yukon race- would rather whip myself

From my house in upstate ny it is 3700 miles one way to the yukon, up across the rockies with a boat on the roof. When you get to the yukon, prices double and blacktop is replaced with gravel. You are gone a month. You wear a bug mask when on shore. You are in the boat 18 hours a day with a very sore ass from a week of driving to get there and no sleep. I was invited and said no. The 90 is a fun adventure. The yukon 470 or 1000 is like self flagellation from the Dark Ages.

Dave Dave Dave

– Last Updated: Sep-18-13 11:51 AM EST –

I've done the Yukon 1000 twice (as you know). I loved every minute of it, including the months of planning and preparation and training. I've also done the YRQ twice, but much prefer the Y1K. It's quite an adventure, incomparable and way different than the Adirondack 90-Miler. The drive up there is gorgeous, and the river is spectacular. Just like at home in the Adirondacks the bugs can be handled (what's a bug mask?). You soon work into a routine with the 18 hour paddling days and efficiently handling all daily chores of eating and camping.

Where else can you stop at a sparkling mountain stream for water and end up with a flake of gold spinning around in your nalgene bottle? You will never set up your tent at a 90-miler campground with wolf or bear tracks of the size we saw at our campsites on the Yukon. Ever changing navigation challenges with map reading and river current reading for fastest track keep you alert, as well as sightings of bears and sheep and moose and wolves and countless eagles. But if you are not of the right attitude to enjoy these things, you should not go. As for me, the Yukon beckons and I plan to go back.

There's a land where the mountains are nameless
And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There's a land - oh, it beckons and beckons;
And I want to go back;
-- And I will.

- Robert William Service, Spell of the Yukon

Robert Service
Love the poem. He speaks to the adventurous spirit in many, that which ignores hardship and personal danger because of a deep-seated connection to a truly wild place.

I haven’t done the race

– Last Updated: Sep-18-13 12:04 PM EST –

and don't want to. But we did paddle some of the Yukon (the 1K part) and prices don't double though they are higher than the lower 48. Gravel? Not on the main highways. Alcan is all pavement or chip sealed.

Would I go again?..of course! Nothing grabs you like the Yukon Territory.

Camping is reasonable and bring your own food.

Not sure the purpose of the OP. I wear a bug suit outdoors at home so that is no change. Maybe you don't like lots of daylight?

What is the advice?

We hauled our travel trailer
with our two mountain bikes, two kayaks, and all our back packing gear 15,000 miles round trip from NC to Ak via the Yukon and paddled just about every where we could get too including a portion of the Yukon River.

It was the trip of a life time. and we found the camp grounds where half the price of the lower US ones, and a few public ones were free.

The only time we had to wear head nets was on another trip into the Artic circle

Jack L


– Last Updated: Sep-18-13 2:12 PM EST –

The only gravel road that must be traveled is the Top of the World Highway, between Dawson YT to Tok AK. Your pit crew will have to take this route, but I heard from them and see from their photos that it is spectacular. Though it is a narrow road, RVs and tour busses don't have any trouble. Food and restaurant prices are on a par with most anywhere else, as are the hotel rooms. The most painful expense is buying gasoline, at around $6/gallon.

awesome race
Would love to do it again. You can use one of the commitee canoes so not to drive up…fly up there I did.

Bugs? Seen worse in Michigan.

Love that race!!!

Great people, beautiful river which is full of history. midnight sun, awesome competition and friendly spirited group with a lot in common!


effort = reward

The Yukon
Was just up in Nome and St. Lawrence Island on a tug. Didn’t have time to enjoy any land based activity but have spent a bit of time in the region where the big river begins. So far my favorite geography in the world that I’ve so far experienced. There is a vibe in northern BC, Yukon, and Alaska that is adventurous, big, and exciting. The river race sounds very cool, but my preference would be a laid back journey with friends.

Dave, if you’re advising, suggesting, or
trying to help us not do the Yukon race, OK. Otherwise the Discussion Forum is just a few clicks away.

dave doesn’t discuss
He posts on a topic, and never returns to it.

Why wouldn’t you sleep on the way there?
You, apparently, do like self abuse.

Y, you aren’t likely to get an answer
Dave must be working with limited time off. I have had been in a paddling club where the organizer had ten days to get from Maine, do a five day trip on the Nahanni and not be late back to work.

72 hours in a van non stop. I declined.

I do respect yukon racers
I would like people to have an idea of the hardships and cost to their family before they say yes on the spur of the moment. And then there is the issue of falling asleep on the way. Or on the way back. Again, I do respect the racers for their all out dedication and sorry for ruffling some of your feathers!

I sense a sermon coming