The Whitehorse Slog

I was up early by my standards today (7:30) even though I couldn’t leave early since I wanted to check out the post office one last time. I did some work then went into town. My package wasn’t there, but the mail clerk offered to go through the pile that hadn’t been sorted yet. I told her that wouldn’t be fair to the folks waiting in line and made her promise that she would let my friend pick up the package for me when it finally arrives.

Speaking of mail, my friend convinced me to keep my box in Dawson until I have firmer plans for next summer. She’ll check it for me and forward the contents as needed. One less thing to think about and lots of money saved!

I pulled out of the RV park at quarter to eleven without any problems. I didn’t even have a single one of my usual worries. Miranda behaved as she normally does prior to departure: well. I did top up the truck battery since it was a bit low and had a feeling that it would not restart when I shut it off at the gas station.

Gas at AFD was a ridiculous 112.9, vs. 139.9 in town so I was able to take on 130 litres for less than $150, a great start to my trip.

The Klondike River glittered against the amber poplars as I made my way south, feeling nothing but deep satisfaction as I left the Klondike and Dempster behind me. I had followed my dream to its limit so there was no regret at moving on.

Being behind the wheel felt normal and stress-free, and even though the drive to Whitehorse was long as ever, it wasn’t hard. I am tired of this twisty, frost-heave strewn road, though, and look forward to trying out new ones next year.

I made it to Whitehorse in my usual seven hours and decided to get gas and propane instead of having to come back into the city tomorrow. I like to go to Integra Tires, about two thirds of the way down Two Mile Hill. You can get propane then circle around the back to get to the gas pumps. Price was the same as in Dawson (!!!), and they are full service. It’s very luxurious to go for a leg stretch while someone else fills the tank and washes your windows and mirrors! As a side note, I didn’t come anywhere close to running out of propane this summer, yay!

I made good on my promise never to sleep at the Whitehorse Walmart ever again and headed back to Hi Country, where I tented back in June. I splurged on a pull-through spot, one that I would never have gotten into with the toad attach. It’s a nice RV park, but tight!

Even though I was pretty tired by this point, I went back into town to get some supplies. I’ll do groceries and beer tomorrow, then head on to Nugget City, keeping me on schedule. There’s really no reason to hang out in Whitehorse.

Last Night in Dawson

In the end, I’m glad to have had this final day in Dawson since it enabled me to really get the new computer going and I can now take off with a nearly fully functional machine. I’m sure I forgot some things, so I will make a note of them as the days progress.

Having solved the Mail issues (yay), there are now two hiccups. The first is that I have been unsuccessful in transferring over my invoicing information. I’ve put in a support ticket for that. I’m okay for now because my invoicing is up to date and I don’t anticipate having any more for this month, but it’s still a major issue that needs resolution. The second hiccup is that the internet runs at crawl speed to the point that I can’t download anything over a couple MB. So, I haven’t done any software updates, including the last security patches. I’ll see if the situation improves when I get to better cell service.

This first evening on the Macbook Pro tells me that even though I do have a bit of a learning curve ahead of me as well as some habit adjustments, I have made a smart, life-style appropriate decision in my purchase. I can’t believe I’ll be able to do everything when boondocking that I do when I’m parked for months at a time!

While files were transferring and downloading, I continued to chip away at my departure checklist and then went out for dinner. For my final meal in Dawson, I decided to splurge on a meal at the Drunken Goat. I bought an appetizer in addition to a full dinner, so the bill was pretty high, but I’ll get lunch and dinner out of the leftovers tomorrow, so the value was quite good.

The end of the season was anti-climatic compared to last year, but that was the summer’s tone, so I’m not disappointed. I’m just glad to be heading south now that the nights are hitting zero!

Still in Dawson

My package did not arrive today and by the time I found that out it was really too late to leave. I’m all ready to go, just have to put away the computers, unplug, and hitch up, so I will be pulling out at 10AM tomorrow. I’ll go check the post office first, but that’ll really be too early to hope for anything so I’ll leave some money with a friend and have her forward the item to me. I hate double paying for shipping!

It was actually rather nice to have today to get ready as it enabled me to make some serious inroads into migrating to the new computer. As it is, I can now pick up my work on it, so I won’t have to reopen the iMac before I get south where I will prep it for sale.

The Macbook Pro is now my main computer even though I still can’t get my new mail to download into Mail! The trackpad is taking a bit more adjustment than I initially thought, but the keyboard is okay. The biggest thing I have to get used to is the slash. On a French-Canadian Mac keyboard it is option-é (the key that holds the slash and question mark on an English keyboard). Option is an awkwardly located key, so I have gotten accustomed to just using the slash in the number pad even though it involves taking my fingers away from the home row. I’ve been doing it so long I never even though about it nor found it awkward. Having to option-é is going to take some getting used to. The upshot, though, is that the ù is closer than it is on a standard keyboard and I can now reach it easily with my pinky.

Tonight, I’m just going to keep transferring things over and try to download as much software and as many updates as I can. The aluminum casing of the Macbook Pro is detrimental to my aircard signal (not a surprise) so an external antenna is going to be a justifiable purchase once the computer is paid off.

So, eager as I am to head off into new adventures, this day of just pausing will enable me to leave in a much more relaxed and rested fashion. I might go out for one last dinner at the Goat, will definitely turn in early, and then just meander my way down to Whitehorse tomorrow where I should arrive in the late afternoon.

Just Waiting on a Package

I only have a few things left to do to be ready to leave tomorrow: put away the computers, charge the truck battery, water the house batteries, empty the black tank, take on water, and do a clean up of my site. The car has been loaded with the bike, propane tank, and kayak, which will make tomorrow so much easier. I just hope my package is here! Canada Post said it would take three days. I estimated six. It’s been twelve. I have no comment. 😀

I’ll go check the mail just before noon since that’s my cutoff for leaving and will also wait until I know for sure that I’m leaving before putting away the computers. If I end up staying in Dawson an extra night, I might as well get some work done on them.

I spoke with the post office here regarding my change of address and their solution is exactly what I had in mind. I will keep open my box here but give the key to a friend. Once I have a box open in Whitehorse I will effect a permanent change of address via the Canada Post website. A week later, I will have my friend empty my box and forward me the contents then I will fax the post office here a request to close the box. My friend will then return the key for me.

Tonight, I’ve been  getting to know my new computer. I have successfully migrated over my Firefox, and iCal information, but I missed a folder for Address Book. Part of Mail seems to be work; but for some reason my newest messages are not downloading from the server. Transferring the Mail folder is always a nightmare; I know I inherited some bugs from when I went from my G3 to my iMac but I’m not sure how to resolve the issue and losing five years worth of mail is not something I’m willing to do!

Joke is on me–Firewire has changed since I got the iMac and the cable I have does not work with the Macbook Pro. I’m not falling into that trap again, that of spending a fortune on a cable I’ll only need once, and will simply use the external hard drive as a go-between.

Speaking of external hard drives, I bought a 250GB drive last year since that’s all I needed to back up the iMac and the terabyte drives were exorbitantly priced. Now, the terabyte drives are quite cheap so I will begin to acquire a few and move my movies to them. I still want to keep the originals, of course, but it’ll be so much easier to access the movies from a hard drive and there will be less risk of irreparably damaging the discs.

I’m off to bed in the hope that tomorrow will be a very, very full day…

Getting Ready to Leave. Sort Of.

Departure from Dawson is still slated for late morning/noonish on Tuesday, but you’d never guess that from the state Miranda is in right now! Plus, I’m awaiting two packages, the most important of which is my new computer. USPS got it to Canada quickly and customs processed it efficiently, but Canada Post is of course putting the snail into snail mail. It’s been in Whitehorse a couple of days now, so I’m hoping it’ll be here tomorrow.

My work schedule is as full as ever and what I had planned to do was just work until the computer came, then get on with my departure preparations during the installation of the new Mac, which would put me without a computer for at least a day. If the computer comes in tomorrow, I will get started on the prep, but I think I will end up finishing it up in Whitehorse and still leave on schedule.

Tonight, I got all my laundry done, including my heavy bedding. It’s such a treat to be able to do that and start the fall all fresh and clean. Tomorrow, I’ll finish putting things away and also clean the cab carpet.

Departure is not stressing me out at all, even if it’s not as relaxed as it was last year. I’ve had enough departures after sitting to know that my tire pressure is fine (but I will check it ‘just in case’) and that it’ll be a good idea to trickle charge the battery when I get up on departure day. Both vehicles are in good shape (minus their windshields), so the exterior prep will only involve putting away hoses and packing up the bicycle, extra propane tank, and kayak. It’ll only be a couple hours of work to do, inside and out.

The game plan will be two nights in Whitehorse, one night at Nugget City, one night on the Alaska highway, one night in Dawson Creek, and then the start of several nights on a new route. So, really, there isn’t going to be any newness or anything worth stressing out about for almost a week. 🙂

I am eager to get back on the road and and see what the winter will bring, but I sure will miss this little town…