Chasing gold at Dawson

Last summer I actually spent 6 days in Dawson City, Yukon. Next to Whitehorse, it was the town I became most familiar with. Whitehorse kind of took on a feeling of home as it was always the ending and jumping off point for the next adventure. Thinking back, my experience of Dawson made it very authentic and real to its roots.

Dawson has the true feel of a transient gold mining town. Most of the streets are gravel and the buildings are all wooden. But the sense of fleeting goes deeper. After a week of playing the tourist, one discovers that there are a lot of people in Dawson who are just there for a few months, on an adventure. Not to mention you can and will actually run into modern gold miners…eccentric or otherwise. Even the real locals are often from the far reaches of Canada and ended up in Dawson and just kind of stayed.

I wasn’t supposed to spend 6 days in Dawson. The official trip plan had 3 days set aside. It was supposed to be my starting point for my ultimate run up to the Arctic, but the weather in the far north wasn’t co-operating. There was snow on the forecast in Inuvik, and otherwise it was rainy and cold. At one point I actually started up the Dempster and ended up spending a miserable, cold rain day in Tombstone, and then waking up in sub-zero temperatures and snow in the air…so I retreated back to Dawson for a few more days. I wound up playing the tourist in Dawson a lot more than I planned…and with the rain it wasn’t super.

In a way, I was like an old time gold miner, in Dawson to find my fortune…becoming just a little bit discouraged as it seemed hard to find. Eventually the sun did shine, and it did warm up…even if it never quite made it to double digits.

My drive to Tuk did happen and it was glorious. Because of the snow that had fallen, the Ogilvie and Richardson mountains had a wonderful dusting of snow on them that looked so epic! And the cold snap advanced the fall colors and they were at peak! I had finally struck gold, but in a way that I couldn’t have done on my own. If everything had gone according to my plan, there wouldn’t have been snow on the mountains and the leaves would have been green. I even had plans to follow the peak colors all the way back down to Whitehorse on my way home, and that wouldn’t have worked without my time in Dawson. God was watching out for me and holding me back when I didn’t know what was best.

My life right now kind of feels like my time in Dawson. It’s raining and cold and I can’t seem to strike gold. But as I look back over my life, I can see so many times that God used hard times to draw me closer to Him, and He has never left me in the trial. Something will come. Even if it takes a long time, that’s probably needed…either for me to learn the lesson or for the timing to be just perfect for whatever is next.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
-1 Peter 5:6-7

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