Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Late Arriving Cards from Our Yukon and Alaska Trip

Hello again, it's the end of August and time to get one more update in before September. Well, the last of the cards from our recent Yukon and Alaska road trip have finally arrived back home. Today the cards are from Dawson Creek, Mayerthorpe , Atlin and a special place Old Crow.

Let's start with the Dawson Creek cards. Dawson Creek is a small city of around 12,000 people in northeastern British Columbia. Nicknamed Capital of the Peace or Mile 0 City, it derives its name from the creek that runs through the community.  The city is also the starting point for the 1500 mile World Famous Alaska Highway, hence the Mile 0 City moniker.
This first card is from My Lovely Teena, who always manages to pick up a card from our travels and send to me. It's a Mile 0 card  and shows a few of the touristy related sights in the city.

Teena used a In Flanders Fields stamp from 2015.

This next card , also from Dawson Creek, possibly shows a few of the local residents, however I didn't see any dressed like this on my visit. These warriors actually are from a posed photograph re-enacting a hunt or maybe a battle.

The stamp on this one is one of the Star Trek set issued this year. Here we have Mr Spock. Nice Capital of Peace cancellation.

One more card from Dawson Creek. This one is made from Eastern Red Ceder. I have a couple of these wooden cards in my collection now. On this one is a Bighorn Sheep. Bighorn Sheep are best known for the head to head combat between males, at speeds up to 30 km.h. Good thing their skulls are double layered, don't even mention the headaches.

Here's another of the Star Trek stamps. This time it's Commander Kor of the Klingon Empire.

Mayerthorpe, Alberta is featured on my next card. Mayerthorpe , a town of 1,400 is located in central Alberta, 120 km northwest of Edmonton. northwest . Sadly the town will forever be known for the Mayerthorpe tragedy, in which 4 officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were killed there on March 3, 2005.
The picture on the card is a 2014 contest winner for photographer Marion Claybrook .

This one arrived with a stamp from the Dinos of Canada set issued in May of this year. You can see the boneheaded Acrotholus audeti from Alberta on the stamp.

While in Mayerthorpe, in the Fallen Four Memorial Park, I happened upon this card, entitled Fallen Comrades : Task Force Afghanistan. Even though our Canadian Forces are no longer in Afghanistan in a combat situation, I thought it appropriate to have the card in my collection.

The stamp is from the Canadian Country Artists set of 2014 and features the beautiful Renee Martel.

One more from Mayerthorpe. This one is a painting of the Fallen Four Memorial Park by Rosemary Luksha.

We have another of the Dinosaur stamps on this card. This time it's the Comox Valley Elasmosaur.

Atlin, B.C. cards are next. Atlin is a small town in northwestern British Columbia, located on the eastern shore of Atlin Lake. The name Atlin comes from the Tlingit language word for " big body of water " .  Atlin is a tourist destination for fishing, hiking and heli-skiing. Back in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush days, Atlin had a population of 10,000, but now it stands at around 500. According to the website  Atlin is the Most Beautiful Place on Earth, in any season , in any weather. Their words, not mine.

This first card shows a couple of old log cabins. It is generally held, that these are the original homes of the first settlers of Atlin, built around 1898. The beached boat in the picture is named " The Gladys " .

I'll get to the stamp on this one , after we look at the next card from Atlin. Here we see St. Martin's Anglican Church which was built in 1900.

Now the stamps on these 2 cards make up a set of 2 domestic rate stamps celebrating the discovery of long lost HMS Erebus.  The left stamp shows HMS Erebus and the right stamp shows a map of the Arctic region that Franklin explored and used Inuktut to locations on the map.

They are a little hard to see due to the light colors  used . The prospectors tools show up good though in the cancellation.

The last card for today is from Old Crow. I didn't get to visit Old Crow - it is the only Yukon community that cannot be accessed by road. Old Crow is the most northerly community in the Yukon Territory. The town of 245 persons is situated on the banks of the Porcupine River, near to the Vuntut National Park and is home to the self-governing Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.

On the card you can see Fireweed. Fireweed was chosen as Yukon's floral emblem in 1957. It is a hardy plant and grows along Yukon roadsides and river banks. Its blooms are a bright magenta and it is one of the the first plants to appear after a forest fire.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't actually get to Old Crow, what with no road access, so I did the next best thing. I contacted the Chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Chief Bruce Charlie and he was kind enough to drop this card in the mail to me.
The stamps are 3 of 5 in the Birds of Canada series issued on July 12th. The birds are all official birds of areas of Canada. Shown on the card are , left to right - the sharp tailed grouse of Saskatchewan, the common raven of Yukon and the great horned owl of Alberta.

Well there , our road trip is now completed. I owe thanks for a couple of cards to  My Lovely Teena and to Chief Bruce Charlie.
Thanks for reading and do come by again soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

It Was The Yukon, Alaska or Bust

Hello again. Another update on the way. Back in Sept of 2014 I had the pleasure of sailing into Skagway , Alaska on a cruise ship. I said at the time, that the next time I visit Skagway, I would like to drive there. So that's what I did, My Lovely Teena and I set out to drive to The Yukon and Alaska via The Alaska Highway. And of course I had to send postcards from the stops on the way. So that's what this blog will be about. Now as sometimes happens all the postcards have not arrived back, maybe they never will. I am still missing cards from Dawson Creek, Mayerthorpe and Atlin. Dawson Creek is Mile 0 of The Alaska Highway. Why it's not Kilometer 0 , I can't say, we are in Canada after all. Mayerthorpe is the town where 4 RCMP members were murdered in 2005 and Atlin is the most beautiful place on Earth, in any season, in any weather. At least that's what their some websites about Atlin say.

Let's start with this card from Watson Lake, British Columbia. Today  Watson Lake is known as the home of the world famous Sign Post Forest. It all got started in 1942 when Carl Lindley, a lonely American G.I. working on the Alaska Hwy, put up a sign indicating the mileage to his hometown of Danville, Illinois. As of Sept 1, 2015 there were 82,036 signs. When Teena and I left there were 3 more. We put up signs for Airdrie, where we now live,  Grand Falls , NL, my home town and Victoria, NL, Teena's home town. Here's  a card that Teena posted for me  in Watson Lake.


This card arrived with a great stamp from 2008. It is a Yousuf Karsh photo of Audrey Hepburn, a single from An Art Canada Souvenir Sheet. A great stamp. It received a wonderful Signpost Forest, Gateway to the Yukon cancellation.

Here I am erecting the Airdrie sign.

My next card is from Teslin, Yukon. The village of Teslin , at Mile 804 of the Alaska Highway, is located along the shore of Teslin Lake. Population in 2011 was just 260. This is where you will find Nisutlin Bay Bridge, the longest water span on the Alaska Highway at 584 meters. Here's a card showing the bridge.

Another fine cancellation on the stamp. And the stamp is 1 of the 5 Dinos of Canada set issued in May of this year. Shown here is the Comox Valley Elasmosaur.

Now it's on to Whitehorse, the Capital of The Yukon. In Whitehorse, population around 28,000 winter days are short and summer days have up to 19 hours of daylight. The Guinness World Records has reported that Whitehorse has the least air pollution of any city in the world.
I have a couple of cards from Whitehorse to have a look at. The first one is of Cf-CPY, the World's Largest Weathervane, located at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport. Pivoting on a finely balanced mount this old Douglas DC-3 requires less than 5 knots of wind to turn  her.

This one arrived with a Renne Martel stamp and another clear cancellation. Martel is a country artist from Quebec with some 25 albums to her credit in both country and pop.

After Whitehorse it was on to Alaska, with a stop first in Carcross, Yukon. Carcross is located on Bennett Lake and Nares Lake and is home to the Carcross Tagish First Nation. Located on the Klondike Highway, it's population is 289.

First card from Carcross is of Emerald Lake. The lake got its name from the green color of the water. This is a result of sunlight reflecting off of, what is called mari. Mari is the white calcium carbonate that settles on the lake floor. It is created by mixing the limestone remains from the ice age with the calcium in the alpine water. Here is Emerald Lahe, Yukon.

The stamp on this one is one from the Star Trek issue of May this year. There are 5 in the set. Shown on this one is Lt. Commander Montgomery " Scotty " Scott. Speaking of great cancellations, I really don't need to say anything about this one, other than WoW.

Each of the cards from Carcross is covered with great cancellations.

Here is the Carcross Post Office.

 It is the oldest continuously used post office in Canada. It was built in 1905. There are older post offices of course, but none that have been used continuously as a post office.

Now let's have a look at the Matthew Watson General Store in Carcross. It is the oldest continuing store in the Yukon and has operated since 1910. When you enter it's like walking back in time, there's lots of old stuff around.

Another Star Trek stamp , this time The Big Guy himself - Captain James T Kirk. He negotiated treaties, met new alien species, and repeatedly saved the United Federation of Planets, and often the galaxy itself from destruction. Always a busy guy.

Carcross Desert- I never knew there was a desert in the Yukon, but I do now, I walked across it. One km north of Carcross is reputedly the world's smallest desert, a 260 hectare expanse of sand that once lay on the bottom of a glacial lake.

One more Star Trek stamp - this time it's Commander Spock.

This next card is my last from Carcross. It's a view of Tutshi Lake - camping under the midnight sun. Located on the South Klondike Highway, the lake is 36 kilometres long and about 2 kilometres wide.

Along with a selection of Beneficial Insects stamps from a few years ago, we also have a stamp from the Canadians in Hollywood series from 2008. It's Norma Shearer, winner of The Academy Award for Best Actress for the movie The Divorcee.

Next stop - Alaska , Skagway in fact. Skagway on the Alaska Panhandle had a 2015 population of 1,057 people. The population doubles in the summer months in order to deal with the more than 900,000 visitors, most of who arrive on cruise ships.
Here's a card showing Broadway Street in the historic part of town.

Do I see an Inverted Jenny, from 1918 on this card ? I think not, but one can dream, no ?  It's not even an Upright Jenny from 2013. It's 1 of 6  in the 2013 sheet issued to celebrate the original Inverted Jenny.

I have another card from Skagway. It's the AB Building ( Arctic Brotherhood ) , built in 1899 . It now houses the Visitor Information Center. The building is the most photographed building in town. The front is covered with 8,883 driftwood sticks , all nailed on. No, that's not me sitting on the bench. I don't do white pants and white shoes.

There are 3 great Circus stamps on this one. I just love this set of stamps.

Now before I move on , I want to show a photo that I took on the Klondike Highway. It may not be a postcard but I think it's pretty nice.

Only a few more cards to go, so try and hang in there .

The next card is from Haines Junction, Yukon . You can find Haines at the junction of the Alaska Highway and the Haines Highway. In 2011 the population was 593. The town is situated on the doorstep of Kluane National Park, a World Heritage Site and one of the most dynamic and spectacular landscapes in the world.
The card is of Kathleen Lake. The photo was taken at daybreak September 11, 2001 , just south of Haines Junction. One would never know from that photo, how the world changed that day. It may have been calm at Kathleen Lake but unspeakable horror was taking place elsewhere.

The stamp on this one is quite small and a little hard to see. It shows a Great Horned Owl, one of five in the new Birds of Canada set issued in July. The cancellation really dominates.

The next 2 cards are views of Kluane National Park, Yukon. Located in the extreme southwestern corner of Yukon, the park was established in 1972 and covers 22,013 sq km. The park includes the highest mountain in Canada, Mount Logan at 5,959 m. It is park of the Saint Elias Mountains. Let me just say - the scenery is simply stunning. This first card shows the midnight sun lighting up the clouds and sky above Kluane lake.

Now here's the extra bonus attached to this card. It was posted in Destruction Bay, Yukon, a small town on the shore of Kluane Lake. Population 35. Postcard collectors often  think it difficult to get a card from Pitcairn Island with 56 people, good luck with Destruction Bay at 35 people.

The Comox Valley Elasmosaur stamp was used here. I mentioned it earlier with the card from Teslin.

Here's the second card from Destruction Bay and Kluane National Park. It's an aerial view of Mount Maxwell and a little of the Kaskawalsh Glacier.

It's another Dinosaur stamp here again. Found in eastern Canada, this is the Dimetrodon .

My pictures may not be postcard quality, but I did manage a few nice ones of beautiful Kluane Lake. Of course no picture is as good as seeing it with your own eyes. But I do want to share a coupe of pics with you, if only to make you want to check it out for yourself. So here they are.

Here's My Lovely Teena and I on the shore of Klaune Lake, Yukon.

The last 2 cards for today are from the Village of Pouce Coupe in north western British Columbia. It's pronouced  /pu s ku pi/ and the population is 739. The village was probably named after Chief Pooscapee of the Beaver tribe.
This first card shows a few of the buildings in the village, museum, post office, village office and a government building.  The town celebrated it's 50th Anniversary in 1982.

The 2nd card from the village shows reflections from the past. History of Pouce Coupe all on one postcard.

The stamp on each of the above 2 cards complete the set of Hydrangeas issued in March of this year.

That's the update for today. The record of our road trip to Yukon and Alaska as seen through the postcards of the region. We put 5,500 km on the car , saw lots of great and beautiful scenery and thoroughly enjoyed The True North and Alaska. I have to thank a couple of people for a few cards, My Lovely Teena of course, Lauranne for the Pouce Coupe cards and Dennis for the Destruction Bay cards.  
Now if and when the cards of Atlin, Mayerthorpe and Dawson Creek arrive, you'll see them here first.
Take care, sorry about the length of all this , but I really wanted to keep it all together.