Despite the fact that we wore all our clothes, and then some, and there were 3 of us packed into a small tent, we froze. I felt very sorry for myself all night, thinking I was the only one being affected, but apparently we were all in the same boat. Finally warmed up at 5 or so when the sun came up – Val tells me her feet stayed cold even then – + then fell asleep till 10, when John got up + shot into town, late for an appointment. Val + I got up, + by the time we packed up + had breakfast, John was back. We all packed up, + then walked back into town together, them more or less wasted time, shopping etc, before John said goodbye – he was heading back to Skagway. Val + I had hoped to go further north up to Dawson City, but the cold weather was making us have serious second thoughts. We thought of trying the airport for an air-ride, we looked at various notice-boards to check out rides, we tried to hire a car, but in the end we reluctantly decided that we weren’t equipped to camp out so far north, + didn’t have the money to afford hotels, buses, etc.
Once again we walked out of town, back past the camp-site. Shortly beyond that we got a short but useful lift out to the highway, + then after a while a 30 mile ride which took us right into the middle of nowhere. It really was pretty unpleasant – very lonely, and lots of unpleasant flies, but we managed to stay moderately cheerful by reading, messing about, + marking each car that passed with a small stone along the side of the road. About two and a half hours and exactly 52 cars had passed, and we were resigned to an unpleasant night out, when a big camper, with a pick-up in tow, stopped for us. It was being driven by Hank, a big guy who wore a cowboy hat, denims, + cowboy boots. He was taking the whole rig down to Florida, + could drop us off at Dawson Creek, 900 miles away. Incredible. We were slightly nervous about the sleeping arrangement, but there was not the slightest problem on that score – he had a big bed above the cab, we had a big bed at the back of the camper. At about 10.30 he stopped, we had some coffee from his flask, then bed. Thanks God. (He even had a heater.)
And for the second day running, just as things were starting to look bleak, salvation. But at least we were heading south now, good sense having finally prevailed; the frozen north needs to be treated with a certain respect, and trying to tackle it without money, equipment, experience or common sense, was not doing that.