Running in New York Marathon to raise funds for Harlem United

2008 HalfThis is so exciting! I will be running in the New York Marathon on November 6, 2016 to raise money for Harlem United. My goal is to raise $3,000 for this fantastic organization that helps Harlem community members by providing access to health care, resources, and education about AIDS and HIV. They provide quality HIV prevention, housing, and care services in a safe and nurturing environment to unite Harlem’s diverse communities and address the needs of all people living with and threatened by HIV/AIDS.

I’m asking all my friends, family, and colleagues to help support the amazing work that Harlem United does, and cheer me on in my dream of running the New York Marathon.

If you can help, please visit my donor page. You can sponsor me by:

  • Mile ($26 for the 26.2 miles of the marathon)
  • Kilometre ($42 for the 42 kilometres of the race)
  • Meal ($100 to buy a group lunch for LGBT youth at risk for contracting HIV)
  • Or pick your own amount!

Here is an inspirational video on YouTube about the impact Harlem United has made in helping people who had no hope.

Visit my donor page often for photos and updates on my race training progress.

I’ve been wanting to run in the New York Marathon for 20 years, since I first began running in 1996. It’s the largest marathon in the world (yikes!) and goes through all five boroughs of New York City. This will be my first full marathon, though I’ve run ten half marathons. I’m thrilled to finally run this race and to raise money for Harlem United. This is a celebration of my new life in New York and I am putting down roots by contributing to the well-being of my community there.

Springtime in New York

Financial Distric Ferry TerminalYesterday was the first day of spring, and it snowed in New York. I went for a run as glorious flakes skirled and floated through the air, stage-lit by the lights along the Hudson River walk. It’s a nice hour-long run from my place in the village along the Hudson to the Financial District Ferry Terminal and back.

Tennis players on the Hudson River courtsI passed tennis players on my way to the ferry terminal, enjoying the gentle snowfall, and caught a glimpse of One World, nestled between the legs of two other high rises.

One World TowerNew Yorkers still call this the World Trade Center.

ESBOn the way back, I could see the Empire State Building in the distance, over 70 blocks away (the lit tower in the center of the photo). I love seeing these two landmarks as I go about the city. They are orientation touchstones, helping people find their way, much like a striking tree or cliff formation would have guided our ancestors.

Christmas Eve in the West Village

My street at Christmas

on the hudson river, people take selfies and groupies against the fading bright layers of sunset

a muscled black man in combat gray t-shirt, jeans, leather boots, and earbuds sits down on a bench facing the river, singing in falsetto

I do a double-take as I run by

a french-speaking family of 7 or 8 spans the entire walkway

I pause a beat for a gap and slip through

a police boat flashes blue and red lights on the jersey shore

down river, lady liberty shines pale green across the water

I do an extra leg along the river, strong and free

I can run forever and don’t want to ever stop

but friends and dinner at EN japanese are on the menu, so I cross west street at eleventh when the white walker beckons

a young man in a black suit, white shirt, sits on a stool at the corner of perry and bleecker, playing mournful cello

he smiles when I run by

four twenty-somethings dressed holiday festive fill the sidewalk, one of the women carrying pink lilies, on their way to a dinner party

I swerve into the street to pass

I bet a lot of people live in sixth floor walk-ups

don’t you think some people own the top two floors?

no way!

on the next corner, a giant black SUV idles at the curb

a diminutive black man holds open the door for a very large black man

I wonder if he’s a famous rapper

I smile at the driver in complicity about the glory of being near this man

he doesn’t get it

at seventh ave and greenwich the light is with me but sirens are coming my way, a block uptown

I dash across flying on endorphins and more glory

jayrunning across greenwich, two guys on bikes run the light at charles and I slow and change my angle to let them pass in front of me

we rule the night


coins jingling in his paper cup, the grizzled black man who sits on an over-turned bucket next to the magazine stand at sixth avenue and west ninth street sings

and heaven and nature sing

and heaven and nature sing

and hea-ven and he-e-ven and nature sing

the sirens rise

Phantom trail run best race ever

Phantom last runner

Some of you might be wondering how the Phantom Trail Race on November 12 went. I must say, it was one of the best races I’ve ever run. It was as if I had my own personal race course set up for me in the forest, with an aid station, and volunteers at every turn of the course to cheer me on and show me the way.

I ran the race with my friend Tim Kelly. For some reason, the organizers decided to start the race a few minutes early. Tim and I had been waiting in his car for the race start, because it was very chilly out. So when we got to the start line, we found out we’d missed the starting gun. Oh well! All the other runners were well ahead, and soon Tim had disappeared into the distance as well.

A short way into the course I met a race volunteer who was looking for some lost sheep–runners who had strayed from the path. They were soon found, and we did a short technical section of the trail, involving steep, slippery stairs, together. Then they were off into the distance, and my own personal race began. For the next two hours it literally seemed like I was the only runner in the forest.

Two more hours, you ask? For a 12 KM race? Yes, this is part of why it was the most enjoyable race ever. I treated it like a Sunday run in the woods–a long, slow run. I didn’t try to go fast, but just let my body go at the pace it wanted. For the entire race! It was cold, wet, muddy, and raining, but I was in heaven. There was lots to interest me, as much of the course was new to me; a mystery around every turn. I had a map to guide me, which kept me from getting too anxious about not knowing where I was.

The scariest section of the race was an extremely steep mossy, slimy wooden staircase that led to a narrow wood suspension bridge over a very deep gorge, with rushing waters far below. I slowed to a snail’s pace for that bit, terrified that I might lose my balance, slip, and fall into the gorge. I didn’t, of course, and after a short climb on the other side of the bridge, came to the aid station. The folks there were very kind, and offered me all manner of goodies. I had a tiny Clif bar, and a drink of some sweet pink substance, and felt very energized to continue for the second half of the race.

As you might expect, given my late start and my very slow pace, I was the last runner to complete the race. But this was not a problem for me. I felt tremendous pleasure at running for 2 hours and 15 minutes straight, at my own pace, in my own private race. What a gift! Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers who made this incredible experience possible.

Wearing no clothes makes you run faster

Phantom 12K trail race routeNow I know why some of my friends who are really good runners wear hardly any clothes! I’m not talking about streaking, exactly, though I remember that was a really popular activity when I was a kid. I’m talking about my observation that the friends I’ve run with who are fast runners dress very lightly.

I went for a gorgeous fall run yesterday afternoon, running along the Burrard Inlet on the Trans Canada Trail. I left for the run at about 5:00, and it seemed so sunny and warm that I just wore my running skirt and a t-shirt. But by the time I got to the trail it was in the shade, and there was a crisp fall chill in the air. Let me tell you, I haven’t run so fast since I did the Longest Day Run with my fastest-ever 10K race time.

It was so cold, the only thing to do was run fast to try to beat the cold. And it actually works! It was a brisk half-hour run, and the endorphin high was unbelievable! I feel stoked for my next race, the Phantom Run 12K trail race on November 12. This will be the second trail race I’ve done at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (you might recall the famous Hallow’s Eve Half), and I’m excited about running up the Homestead Trail to the finish line. But I think I’m going to dress more warmly that day.

In love with the night – night running, that is

Night forestJust back from an amazing full moon trail run along the Burrard Inlet. Once again I am in love with the night and with night running. Night runs are the special ones. They usually happen when life is so busy I have to just push against the limits and boundaries and go for a run after dark. Thinking about some of my favourite night runs tonight, I realized that they most often occur at or near the full moon. Maybe I have wolf blood!

Tonight, running on the trail, there were glimpses of the lovely moon, near full, gleaming through the trees. At other times, the trail was in deep shadow. I literally could not see if there was a trail in front of me. Running into the shadows I felt the night thick around me, a palpable presence. Velvety, luminous, warm, and contactful. Those precious moments reawakened the enchantment of life.

Other night runs I recall have been equally entrancing. I remember vividly aFull moon long run along a deserted paved road in the White Mountains, winding up towards the Bristlecone Pine forest, home of some of the oldest living beings on earth. Running in the dark, following the faint glow of the painted line down the middle of the road, the night was a luminous dark mist around me. Another amazing night run was the Klondike Road Relay, which I have described to you before. The road led from Skagway, Alaska, through a mountain pass and on down to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. If you recall, that run began with a white mouse crossing my trail.

The adventurous Nancy Wake, who was a spy in World War II, died recently. She was also known as the White Mouse. I am sure she had many night adventures, much more daring and harrowing than the moments I have recounted here. What a zest for life she had! May her spirit be at peace.

ChiRunning and Yoga at BC Wilderness Visions

July 16-17, 2011 – CANCELLED

$349 includes teaching fees and delicious organic vegetarian lunch, snacks, and teaAngela ChiRunning at Hastings Park

Location: Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, North Vancouver

9:30 – 4:30, Saturday & Sunday

Guides: Angela and Karen are teaming up for the second year in a row. For a glimpse into the awesome time had by all at last year’s ChiRunning and yoga retreat, see here.

  • Learn to run free of injury!
  • Learn to run effortlessly!
  • Learn to be energy efficient!
  • Learn how to create Chi Energy Flow!

Angela no longer has Achilles tendonitis since using the ChiRunning form, which combines the inner focus and flow of T’ai Chi with the power and energy of running to create a revolutionary running form and philosophy that takes the pounding, pain, and potential damage out of the sport of running. The ChiRunning program increases mental clarity and focus, enhances the joy of running, and turns running into a safe and effective life-long program for health, fitness, and well-being. Angela has run 20 marathons and completed Iron Man Canada in 2008.

Karen has developed a yoga practice that supports long distance running. Combining yoga with running helped her overcome knee pain and IT band problems, to cross the threshold from the 10K distance to the half-marathon! Her most adventurous race was the Klondike Road Relay from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon. Yoga is a millenia-old discipline that provides the perfect complement to your running practice. It brings suppleness to the entire body, builds core strength, and safely releases the lactic acid that builds up in the muscles during a run. The relaxation that yoga brings allows your body to run for longer distances with ease.

This 2-day non-residential retreat in the beautiful North Shore mountains will teach you the fundamentals of the ChiRunning form as well as a post-run yoga practice that is more fun than the old stretches you learned in gym class!

Mornings will begin with a group check-in in the crystal-clear mountain air, followed by running and yoga. In the afternoon we’ll teach you methods for connecting with the Chi energy in nature, and then give you a chance to practice what you’ve learned with more ChiRunning. The days will end with a final yoga session to send you home feeling relaxed and connected with nature and yourself.

This weekend retreat will give you time and space to connect with your body and with nature, and you’ll return to the city feeling refreshed and enlivened.

Optional reading: ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running, by Danny Dreyer and Katherine Dreyer

To register, please fill in the online Registration Form. For payment information, see Fees. We’ll send you directions and a suggested gear list when you register.

Part 5: Ceremony for owl and the wild ones

Great grey owl, photographer Chris DoddsAs I have mentioned previously, a wise wild woman suggested that the great grey owls I encountered this summer were angry. I considered her interpretation of the events, and decided to follow her suggestion of performing a ceremony to let the owls know of my good intentions.

I have long been interested in sacred ceremony and ritual, and first learned the pagan method of working with the four directions. Interestingly, the four directions, which often correspond to the four elements of water, earth, air, and fire, are used in many cultures the world over. The pagan rituals I learned had their roots in Celtic traditions. When I studied to become a vision fast guide, the same four elements were assigned in the same order around the wheel, but a quarter turn further along! This usage arose out of the ways of the Native American traditions of the Lakota people. However, the roots for the Lakota medicine wheel are said to arise from the ceremonies of the ancient Mayan people. It can become very confusing and perhaps impossible to determine which traditions originated where.

But what is clear is that earth-based peoples the world over have identified the usefulness of a nature-based psychology and ceremony that uses the four directions, orienting by the path of the sun across the sky from east to west and the north and south poles of the earth. Similarly, different cultures have selected similar elements as being significant to work with, including the four I’ve named. Other cultures sometimes incorporate additional elements too. For example, in both Buddhist ceremony and pagan ritual the element of ether or space is sometimes used. The Dagara people of West Central Africa use the elements of earth, water, fire, mineral, and nature (green growing things).

I’d like to tell you about a way of beginning a ceremony that I learned at the School of Lost Borders. This ceremony is used by many different Native American and First Nations peoples. It involves calling in the spirits of the seven directions (earth, sky, and centre are the other three) with the use of the smoke of the sacred sage plant.

I put an egg-sized amount of dried sage leaves into a seashell bowl, and lit different spots with a wooden match. I blew on the embers to help the leaves burn. When the sage was smoking nicely, there in my kitchen, I began by greeting the spirits of the east and asking them to be with me in the ceremony. I named a few of the qualities of the east direction, and offered the smoke of the sacred sage to the spirits. Then I repeated this for the other six directions. This act is called “calling in the directions” and it is often performed at the beginning of nature ceremony.

The second step is to smudge oneself with the smoke, for purification, and also to help shift consciousness into a ceremonial openness. If there is a group, the smudge bowl is usually passed clockwise around the circle, and each person smudges the parts of their body they feel moved to cleanse. I smudged my whole body from head to toe, using an eagle feather to brush the smoke over the front and back of my body.

Now I was ready to greet the owls. My plan was to drive to the North Shore, and run through the woods until I came to the place where the owls lived. Since I would be running, I didn’t want to bring all the gear to do the smudging in the woods. But I will tell you, this is the first time I’ve done a ceremony in stages like this. Which is a teaching about ceremony: it is creative, flexible, and responsive to circumstances! Before I left the house, I did tuck a few items for the ceremony into the pockets of my running jacket. Plus of course grabbed my driver’s license and cell phone in case of emergency! I had another ceremonial object waiting in the car, which I would carry while I ran…

I drove over to the North Shore, taking the route up Lynn Valley Road rather than Lillooet Road because I knew I wouldn’t be finished before the gates at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve were locked. It was getting near dusk already. I parked near the trail that crossed Lynn Creek, and ran through the woods until I reached the place where I had the two owl encounters. I had noted well the tall dead tree that the owls had perched on during both encounters, beside a small creek at a bend in the path. I’ve been on this trail hundreds of times, so it was easy to find the spot again. From their behaviour, I believe this tree marked the edge of the great grey owls’ territory. 

I have to tell you, I felt somewhat fearful that the owls would appear during the ceremony, and perhaps attack my poor head again.  I even wore my glasses while running (something I never do) so that I would be able to see them better if they appeared. So I was on the alert for their presence, and performed the ceremony rather more quickly than I might have otherwise.

I carefully climbed down the steep bank in the semi-darkness to a very wide root that was at the base of the owl-tree. Following my wise guide’s suggestion, I had brought a bouquet of flowers for the owls, which I tucked behind the root so they stood up nicely. Then I took out a small pyrex bowl and placed it on the wide root. I filled the bowl with a mixture of sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and sesame seeds. I blessed the spot with my hands using Reiki. Then I climbed back up onto the path.

Whew! No sign of the owls yet. But I was sure that they were aware of my presence. I faced downhill, into their territory, and addressed the owls quite loudly. I figured it was unlikely anyone would come along the path since it was almost dark, and the creek was bubbling away at high volume, so my voice was drowned out anyway. But I trusted that the owls would hear what I had to say.

First I thanked them for the blessing of the encounters I had with them, and told them that I had meant no harm. I expressed my appreciation for the learning I have received, and told them I heard their message that they and the other wild creatures need wild places to live in. That people are encroaching too much, and not leaving them the room they need to thrive. I expressed my intention to help protect the wild creatures and wild places. I also explained about the offerings I had brought; the red and yellow of the tulips represented the red strength of the owls and my golden joy at meeting them, combined together into a single flower. The seeds I confessed I didn’t think they would eat, although some birds do eat seeds. But perhaps their favourite prey, the vole, would eat the seeds. Thus my hope was to nourish the creatures that would feed them. I wasn’t about to bring some voles or mice as an offering! (But I didn’t say that.)

After I had said everything I could think of to the owls, I blessed the land and all the creatures who live there, again using Reiki. I bowed, rose, and then turned and headed back up the path. An interesting thing happened as I was driving home. It was now dark, and all the tail lights, head lights, and traffic lights appeared as bursts of colour. I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw that my pupils were very dilated, like the eyes of the owl! It just so happened that I had an eye exam earlier that day, and my pupils were dilated from the drops the optometrist gave me. But it seemed fitting that I was now seeing through the eyes of the owl!

The final step of the ceremony was to close it where I had opened it, in the kitchen. I held the eagle feather up, faced east, and thanked all the spirits for being with me in the ceremony. Then I scattered the ashes of the sage on the wind.

I performed this ceremony on Wednesday. Saturday morning, an email from the Green Party arrived in my inbox. It was a call for volunteers to fill three roles in the party leadership, including Publications Chair. Wow! A role I am completely qualified to perform, right now, with my existing skills and life experiences. I went to the Green Party website to have a look at their policies and documentation, and my heart sang as I reviewed their 10 Core Principles. They include sustainability, ecological wisdom, social justice, respect for diversity, non-violence, and participatory democracy! My prayer for the right work I can do to help protect the wild ones has been answered! And I don’t even have to go to law school for three years! 🙂 I think this is strong medicine. Maybe it’s owl medicine.

Photo Credit: Image Copyright Christopher Dodds, used with kind permission. All Rights Reserved. See other examples of Chris’s beautiful work at Chris Dodds Photo

Part 3: Seeking understanding and the wisdom of the owl

These encounters with the owls prompted me to do some research toGreat grey owl learn more about them. A great resource I found online is The Owl Pages. I also consulted Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak, as always.

I learned that the great grey owl (gray to you American readers) is the provincial bird emblem of Manitoba. According to The Owl Pages, they are known to be very aggressive near their nest, and have driven off predators as large as black bears! I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad. They are one of the largest owls in the world, though the ones I saw were not as large as they can get: 28″ tall with a wingspan of 56″! Evidently they have lived to 40 years of age in captivity. No wonder there is a saying about the wise old owl!

These sources of information are helpful in extracting meaning from the experience, but the deepest meaning must come from within…

What does this have to do with my indigenous soul?

The day after the owl struck me there were scabs on my head. The owl had definitely permeated my physical boundary and entered into my body. I wished I had a wise teacher I could tell the story to, who could tell me what this meant. I wished I was in apprenticeship with a medicine woman or man who would guide and teach me. How can I be the guide, and the one whom others turn to for guidance, when I know so little? I have learned from many wise teachers, and I could have called on one of them to talk about what happened. If fact, I did have the opportunity to do this some weeks later. But at the time of the event, I wished to be part of a community where my medicine teacher was nearby. I have idealized the times when our peoples lived in smaller groups, in communities of people with elders to turn to, and a shaman or medicine woman for counsel, and where each of us had our role or place in the community. I think this desire to live in a close, small community is part of the remembrance of my indigenous soul of an earlier time when we did live together in harmony with the land. It is part of the pleasure of meeting in groups to go on the vision quest. It is a re-creation of how we used to live, and it always feels so right.

And so it is with my loneliness for connection with the animal world. I believe this is an expression of my indigenous soul as well. We grew up and evolved together with the animals. The way we live in now, in a planet shaped by 10,000 years of agriculture, forestry, and domination over the natural world, has made the animals afraid of us. Contact with animals is a gift I have been fortunate to experience many times on vision quests. And occasionally on runs through the woods, as I have described here. My indigenous soul knows that this encounter had meaning and significance. Maybe my indigenous soul even knows what the meaning is. However, my city self, ego self, Karen-in-the-world struggles to find her way to that deeper place that knows the truth about messages from wild creatures.

When I am out on a vision quest, or during those periods of time when I have lived in the wilderness, it is not so hard to know that deeper place. It is much more difficult in the city, in the midst of the daily concerns and pressures of earning a living and meeting responsibilities. It is hard to quiet and slow down enough to tune into the still place of my indigenous soul. But more than this everyday difficulty, when that owl hit me in the head, it reminded me of my father hitting me in the head when I was a child. It was a shock, and I dare say reactivated early trauma. The feeling of betrayal that nature would treat me this way was extremely upsetting and shook my whole view of the natural world as my friend, my safe place, the place that cared about me. It shook my faith in my indigenous soul. It has been hard to find my way back.

The wisdom of the owl

My medicine teacher, when I had the opportunity to talk with her in California a few weeks later, said that the owl put its medicine right in me by striking me on the head like that. This is what I wanted to hear. That there was something good about what had happened. That it meant I was special. This is the truth of the indigenous soul, surely? The message that owl has for me? That I am wise like the owl, have keen hearing, can pierce into the depths of people’s souls and true intentions? This is the kind of meaning I have sought from nature; to know myself and my strengths more accurately.

But you know, I don’t think this is the meaning of the owl encounters. The shock of being struck has kept me from running in that lush green place that was my favourite place to go. There is a learning here about respect. Respect for the wild animals and their ways. Respect for the vast force of nature. Though I am a small part of it, it is not all about me. There are large and mysterious processes at work of which I know little. Perhaps some humbleness is in order. A creature weighing only four pounds scared the indigenous soul right out of me! That should teach me something about respect. Clearly it’s not an either-or proposition of fear or oneness. But a call to a larger view that includes a healthy respect, a wiser understanding of the wild ones, and the oneness too.

At the beginning of this story I was wrapped up in who should do the cooking, and it seemed like a life-or-death question. The owls thought I was a threat to them, and their defensive maneuvers were in response to a perception of a life-or-death situation. I think we were both wrong! In the larger view I can take now, several months later, I think the life-or-death situation is a much bigger one, in which our animal friends are being forced off the planet through human expansion and exploitation. I feel the call to my indigenous soul to bring all of my resources to bear in doing what I can to protect them. I am being called to be much bigger than I ever thought I could. I am considering studying environmental law so that I will have the power and knowledge to do something more concrete to help. May I keep hearing the call of my indigenous soul, and discover the best way that I can help my animal kin. May we all. Continued here…

Photo © Rossano Russo, displayed on The Owl Pages. Used with permission.

The White Mouse of the Klondike

Reporting back to you after completing the Klondike Road Relay last weekend, I have to say it was an amazing experience, an awesome race, and a great trip to the great white north.

Camino Klondike Relay team, with the Yukon River behind usMy leg of the race (leg 4 of 10) began at the Canada Customs border between Alaska and BC. Just as Gordon finished leg 3 and handed off to me, a camper drove up blasting music. Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” started me off in the right spirit! As I passed the parking lot and entered the darkness, I saw a White Mouse cross the road in front of me. This was a very good omen.

In World War II, Nancy Wake was an allied spy known as the White Mouse. She performed all kinds of heroic feats, including riding a bicycle for 500 KM over a three day period to re-establish a coded wireless communication network which was essential for the allied cause. What an inspiring beginning to my run! If only I had such an important role to play in life.

But for this journey, the goal was to run the distance for my team, and not let them down. This was my first relay race since I was a teenager, and I found that the motivation of meeting the time I had set so that I didn’t let down my team mates was a strong motivation indeed. Plus, the support vehicle following a few dozen metres behind me made me feel like a superstar sports athlete. Any time I needed water, they’d pull up beside me and hand it to me, and ask if there was anything else I needed. What star treatment!

I had a great run, running really hard, pushing myself at about 95% capacity the whole time. There were no kilometre markers, so I didn’t know whether I was keeping the pace I had promised. But 8 KM into the leg I crossed a railroad track. My time was 46:45, well under 48:00 minutes or the 6 minute/KM pace I had predicted. Once I knew I was on track, I relaxed a little, and really got into the rhythm of the running.

There were a few moments of bliss on the run, in the dark, on a mysterious high mountain pass in the north of the world. I could see radiant light in the darkness, and knew that this was a place I could leave behind a burden I was carrying. I let it slide off my shoulders, up there on that mountain pass, and I swear I returned home without that burden.

So the race was terrific, and so was the entire trip to Whitehorse. I met an artist named Joyce Majiski, and purchased one of her amazing paintings of caribou, called Blue Bou. I met a Juno-nominated singer-songwriter, Anne Louise Genest (of the band Annie Lou), and found out we have friends and acquaintances in common. She told me about a book her sister, another Whitehorse resident, had just published (The Boreal Gourmet: Adventures in Northern Cooking, by Michele Genest). I bought two copies at Mac’s Fireweed Books. By the way, there was a field of spiky magenta fireweed beside the road where my leg ended!

The area around Whitehorse was in glorious fall colour. After a super-fun dance party Saturday night, some of my team went for an 8:00 AM run along the Yukon River Sunday morning. I swear I’ve never run that soon after a race before, but it felt amazing.

The final wonderful gift of the trip was learning about a writer’s residential retreat at Berton House in Dawson City, 500 KM further north than Whitehorse. I know the north is calling to me. I harken to the call. I spent the better part of today putting together my application for a 3-month stay at the Berton House. Wish me luck!