to thank: The Dawson Trading Post, MacKenzie Petroleum, The Eldorado Hotel, Kluane Freight lines, The Midnight Sun Hotel, Faye Chamberlain (For the Beautiful beaver mitts), Fulda, Bonanza Market, Viceroy Resources, Tr'ondek H'wechin, Gold Rush RV Park, and countless other Dawson Businesses and local who have made my dream of running the Yukon Quest come true. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! See you all next year.

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2001 Yukon Indoor Soccer Championships


The Dawson Gunners featured players between 11 and 13 years old. Photo supplied

Fifty athletes and thirty-two coaches and parents traveled to Whitehorse March 9 to participate in the 2001 Yukon Soccer Championships. Over 800 players from Dawson, Mayo, Pelly, Beaver Creek, Carmacks, Haines Junction, Watson Lake, Whitehorse and Atlin made up 80 teams and competed in more than 175 games.

The games started early Saturday morning with 7 and under Dawson Loggers, coached by Heinz Naef, squaring off against Mayo, winning the first of their five games.

Dawson's first 9 and under team, the Dawson Snow Tigers, coached by Rejean Audet, was made up of 9 energetic players. The team played well throughout their 5 games and finished up with a victory over the Mayo squad. Dawson 's second 9 and under team, the Dawson Wolf Pack, coached by Ed Kormendy and Dave McBurney, played well during their 6 games and were a tough challenge for their opponents.

Dawson's two 11 and under teams, the Dawson Skookums, coached by Robert Thompson and the Dawson Mushers, coached by Wayne Rachel, played 6 matches over the weekend and met in the final game. The Dawson Skookums beat their local rivals 4-2 to finish the tourney.

Dominic Lloyd's 13 and under team, the Dawson Gunners, had a busy weekend playing 3 games on Saturday and 2 games on Sunday before the long drive home.

Nick Ball and Seamus Power joined Mayo's 15 and under team to help them win 3 and tie 1 in their six game over the weekend.

Some how during the busy schedule of games the kids also found time to have fun bowling, watching movies and eating fast food! Thanks to all the parents, chaperones and coaches who helped make the weekend a great success. Thanks to Dave Stockdale, Brian Gillen and all the volunteers involved with the Yukon Soccer Association for a great tournament. Thank you to the City of Dawson Recreation Department for their continuing support. Congratulations to all 6 teams for their exciting play!

Dawson City Minor Soccer would like to thank the Tr'ondek Hwech'in for the use of their van to help transport our athletes.

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Undertaking to Entertain at the Odd Hall

by Dan Davidson


The Daddies do the Oddfellows Hall in style. Photo by Dan Davidson

Undertaking Daddies? What are we getting into here? Cherry Poppin' Daddies do swing. Puff Daddy samples his way to fame. Do Undertaking Daddies play rap tunes based on the work of dead swing artists?

Not a serious proposition. Indeed the work of all the Daddies is known to most aficionados of the Yukon folk music circuit, though perhaps not in this particular combination nor in exactly this idiom.

So the 75 or 80 folks who settled down in the Oddfellows ballroom at $10 a head for a production jointly sponsored by the Dawson City Music Festival and the Dawson City Arts Society had a fairly good idea what they were in for. These boys have all been here before.

The Daddies served up two sets of lively tunes. The first set drew heavily on their new CD, Post Atomic Hillbilly, while the second floated around the group's members' repertoire and somehow ended up where the evening began, with PAH's "Isobel".

In between, the music was country/swing/blues/folk/bluegrass/hillbilly fusion delivered in a cheerful way that distracted the audience from the fact that most of the songs were about betrayal, death and sad times.

While the Daddies switched their instruments about fairly often, this line-up lends itself to a description. Bob Hamilton anchors stage right, madly picking at his mandolin or rummaging the stand-up bass, looking for all the world like he could break into the Gettysburg Address at any moment.

Next up is Kevin Barr, slapping rhythm guitar or manhandling the bass, apparently unable to decide just what to do with his hair while he does most of the lead singing.

Harmonica George McConkey, "the belt" very much in evidence, stands next in the line-up, his microphone demanding the attention of either his vocals or one of his many harps. George plays a bit of guitar too, but it's those blistering harmonica solos that are his claim to fame.

Stage left is Nathan Tinkham, plucking the acoustic or sliding the lap steel. For all his energy and style, he looks like he could do this all week without breaking a sweat. He only sings in the second half.

For part of the first set the group is joined by Gil Benoit of the Pointer Brothers, someone else they have all played with before now.

It's a rousing evening at the ODD ballroom, just another is a series of fine events that this new venue has played host to in the last twelve months.

Now, if someone could just explain why the Daddies neglected to leave any of their CDs at the local music store when they left town the next day. I really didn't have any money left that night after the tickets and Nestea, honest.

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