En route to Alaska I traveled for four days and nights through an even wilder place, the Yukon Territory of Canada. The Yukon has always symbolized the North for me even more than Alaska does for many people. Alaska is indeed America’s frontier, but the Yukon has even fewer people.
While about 730,000 people live in Alaska nowadays, the population of the Yukon is about 34,000 of which two-thirds live in the capital city, Whitehorse. In land area, the Yukon is about the same size as Spain, where more than 47 million people live.
Just before arriving in the Yukon, I took a short detour to Liard River Hot Springs in the far north of British Columbia. I like hot springs, and birds like them too.
Even though the bird I photographed there is clearly a woodpecker, I had a hard time identifying it. Nothing called a woodpecker that is ever seen wild in northwestern Canada has a red throat. Finally, I realized that while it is a woodpecker we name it something else. If they had asked me, I would have named it a Red-throated Woodpecker.
Click on the picture above to enlarge
I arrived on June 22 in Watson Lake, which with a population of 802 is the third biggest city in the Yukon. My accommodation for the night was the “Air Force Lodge.” Built in February 1942 for U.S. Army Air Corps pilots, the current owner has modernized the rooms. They are spotless and warm, but no bigger than what the pilots had. In fact, my room was about 6 feet by 10 feet, equivalent in size to the room I had when I was a student at the University of Würzburg many years ago.