The Yukon: Larger Than Life


What does “Larger Than Life” mean to you? Something you can’t touch? Something you can’t experience or feel? Maybe something that is so big that your mind just doesn’t get it? I wasn’t sure about it, until I traveled to the Yukon a couple of years ago. Upon entering, the welcome sign said “Yukon, Larger Than Life”. Well, whoever thought of this,  they couldn’t have been more right!

yukon-sign

 

Now I can hear you wonder, where the hell is the Yukon? Before I started my current job I hadn’t really heard about it, either…

Well, just take a map and look up Canada. When you found Canada, go all the way northwest. When you see a city called Whitehorse, you’ve found the Yukon, next to Alaska and British Columbia. To give you an idea about its size, just imagine a land bigger than The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Denmark combined. You get the idea, right?

yukon-ma

 

Sure, there are bigger places than the Yukon. The size is impressive but not that special. What makes it special, is experiencing it. In my opinion, only by driving through this massive land, you get the idea and emotion behind “Larger Than Life”. Because that’s what it is to me, it’s an emotion, something you can’t grasp because it’s just too large. Imagine driving for hours without seeing anyone. Imagine seeing bears on the road just like that. Imagine glaciers, mountains, endless woods and crystal clear lakes. Imagine the world’s largest Cinnamon Roll. All of these are in the Yukon.

braeburn-lodge blackbears

One thing you just can’t miss when visiting the Yukon is driving the Top of the World Highway, one of the most scenic drives in the world. The road to Alaska… the road where you can get “laid in Chicken” and sit on the gravel for eons without being crashed into by another car. Where Poker Creek has 2 inhabitants (and immigration is as strict as in the Lower 48 eventhough they are literally in the middle of nowhere) and where you have the most stunning views over the Top of the World … yes, it’s a truly awesome drive…

top-of-the-world-highway2 mountains

chicken

 

“You can drink it fast or you can drink it slow, but the lips have gotta touch the toe.”

That’s a saying that goes with drinking the Sourtoe Cocktail. The what? Yes, you read that correctly…

Now most cocktails don’t really deserve their names, when you drink a Cosmopolitan you don’t really get a magazine with it, right? Well, with the Sourtoe Cocktail you do. A sour toe that is. According to the website of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, “the Sourtoes are actual human toes that have been dehydrated and preserved in salt. Swallowing one is not suggested.” Once you’ve taken the booze and the toe touched your lips, you are a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club. You can’t have traveled to the Yukon without trying this cocktail and entering this prestigious club. Believe me, it won’t kill you, I’m the living example of that. 3 Years later and still going strong…

sourtoe-2 sourtoe-1

Now I can talk about the Yukon forever but I won’t. At least not tonight. Yukon Gold will be on National Geographic soon … time to leave the computer and crash on the couch. Slowly falling asleep and dreaming of places that are Larger Than Life …

top-of-the-world-highway emerald-lake
More posts about the far far north on we12travel:
5 really cool things to do in Alaska
The Iditarod: the Last Great Race on Earth
A fishing village that hasn’t sold it’s soul to tourism

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