Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Life in Yukon continues

It was the 14th of February, Valentine’s Day, when the last mushers of Yukon Quest arrived in Whitehorse and Piia’s plane landed on the Whitehorse airport. You can check out Julien’s pictures and stories along the Canadian side of the YQ race from our previous blog post that Julien will be updating still.

After Julien’s awesome adventure with the race and Piia’s valuable time at home in Finland we were facing the question many people were asking us: What now? We didn’t have a place or a job, just our car, sleeping bags and box full of food. In summer that would have been just a cheap way to get through the first days, but as the temperature dropped below -30 we knew we couldn’t count on our car anymore. We tried it once, wasn’t worth it.

After lots of e-mails, requests and internet search we finally found a couch surfing place near down town and considered us saved. The hosts were nice enough to let us stay a few days and we couldn’t be happier just to have a warm place to be in.

Julien started to look for a job right away but the first days didn’t bring any results and we were questioning the reasons to actually stay in Yukon. It seemed it was very difficult to find work.  We had to make a choice to either stay in town, rent a place and hope to find a job really soon, or to find another solution. With our budget we couldn’t really take big risks and finally we felt we just wanted a break, a time-out to think our options through. 

We were extremely lucky to have friends whose place we could use for a couple of weeks, and that’s how we ended up visiting the Tagish Lake Kennel again, now located in remote spot outside Tagish.

While Michelle was doing her 5th Iditarod race and coping with the extreme conditions there, we were enjoying sunny and cold weather at the kennel, together with their handlers Marie and Hannah. 

We got a chance to... 

Run the dogs on beautiful Tagish Lake 


Train the yearlings

Have a night time bonfire

Hike on the mountain close to the cabin

Play with the husky puppies, all the other dogs and horses

...give a hand with tourist tours and do all we could to help with the everyday kennel chores. Unfortunately Julien had hurt his neck earlier that kept him from fully participating and Piia got sick later so we can’t say we were much help. But we appreciated everybody’s hospitality and were grateful to have a place to stay.

Then we got lucky: Julien finally got a job! Now he's working at the Coast Mountain Sports and uses his expertise on hiking and outdoor gear to convince people to go outside and enjoy the sunshine! So for the moment we are living in Whitehorse in a student residence (cheapest in town) and life is pretty regular. It gives us a lot of time to plan the future...

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