Sipping from her cup of Rwandan dark roast in the Emerald Victorian Library, Laetitia contemplated the day’s tour. Yesterday was her last day in British Columbia, at least for a while. It’s possible to drive form Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to Whitehorse, her destination in the Yukon Territory, but it’s more than 800 miles. Laetitia didn’t relish trying to keep her group amused during 18 hours in a van, so she skipped the overland transportation and imagined herself in Whitehorse. Thanks to the ease of virtual travel, she and her group were there in no time.
The largest city in the Yukon, Whitehorse has 23,000 residents. It was named for the White Horse Rapids in the Yukon River, which some thought resembled a horse’s mane. During the heady days of the Klondike Gold Rush, these rapids wrecked more than 100 boats of “stampeders” who had crossed from Alaska over the Chilkoot or the White Pass and built watercraft on the shores of Lake Bennett or Lake Lindeman to carry them to the gold fields near Dawson.
In 1897, during the height of the gold rush, construction of the narrow-gauge Yukon and White Pass Railway began. It climbs through the White Pass, nearly 3000 feet in 20 miles, with grades often approaching 4 percent. Today, it’s popular with cruise ship passengers who board an excursion train in Skagway, Alaska, ride to the summit, and return. Laetitia and her group boarded a bus in Whitehorse, got on the train at Fraser Meadows, and rode it to Skagway. After two hours of free time in Skagway, the group returned to Whitehorse via motor coach.
Back in town, the group visited Whitehorse Centre and watched the local ballet troupe practice. During free time before dinner, four members of the group went to play a round of golf at the nearby Mountain View course. The limerick of the day was inspired by some gossip the golfers brought back to dinner. It was a story about two dancers from the local ballet troupe whose weekly game of golf was a ruse to disguise their extramarital liaisons. A flying golfball interrupted their amor al fresco in the bushes behind one of the greens.
At the golf course that’s called Mountain View
Two dancers were breaking taboo
When an errant chip shot
Hit a sensitive spot
Terminating their love pas de deux.