Updated: 54 min 25 sec ago
Last weekend, Bombay Peggy’s reopened here in Dawson City after a three-month winter hiatus. Peggy’s is a cozy pub and inn located in a refurbished brothel on the edge of Dawson’s small commercial core, and most of the folks I know here in town treated its return to the social scene almost like a national holiday – the first unmistakeable sign that spring was on its way.
There are certain terms that can wind up so freighted with so many different meanings that invoking them can seem careless, even meaningless, a rote genuflection in front of a value so widely held that it would only be remarkable by its absence. Community is one of those terms. Everyone’s part of a community; everyone treasures community; everything claims to build or enhance or protect community.
The Yukon Quest dogsled race came mushing through Dawson last week on its annual run from Whitehorse, Yukon, to Fairbanks, Alaska, and it lived up to its billing as one of the biggest events on Dawson’s winter social calendar. The Quest is considered second only to the Iditarod in prestige, and I’ve heard tell locally that some mushers consider it the more challenging race. It covers 1,000 miles of mostly empty country in about nine intense, sleep-deprived days, with fewer checkpoints than the Iditarod trail.
Editor's note: Our blogger has relocated to Dawson City, Yukon, for a three-month stint as writer-in-residence in the Klondike, 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle and more than 300 miles north of the nearest chain store. Below is his first dispatch from one of the coldest and most unique places on the planet.