The Full Yukon Experience! Rendezvous, Dog Sledding, and Frozen Hair!

1 Mar

I am writing this blog from Vancouver, I just got into town last night after the most Yukon-tastic weekend ever! As you know from Sabrina’s guest blog, 5 of my wonderful friends came to visit, and we were busy!

My first Rendezvous (am I a Sourdough now?) started off with me being arrested by the Keystone Kops, despite wearing a garter over my jeans!

Turns out you can put “hits” out on people by paying off the Kops. Kaptain Keith, I’m looking in your direction. The audio of me and Casey Adams being arrested on-air, and taken outside to a mobile jail cell (they let us put our jackets on first at least!) is up on the CKRW Blog. They made us sing “I’m A Little Teapot”, and we acted it out for some reason as well. I screwed up the actions and Casey forgot part of the words- hey it’s been a while since we were in pre-school! Then they let us out and I got a pin saying that I was an ex-con,

 although it didn’t guarantee me protection from the Kops, however, I managed to stay out of jail for the rest of the weekend!

That evening, after giving everyone a tour of the town and having a yummy dinner at The Edge, we went up to Mount Mac for the Sourdough Sam Knighting! The Sourdough Sam competition is basically the opposite of the Queen’s competitions. Whereas the Queens have to dress and act like ladies all month, the Sams get drunk and compete for a truck. The Knighting included a “Tall Tale” competition, where the Sams had to tell stories and were given lines to improvise into their tales. Very entertaining! We also saw real can-can dancers,

 Musical Marjie, and, The Snowshoe Shufflers (dancers wearing snowshoes!). The Sams winner was the Irish guy, Phil McOxxenballs , he drank a lot of beer out of his trophy; needless to say he didn’t drive his new truck home that night! (P.S. a little travel tip, it can be hard to get a cab in this town in the evenings, especially for a large group, we waited an hour for our cab that night, and after some misadventures like this went with a rental car for the last two days of their visit, way more convenient and economical!).

Saturday, I was on-location at Rendezvous, which meant I got to hang out with my friends and call into the station regaling them with tales of my first Rendezvous (I love my job!). After my first cut-in from the pancake breakfast, the PR guy for the military called, and offered to take me around to their various displays (military is well-represented at Rendezvous on account of military bases up here back in the day). I got to to do all sorts of things: sit in the tank and talk about that, and we got driven up to the Whitehorse Airport to check out all the planes there, including an Aurora and a Hercules. I think I could have weaseled my way onto the skydivers’ plane but they were grounded due to wind. The Aurora was neat- they have a thing on the end which can track submarines, and they have any area called the “Battle Station”.

That thing on the end- tracks submarines!

  I also chatted with the proprietors of the Sugar Shack, where they pour maple syrup on snow and roll it up onto a stick. SO YUMMY! Also, so messy. Alllll over my gloves.

My friends definitely got to experience the Yukon cold and wind- Saturday was very cold and the wind was almost unbearable towards the end of the afternoon, blowing the tops of tents and creating mischief!

We then retreated to the warmth of the Yukon Brewery, where Ken graciously gave us a personal tour, even though they weren’t scheduled to do any that day. The tasting was, as always, very fun and we left with Growlers, bottles of Solstice, and Growler “purses” which are awesome- finally a convenient way to carry those heavy things!

That evening Erin made us delicious chickpea burgers

…and then we went to the Jarvis Street Saloon for the Tattoo, Beard and Moustache and Hairy Leg Competitions. The Hairy Leg Competition will be burned into my mind for ever. There are some very hairy people out there- men and ladies! They actually measure the strands of leg hair (some measuring 12mm!) and also look at thickness and quantity. Let’s just say I was sitting in the back without my glasses on and I could clearly see the mounds of hair rising from their legs! Sabrina and I both entered the tattoo competition…

…but lost out to some pretty epic tattoos.

Now onto Sunday- dog sledding! Now in the rental car, we drove to Muk Tuk Adventures in Takhini. Dog sledding was the one thing on my list that I absolutely had to do when I moved to the Yukon, so this was really exciting for me to cross that off my list (and I completely plan on going again soon). When you arrive at Muk Tuk, the yard has at least 100 dog houses in it, all with each dog’s name on it, and they’re all barking and friendly and cute, and you can go up and say hi to the dogs and everything. We suited up (they provide jackets, boots, and thick mitts and scarves, we brought our own snow pants, I also brought my own balaclava which I’m glad I did ’cause your nose runs in those things and it’s nice to know that’s your own nose goo, lol!). I loved how indignant the entire yard of dogs got every time a dog got hooked up to your sled, they would all start barking like “C’mon, him? Really?!”. They had pre-determined teams set up, as the staff knew which dogs worked well together.

Our dogs

Me, Sabrina and our Team!

For the tour it was 2 people to a sled and then a switch halfway through, I started out in the sled which they zip you into all nice and cozy. The hardest part is the hills, which I found out once it was my turn, I just kind of assumed the dogs do all the work, but they totally don’t. In fact, they will stop and look at you at some of the steeper hills to make sure you’re getting off the sled to help. So on hills, you get off the sled and push, and on really steep ones, your passenger gets out and helps too.

 I really feel like the Benny Hill music should be playing under any video you see of me driving the sled. It was a lot of fun but I tipped the entire thing over, my team over-ruled my calls to “Ji!” (we ha-ed where we should have ji-ed) which meant at one point we went from being the team at the front of the pack to the team at the end, which I don’t think the dogs ever forgave me for! We then got lodged in a snow bank and when I lifted the sled out, they took off without me being on it! So I actually got dragged a little ways and I am quite sore from that. I managed to pull myself up and land both knees on the brake bar to stop the sled and didn’t send Sabrina and 6 dogs careening down the hill into the other teams. Despite all of this, don’t get me wrong here, it was TONS of fun. Challenging and technical, but very fun. I would like to try one of the day-trips next.

We then drove to Takhini Hotsprings for a much needed soak. It was so cold outside that our hair froze, and we had fun styling it- in fact they have a competition there, I’ll let you know if we win anything.



The Whole Gang!

Yesterday back up to Mount Mac for some snowshoeing, and then off to the Beringia Centre to check out the Woolly Mammoth skeleton.


Locals or tourists should really check out this place, very cool.

Then onto the plane and into the arms of my family- which meant I finally got to meet my niece, Lily!!

Me and Lily at the Airport!


4 Responses to “The Full Yukon Experience! Rendezvous, Dog Sledding, and Frozen Hair!”

  1. erin March 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Oh my gawd Kirstin, Lily is so wee and tiny in your arms. I can’t wait to see you all on Sunday!!!!!

  2. kara March 2, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    You definitely had the entire experience!!

    It was fantastic to meet you!

  3. Mirella July 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    I would like to let you know I used one of your pictures on my post, hope you don;t mind: .
    My blog is written in portuguese and I was telling the story about the day I froze my hair in Toronto :) … When I was looking at google for “frozen hair” pictures, it end up at your blog!
    If you have any issue with it… please let me know I will remove the picture, ok? I gave you credit and everything.
    BTW… loved you experience in Yukon, hope one day I’ll be able to go there and enjoy the wilderness and beauty of that place!

    • kirstin September 6, 2013 at 11:22 am #

      Hi Mirella! Sorry for the delay in replying, I don’t check this blog very often anymore!
      Totally fine to use my pic, thanks for crediting me!

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