There’s an environment in this world who wants to flourish. She wants, no, desires to have long flowing floral hair and copiously verdant braids. Her terrain begins to grow with a color and vibrancy that belies a lush future and this future you can almost, just, barely…touch, on its horizon. It is almost there, peering at you with emerald lake eyes as if to say, “My puberty’s bloom is coming. You’ll see...” And, just as her magnificent colored growth, energy, and sexual maturity begin to flower, winter comes: a featureless, formless, forsaken, and frigidly crippling season. This winter says, “It is my time. This is my territory. I am Yukon!” She is powerless and can’t help but acquiesce to winter’s wishes.
She lives in the northwestern parts of Canada and her petulant owner is an exacting winter...Yukon. Yukon is a territory that is surrounded by colorful, predictable, and hopeful mountains during the summer and the same moody, starving, and desolate mountains come the storm-whirl winter. She is decorated with trees, mountains, lakes, and plateaus completing her lovely figure. Yet, her verdant accessories are kept out of view for most of the year.
Despite her unforgiving environment, over 33,000 people live in her vastness, and their hope is an abundance of natural parks and game reserves which survive winter’s wrath. Because Winter’s naked grandeur is the longest season, spanning five months from November until the end of March, and violent, the area is rendered sparsely populated. Those who inhabit her region are the ones with a fierce hope and love of her.
This is the Law of the Yukon, that only the Strong shall thrive;
That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the Fit survive.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain,
This is the Will of the Yukon, — Lo, how she makes it plain!
- The Law of the Yukon, by Robert W. Service [excerpt]
The friends of Yukon are equally brazen and insolent. To the East, Yukon is surrounded by the Northwest Territories, the West by USA’s state of Alaska and to the south by the British Colombia. If you extend towards the north from the Yukon Territory, you will find an even more demanding habitat, the Arctic Circle.
Spring and Summer’s Time to Fight Back
In the face of the great white silence’s desire to reign, there is a time of year that fight’s back with a color, life, and hope that keeps winter at bay…if only for a while. During this time, the many features of her territory become arrogant and self-centered, drawing attention only to her unique features. The Alsek River, Emerald Lake, Kluane National Park and Reserve (A UNESCO World Heritage site), Miles Canyon, and Carcross (Caribou Crossing) make this territory beautiful, habitable, bearable, and glorious.
Travelers searching her vastness in hope of reaching the zenith of Canadian nature. They adore the wealth of improbable sites accessible in her isolated and peaceful environment...at least while winter has yielded its sovereignty.
“The dominant primordial beast was strong in Buck, and under the fierce conditions of trail life it grew and grew. Yet it was a secret growth. His newborn cunning gave him poise and control. He was too busy adjusting himself to the new life to feel at ease, and not only did he not pick fights, but he avoided them whenever possible. A certain deliberateness characterized his attitude. He was not prone to rashness and precipitate action…” - Excerpt from Jack London’s Call of the Wild
I'm just a guy who likes traveling, taking photos, and writing about my travels. I am not a writer by trade, so the main reason I write is to relive my travel experiences. Documenting vacations via photography and writing seems to add another layer to memory.
Article by Mark Pringle
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