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Keno City

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

semi-overcast 0 °F

Well apparently Stewarts Crossing was hit by lightning last night. The town has no electric this morning. The town has a backup generator, but the generator stopped working shortly after it started. So we wake up to no electricity, which also means no water (no electric pump to pump the water) and no diesel in town (no electric to pump the diesel). The campground manager tells us that someone is driving to the next town (45 minutes away) to find out if they have electric so they can phone someone to fix the electric in Stewarts Crossing. Yep...no phone either in town. The wonders of living in the middle of nowhere.

We pack up and start our drive to Mayo. On the way we stop at a nature trail along the Silver Trail highway. The wildflowers are very pretty and we see some trumpeter swans, but no moose (which is what the area is known for). The wildflowers line the sides of the road between Stewarts Crossing and Mayo -- pinks, fuschia, yellows, purples...very pretty.
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Short drive today (30 miles). We set up camp by the lake at Five Mile Lake park, a Yukon Territory park. No water or electric, but beautiful campsite. We then take off to Mayo to look at the Binet House museum and the Stewart River landing. The area is known for its' silver mining and in the early 1900s they would load the silver ore in bags at Mayo and ship it down the Yukon by sternwheelers.

Not much else in Mayo and the policeman that greets us at the river landing is wearing a very visible bullet-proof vest, which makes me a little nervous. He's reprimanding the guy who has been talking to us for drinking alcohol in public. (There's a sign clearing stating no alcohol drinking in public within 5km of town). We can tell the guy may have had 'one too many' in his lifetime, but he was telling us interesting stories about his grandfather working the sternwheelers and seemed like a harmless, nice guy.

Anyway, we take off for Keno City. Keno is a town known for its' silver mines, which are still operational. We first visit the Keno Mining Museum--it's actually a very interesting and nicely done musuem. Keno is really out in the boonies. I think maybe 20 people live here.
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After the museum we walk around town a little to look at the other old buildings, including a strange house that is lined with beer bottles. The owner of the local hotel in the 1960s thought that the beer bottles would make good insulation so he lined his house with beer bottles. No one lives there any longer.
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Then we make the 30 minute drive to the Keno Signpost on top of summit hill. The road is definately a bumpy, old road (4 drive needed at places), but the view is incredible. We also look at a couple of abandoned silver mine shafts on the way down from the top.
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When we finally get back to 'downtown' Keno, we decide to get some pizza at the Keno Cafe. The place is lined with memorabilia and a funky little place, with a very friendly owner, who also is the cook and our server. The pizza was very good also.
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Jere then decides to take the Duncan Creek dirt road back to Mayo. So a slow BUMPY drive back. We were hoping to see some wildlife on the road, but no wildlife. We get back to the campground, have a campfire and of course S'MORES!

Posted by jengelman 08:41 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel

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