|Regions: Klondike, Silver Trail, Whitehorse Region||Communities: Dawson City, Keno City, Whitehorse|
Explore the Book
From Wilford and William’s battle of words in the title story to the crazy tale of Buford’s one remaining tooth, these fictional stories hold many modern-day truths. And yes, we really do mean it, even when it comes to the mystery of Arnold’s bear skull or the story about Brian who thought his wife was an alien. So embrace the spirit of Yukoners as their trials and tribulations are re-enacted in a comical new light.
Meet the Author
Let a local Yukoner tell you a tale. David Thompson shares a sneak preview into his favourite Yukon characters, brought to life in Talking to the Woodpile.
A Mighty Mammoth Story
Perfectly preserved in time, our first short story is told through the eyes of Wilfred and William as they discover the frozen remains of man and mammoth near Bonanza Creek Road. This discovery takes us back to the dawn of time as we learn the fate of Angunatchiuk, who became christened by the clan as “Bear Man” after a close encounter with a grizzly in a cave. On a hunting trip with his tribe, he stumbled upon an angry mammoth, and in the heat of the action they fought and fell into the creek where they sadly met their deaths—becoming forever bound together under the ice.
The spirit of the mammoth lives on throughout the Yukon with a statue replica residing on Dawson City’s waterfront. You can re-imagine the story and pay your respects to the mammoth yourself by visiting his final resting place at the Beringia Centre in Whitehorse. If the legend is right, remember to look closely at the mammoth’s chest bones, and you will see the marks from Bear Man’s spear.
On the Hunt for the Inside Scoop
In 1960s Yukon, our short stories follow Thomas Gandhi Goodwit, a local reporter for the Whitehorse Star. He worked on assignments interviewing newcomers to the Klondike and chasing down suspicious bear skulls—in a very Yukon-style murder mystery.
Rent a car, some camping gear, or upgrade to an RV and trace Goodwit’s tracks with a notepad on hand as you conduct your own reporting. Travel along the Silver Trail from Dawson City to Stewart Crossing to the town of Mayo and onward to Keno City. The Yukon was made for road trips and, nowadays, we promise you’ll find a fancier setup than the Rock Creek Boys’ camper vans.
If you’re lucky, you might spot some of the Yukon’s wildlife from the safety of your vehicle, but hopefully not on the front lawn like the fateful bear story of Arnold and Bob in Keno City.
The Supernatural is Closer Than You Think
Nestled in the foothills of the goldmines at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, Dawson City has always had an aura of the mystic. And for members of the community like Brian, he was convinced it attracted the supernatural. Running the local mechanic shop, he had a keen eye for cars and spotting the undercover aliens that lived in town.
Staying in Whitehorse and on the hunt for UFOs? Grab your boots, check the weather reports, and keep your eyes on the skies. There’s evidence of unidentified sightings spotted across the Whitehorse region, and we are not just talking about the northern lights.
With out-of-this-world wilderness views and even a hidden cave on the mountain cliffside, make sure to put Fox Lake and Grey Mountain on your radar. These local hiking spots gather quite a following. So have your camera at the ready, keep your wits about you and report back to Brian when you are done.
There are good days in the Yukon and there are bad days in the Yukon. But when times are tough, good friends are always on hand (even if they do give you frostbite). Settle down in a comfy chair and reflect back on the eccentric charm and feisty stubbornness our colourful characters brought to life.
- In a few of the stories, the characters touch upon hidden signs, spirituality, and the presence of alien beings. Do you believe in a world beyond what we can see?
- At the end of the book, our character Winch chooses to spend a winter in isolation up on Hunter Creek. What would be your go-to keepsakes to survive an isolated winter?
- These unique characters were not afraid to be themselves. If you could set up a fictional life in Dawson City, what role in the town would you play?