Dawson may be a small town (1,200 permanent residents) and the Yukon Territory may be one of the most sparsely populated places in the world (30,000 people in 2006), but it seems everywhere I go I find connections to the place I will call home from October to December of this year.
The first ‘coincidence’ was a couple weeks back when my colleague and friend, John Chalmers, invited me to take my pick of books at his mother’s house, which he is clearing out for sale. I had an armful of books – mostly CanLit and history, of course – when I spotted one that had fallen between the counter and some boxes. It turned out to be Starting Out, Pierre Berton’s memoir of years 0-27! John was nice enough to let me have it and I’ve since read the whole first chunk about Pierre’s childhood in Dawson…
“Queen of the Yukon” on display at the Yukon Transportation Museum
You never know who you’ll meet at breakfast! While chowing down two Mondays ago at the Wedgewood B&B; in Kamloops, I started chatting with the two other guests: Doug and Marie Mervyn. Not only were they lovely people, but it turned out Doug’s been flying since the 1950s and his son operates Mervyn’s Yukon Outfitting based in Whitehorse (and owns a couple of small planes for the business). They gave me his contact info and I’ll probably interview him for the book on aviation in the north!
The Mervyn Family up in YT
A few days later I was in B.C.’s Lower Mainland giving talks to the Quarter Century in Aviation Club and the Langley Aeroclub. Well, you’d better believe at least 1/2 those folks had some connection to flying in the north and many had been to Dawson. I now have a good-sized stack of business cards from flying Bishops and bush pilots ready to go! And it turns out that John Lovelace’s 2010 flying trip will be to the Yukon: it is Klondike Fever all over again!
Claire out for a stroll