SEPTEMBER 7, 2017
It begins! I am in Whitehorse, YT and I’ve done my walkabout this morning, taking it all in, finding the Library and CBC Radio for later commitments. I am functioning on three hours of sleep but remarkably, I am upright and functioning at some level that keeps me from wandering into traffic or into the swift and very serious looking Yukon River.
I get the feeling I have followed the yellow brick road and found myself in Whitehorse. What a perfectly wonderful place. No tall buildings, and very wide streets, amazing terrain. I am pinching myself. Am I really here? I think I might be.
The mountains on the flight in were round smooth bald masses, as if the trees couldn’t hold on and slipped down the sides. Little evidence of hardwoods was visible, all the pines and spruces claiming dominance. It is a beautifully rugged place, without pretension or glitz. It is pure.
The time change is always a struggle. This country is so ridiculously large. I was travelling for 15 hours from 9:00 in the morning yesterday. I was dizzy by the time I arrived and quite a little bit sick of small spaces.
I wandered down the street just before lunch to CBC Radio and met with Dave White and tried very hard to appear somewhat intelligent. I think it went rather well. No fainting, not too much stuttering, Dave made it very easy.
I do a reading tonight at the Whitehorse Public Library along with Al Pope, a well known local writer.
I carry on to Dawson City tomorrow to serve as writer-in-residence at Berton House for four months. Four months! The Writers’ Trust of Canada chose me along with Lawrence Hill and Drew Hayden Taylor and Sandy Poole. They are real writers. Does that mean I am, too?