Category [English] Archive

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Being Nature guides, we are often out of town doing canoeing, hiking, aurora and wildlife viewing tours. Covid-19 safety measures have kept us closer to home as we cannot guide now due to the Canadian and Yukon borders being closed to our mostly Japanese clients. With guiding coming to a stand-still and physical distancing practises in place, we have been spending much more time at our yurt. With more time on our hands, we made some yurt home improvements including building a greenhouse/sunroom, making a dog run for our dog Tenshi, planting a garden and installing an on demand hot water shower. For most of our building projects, we used salvaged material, the phrase, "one person's junk is another's treasure" really rings true for us. When finding materials we need that are second hand, not only do we feel we have been treasure hunting, we save money on not paying delivery and shipping fees and brand new item prices, help people we get them from by clearing out space for them and giving them something in return, and we get more creative with our projects.

The Dog Run:

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It's not often that we leave Tenshi at home alone for a few hours, but when we do, she needs the protection of a fenced in dog run. In May, we helped a friend clear some brush from his land. When we were done, he showed us a pile of stuff he wanted to take to the dump. In the pile was some fencing for a dog run he no longer needed as he had built a new one. We were super excited to salvage the material and use it to build part of Tenshi's run. Our friend was excited too as he didn't have to lift the fencing onto his truck and it reduced his tipping fees at the dump as he now had less to throw away. We have a feeling he felt happy to help us out with our project as he knew only too well how expensive and how much work it is to build a dog run as he had just finished building one himself.

The Greenhouse/Sunroom:

We've been wanting to make an entrance porch for our yurt for a few years now. As we now had time to stay home and water and care for a garden, we made a porch that included a greenhouse too. Our neighbour had some windows and a screen door that he wanted to sell. We have no idea how much four large panes of glass would be to purchase at a glass shop, but we do know it would have been at least ten times more the cost we paid for the glass our neighbour wanted to get out of his yard.

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We went to a business in town that sells granite and other stone for countertops and headstones. There is an area on their product lot where they have broken and no longer needed pieces on pallets that are for sale for inexpensive prices.
We paid for and then hauled away a pallet, and used the stone pieces to make a unique floor for our sunroom/greenhouse.

There is a nice antique shop in Whitehorse called "Rustic North". Tomohiro purchased a door from there that was once used on the White Pass - A train that used to run part of the gold rush route from Whitehorse Yukon to Skagway Alaska! Our greenhouse/sunroom now has a taste of Northern history too.


This plaque on the door reads...
CAUTION Ride on platforms at your own risk.
Do not cross between cars when train is moving.
Do not ride on aprons between the cars.
Please hold the handrails and share the platforms.
Children must be accompanied by an adult while on the platforms.

The On-Demand Hot Water Shower:

Until now, we have been sponge bathing at the yurt and showering at our office or at my sister's place. The last few nights we went for runs with Tenshi and came back to have hot showers at the yurt. WHAT A TREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Saving money by using some second-hand materials on our other building projects allowed us to splurge and buy a brand new Gasland tankless 10 litre propane water heater.

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As it doesn't seem we will nature guide full time for the foreseeable future, our next project is to build a sauna. So far we have purchased an old wood door from our neighbour, some cedar wood and metal roofing material from another friend, and some boards from a torn down fence that we got from my sister and will use for the outside of the sauna. I'll keep you posted on how that project unfolds.


Some people in the Yukon have house sitters in the winter. They escape some of the chilly weather and go to places like Hawaii, while people they trust move into their homes for a few weeks to take care of their animals and plants, and to make sure that their houses are warm enough so that the water pipes don't freeze.
We have been house sitting at a place just outside of Whitehorse since February 1st, and we are enjoying taking care of Rupert the cat and Kobe (yes, Kobe!) the dog. Kobe became our friend immediately, but it took Rupert a little longer to warm up to us. Last night, for the first time, he jumped up on the bed and slept right beside Tomohiro.
Look at the white upside down heart on Rupert's nose. He's so cute.



Third week of January and finally there is enough snow on the trails close to our home to go dogsledding.

I hooked up my team of six dogs and said, "Okay. Let's go!"

Those three words set me free into a place I love to be - alone on the trails with just the dogs, the sled and me!