Mushrooms at Little Salmon Lake
Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
35Trip End Jun 31, 2009
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Where I stayed
Little Salmon Lake Campground
At Five Finger Rapids, there is a view of the Yukon River where it rushes between large rocks. The early gold rush boats had problems here because there was only one safe passage through them to access their destination. Apparently the nearest passage was the one to take and later, a cable was installed to help the paddle wheelers through. It was also here where "Happy" LePage employed First Nations people to cut down trees for the wood to fuel the paddlewheelers. The operations stopped in 1955 and he went south to retire.
The groceries in Pelly Crossing were roughly twice the price of Vancouver but still a bargain if you prepare your own meals rather than eat in restaurants
We sought out the First Nations Information Centre near Carmacks but unfortunately it was closed. However there was an interesting interpretive walk behind the centre where we could shake off the road dust.
Our campsite for the night was on Little Salmon Lake where a previous camper had just left the best site in the campground; a small stony peninsula with a few trees for shelter. Our neighbours were Paula and Mike from Whitehorse who had been picking morel mushrooms from a burned area on the far side of the lake. They had sold their mushrooms to an agent. Near midnight (when it was still light) a group of First Nations people (probably from the Little Salmon / Carmacks Nation) who were also picking mushrooms arrived and Paul offered to negotiate my purchase of a few. Paul was working in human relations in Whitehorse and probably better suited than I was. Paul diplomatically struck up a conversation with the senior man of the group and introduced me to him. He asked if I could buy some mushrooms and a lot of vague conversation followed. Finally a woman (who had probably picked most of the mushrooms) asked me in an impatient voice, how I was going to carry the mushrooms! So I ran back to our RV to get a small pail.
A loon's call on the lake signalled bedtime.