The next leg of our journey brings us into Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory, Canada. Beaver Creek is the western most settlement in Canada and is home of the Rendezvous. When we pull into Beaver Creek, if there are two full coaches paralleling each other, we effectively double the population of the community for the night. There are currently about 80 people that live in Beaver Creek, most of whom are seasonal workers. During the winter months I believe the population drops to about six or so.
When there are so few people living in an area, you can probably guess that they are a little starved for entertainment. As part of our tour we announce to the guests that the supply truck into Beaver Creek was experiencing difficulties and as a result there is a very limited supply of toilet paper. The tour director will ration out the single roll of TP we have, asking the guests to please take only what they need and being considerate of all involved. 99.9% of the guests take the news well and we are all usually sharing TP related jokes and laughing our way into Beaver Creek. No need to mention the other 0.1%. To help the guests get their minds off the TP, or lack thereof, we have them compose a song that they will be performing during the evening’s festivities. This becomes a bit of a competition among all the drivers and tour directors to see which coach comes up with the most fun and original song. I am proud to announce that my guests always receive top billing!
When we arrive at the lodge we are greeted by one of two characters that perform in the nightly Rendezvous show; Gussy L'Amoure, the winsome beauty of the dance hall or Sergeant Loyal of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a.k.a. Officer Friendly. These two greet our guests in with true Beaver Creek hospitality and continue the TP fun.
You can imagine the relief (no pun intended) as the guests realize that there is indeed a substantial amount of TP to be had. Oft times when we arrive at dinner the drivers, tour directors and even some of the guests will arrive wearing some of the latest TP fashions. Dinner is served “family” style with up to eight people per table. We pass around the honey-glazed chicken, hearty beaver stew, and the miner’s bread and we finish it off with a healthy serving of Baked Alaskan. Dinner is preceded by an open fire and s’mores for any and all that are interested. The s’mores are available for consumption up until the fire is extinguished, signaling the start of the Rendezvous.
The Rendezvous is a show that is performed by two main characters, Gussy and Sergeant Loyal’s kin, Yukon Dave with the accompaniment of Will on the piano and a chorus of waiters as backup singers. Sergeant Loyal wanted to stay for the festivities but Duty called. Duty is Sergeant Loyal’s wife and when Duty calls, Mounties comes a running! It is a fun show, much beloved by all. The show is performed almost every single night during the season. Last year they performed 70 nights in a row without a break. Perhaps I can video it some time to share.
The next morning as we prepare to leave we will often find our coaches decorated with toilet paper as the guests try to get back at us for the fun from the night before. You know you’ve got a good group when your seat is completely wrapped in white and there are streamers running up and down the coach. There is always a fun time to be had by all!