The best ferry ride we have been on yet is at Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada. It runs across the big, wide, muddy, Yukon River. The cars drive on from one dirt shore (it holds about 8 cars) and drive off on the next dirt shore. But because of the current, there is a moment when it feels like the captain lost track of the shore and is headed downstream!
Dawson City was once a major trade center and a key port along the shipping routes of the Yukon River. Huge paddlewheel boats carried goods and passengers up and down that river with Dawson City as the hub. Now it is a tourist destination with cute shops connected by boardwalks and dirt streets. It is populated by an eclectic crowd of folks that felt like a blend of Prescott College, Asheville North Carolina and Jerome, Arizona. The ones that live there are a hearty folk that work at cafes, gift shops, hotels, restaurants and grocery stores when the tourist trade is running rich and then either leave town or hibernate when the winter chill settles in and the tourists go home.
Just up the riverbank about a mile we went geocaching to find one called “Paddle Wheeler Graveyard”. The dogs found them first, but they were not hard to see – sticking out of the woods like an awkward memorial to a distant past. These seven ships were tied up in dry dock when the bridges and roads rendered them useless. And there they sit. An eerie graveyard of a time of prosperity along the Yukon River.