Back in 1998 when we first moved into Teslin, Yukon, the sight of the bridge covered in recreational vehicles was not at all unusual. Often, three, four or five large rvs would occupy the bridge at a time, many with trailers, some the length of the pulling rv would jockey for passing space on the bridge. The yukon motel rv lot would typically be full to overflowing by 1 in the afternoon!
Today, you could probably lie down and have a short nap with no fear of becoming fish chowder for five minutes or more if you timed it just right here in the end of July, 2020!
Well, change is good they say and this turn of events has not been entirely negative from my pov anyway. The summer has been quite restive, yes, that is the word, and i’ve been able to focus on some other enjoyable aspects of life. Also, i hear no complaints from the fish, which we would normally be very busy catching and releasing in frenzies of fishing fun at this time of year.
None of what has happened could have possibly been forseen as recently as last december so it has all been a case of adapt or die for a lot of businesses and not just in the yukon. As for this particular business, there is no need to despair. As the guy who fell from a hundred story building stated at the 10th floor, “so far so good”.
But in my particular case, i do not think it needs to come to that. If nisutlin outfitting has to suffer a year or two of covidization and rebridgement, no real harm will come to it, and the fishing and canoe tripping will be able to return, perhaps even better for the interruption. There are, however, obviously a great number of unknowns at the present. One of these is the replacement of the great oft-photographed and world famous beautiful Teslin bridge!
Yes, it is true, our great and glorious over-watchers have decided for some obscure reason that the bridge needs replacing with an earthquake resistant concrete structure which will begin being constructed as soon as next summer. Apparently the decision has been made to build it on my side of the highway (of course) and tear down the iconic existing iconic (ironic?) structure after the new crossing is completed.
The whole situation is a bit distressing from my personal point of view because i have spent over 2 decades constructing nisutlin outfitting and building up the business and the combination of a massive local upheaval in conjunction with an enormous govern mental overreaction to a perceived microscopic threat would be enough to wipe most businesses from the earth. We shall see, we shall see. However, it should go without saying that business as usual is totally out of the question, and all options will be considered moving forward.
I am so grateful for all the business of the past 20 years and all the wonderful people i have met along the way, but i can not help but wonder if permanent damage has been done to the tourism industry generally and the mindset of travelling fun_seekers the world over. Here, our govern men have closed the borders and the border guards have reportedly been quite cryptic in their instructions to those passing through to alaska. “you will not” “you will” and similar instructions and orders about exiting the yukon within 24 hours, will certainly leave a mark.
I know that if a foreign country border officer treated me like that upon my arrival for a holiday i would be extremely likely to choose another destination for my future vacations and would be most unlikely to harbor warm feelings for the place for a decade or three. We shall see. We shall see.
In the meantime, my heartfelt wish is for you to take some steps to secure your food and sheltering requirements and to cement your relationships with family and friends because i do think we will need each other more and not less in the near future.
And btw, fishermen are still the best people!