Stay warm with musk ox
The pastures are home to all sorts. With our guide Pete’s binoculars, we can just make out the antlers of a pair of moose under a far-off stand of trees. Less shy is the musk ox, which is not an ox or even the bison it resembles but closely related to sheep and goats. Its coat is reputed to be eight times warmer than wool but, even better, it doesn’t shrink in water. And their bulk is misleading in one aspect, because while they look plodding they can outrun a horse.
The smaller critters do a good job of concealing themselves, and it takes Pete to point out several pure white mountain goats hiding in plain sight amid pale rocks on a hillside. They share an enclosure with a small red fox that Pete says displayed non-typical habits when given to the preserve; found abandoned as a baby, he was given to be raised by a dog-loving family in Whitehorse until they realised the youngster was not like the rest of their chihuahuas.
Although the sun is still high in the sky – Pete says that in the Yukon you “tell the kids to be home by dark and you don’t see them until September” – we’re ready for some night-time entertainment, and in Whitehorse that means the Frantic Follies at the Westmark Hotel. The jokes trotted out in this Vaudeville-style production were past retirement age when it was first performed almost 50 years ago, but along with the saxophone-playing cancan dancers, poetry recitations and general mayhem, it shows that when you’re living on the frontier, taking anything other than the extremes of climate too seriously is the best option.
VISIT: travelyukon.com, canada.travel
Jeremy Bourke travelled as a guest of Tourism Yukon and Destination Canada.
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The Yukon is easily linked to other Canada experiences as it’s only two hours’ flying time from Vancouver, from where you can experience two other special trips, the Rocky Mountaineer train and the Inside Passage cruise to Alaska.
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