Free time at the festival. It's a bewidlering concept to rid yourself of the other twelve people you have been in constant community with and be alone, or at least with only one other person. Alone is still too foreign a concept after 6 weeks of field school.
The Yukon River Campground seems like a nice establishment and the lot I will spend my nights at is near the river, still a silty grey colour here as it had been in Eagle. Dawson City is across this river, so we all pile into the pickup truck/camper combination, three in the front, and let's say many more in the back. Perhaps this weight would be the cause of later bolt shearing...
It's a short drive (thankfully), really walking distance to the ferry. A short stretch of water, really bridge distance, but that might make Dawson City jsut another truck stop, and you wouldn't want that.
The town, in addition to the wood, historical buildings largely displaying what each contains in bold font on the front and the wooden boardwalks has that old smell that one only gets opportunity to enjoy at historical forts and the like--a mixture of decaying lumber, oil, and grease. Of course as we sit down on the planks outside the bank, a banjo can be heard playing in the distance.
It's the festival. Young and old alike flock the streets. The old dressed for the most part more practically, fleece coats, t-shirts, practical, the young people dressed in a range from hippie to hipster. Here and there people of any age are wearing their new purchases; colourful dresses, Dawson City Music Festival merchandise, the floppy hat on my head. Standing out is a couple of German men, who look perhaps even more early 1900s than the town itself.
Folk music can be heard, coming from the large red and white striped tent where the main stage of the festival is. Someone stops you at the gate to take a glimpse in your bag and then you're free to enjoy all of it, my favourite a band from Nunavut, named the Jerry Cans, who are complete with Inuit throat-singing. My feet can't help but dance to that.
The festival grounds aren't the only part of Dawson alive and well during the music festival. The streets are full, the restaurants fuller, and the bars perhaps the fullest. But the wait to kiss the sourtoe is still relatively short. Rest assured, though the legend says that one will lose their toe after getting their membership, my feet could still travel to the enjoyable Dawson City Museum the following day.
The museum is like the city itself, old yet interesting and full of life. As my friend from Dawson City said, "It's a crazy little town but it's one of a kind that's for sure." And my feet can't help but dance to that.