Friday, January 24, 2014

Yukon part 1: The start of the journey

So I talked about in my last post how I looked after some pigs.  That could have done with some explanation but I felt it needed to have a lot more space.  I'm going to write a series of experiences I had around looking after those delightful pigs.  I'll be writing in chunks every day for the next few days.

In the summer of 2012 I went to the Yukon with my friend Estelle and volunteered on an organic farm with the wwoofing program (The World Wide Opportunity on Organic Farms)  Essentially you work in exchange for a place to live and food to eat. It is a really good deal for the people volunteering.  As I learned from my host if the volunteers actually do some work then it's great for the farmers involved as well. I had wanted to try out the wwoofing program for several years.  What I had heard was it was a great chance to learn and see new places, but I had been hesitant about going alone (As a side note I've also been really interested in the Yukon since I was about 12 and read White Fang by Jack London for the first time).  So when Estelle sent me a text asking if I wanted to join her on a trip to do both I jumped at the chance.  It really did feel like a dream combination.

The Yukon for me up to that point was nothing but vague ideas.  Books by Jack London, the song Long Gone to the Yukon by Stompin' Tom and Google Maps street view of the Top of the World Highway.  That's all I really knew but I with each new tidbit I also knew I wanted to go there badly.

I had experienced some bad luck the summer before when trying to get to England so I was owed a fair bit of money through an airline.  My reward was getting a $40 ticket to Whitehorse - unheard of!

Suddenly I found myself boarding a plane to a wonderful place where people of such diverse backgrounds come to make it their home that it is hard to find someone who is originally from there.  First day there I my cab driver was originally from my province and the first person I met had driven there from Ontario with his cat.  The Yukon seems to have a way of catching the people who visit.  Everyone I talked to about going North demanded that I promised to come back.

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