As we pull near Dawson City, we stop at the junction. It’s the start of the Dempster Highway. Figuring it might be a good idea to pay some respect before our one day of R&R, we read the signs that describe the highway and its charms.
Dan and I walk the first few hundred yards to the bridge over the Yukon River. This feels a little like the weigh in at a prizefight. We take the measure of the highway and vice versa. It tells us nothing. We can have no idea what this road will be able to throw at us. But on this first meeting, it can easily see everything we have to deliver in terms of tires, equipment and whatever skills is needed to save our skin and make the objective. What it sees of us is what it gets. The highway’s threats are yet to be revealed. This may well be a mismatch.
I don’t want to talk anymore about tires and breakdowns. I’ve worried enough. I’ve long been the doubter. Vic is the other end of the spectrum. He feels we’ll be carried through on the wings of angels. Dan is somewhere in between. I’m pulling for Vic but betting on me.
In the evening, we go to Diamond Tooth Gertie’s to see the burlesque show. Before the curtain I get to play a dozen hands of Blackjack. I only break even although the dealer can’t count. On one hand she deals herself nine-ace-ace and calls it 11. She continues to flip cards until she busts. Vegas does not send its best dealers to the Yukon.
The show is surprisingly good — girl singer, boy singer, four pretty good dancers. We can’t expect Elvis and Ann Margaret in the Yukon. What we can expect is one hell of a ride starting in about 36 hours.
Till Next Time,