He made it! Long walk to Whitehorse nets $11K for anti-poverty group

Patrick Jackson arrives in Whitehorse with his daughter, Abigail, who has accompanied him for the last 50 kilometers of his trek.

Patrick Jackson arrives in Whitehorse with his daughter, Abigail, who has accompanied him for the last 50 kilometers of his trek.

Patrick Jackson, who lives in Whitehorse, is sleeping a little easier these days. And in his own bed.

That’s because he recently walked more than 500 kilometers from Dawson City to Whitehorse — raising over $11,000 for the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition in the process.

“It feels wonderful,” Jackson said. “I keep walking around my house and saying I’m home. I’m at home.”

Jackson left Dawson City on September 19 and arrived in Whitehorse on October 14. The walk was anything but boring. Along the way, he said he encountered toothaches, wildlife encounters, and extreme weather changes.

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“I think it was a day after I saw the slides come in,” Jackson began, referring to landslides that temporarily closed the North Klondike Highway.

“Just as I was coming up that big hill from Dawson, the weather changed quite dramatically. We had these torrential rains, so I didn’t want to travel with it,” Jackson said.

“Then I started getting dental problems and worked through a bit of that pain.”

Submitted by Patrick Jackson

Submitted by Patrick Jackson

The pain got so bad Jackson was driven to Whitehorse to have his tooth checked. Once repaired, it was taken back to where it left off.

According to Jackson, he never considered giving up.

“My heart and my family and everything I love is here,” he told CBC. “I was just determined to get back on track.”

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A lonely Thanksgiving

Jackson says one of the hardest moments for him came when Thanksgiving came around.

“I’m just separated from family and friends,” Jackson shared. “You know, everyone’s eating turkey for dinner and you’re stuck in a tent on the side of the freeway.”

The feeling of loneliness was short-lived.

Jackson said that eventually good friends, family and even people following his journey reached out to offer support, which included bringing him hot meals, giving him a warm place to stay and even walking beside him.

Jackson says he couldn’t have done the hike without the support of each community, but says one person really made the hike special.

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“My daughter Abigail joined me and planned to ride the last 30 miles with me,” he said.

The couple had planned to ride 25 kilometers before checking the next day’s forecast. When they saw that four inches of snow was expected in Whitehorse the next day, they decided to keep going – for a total of 47 kilometers on the final day.

Now that Jackson is home, he says it’s not quite time to relax.

“I might have been out and walking down the Autobahn, but behind the scenes, so many people have really worked to make this happen. Now is the time to reach out to all of these people and thank them for their support.

“And then I don’t know… what do you do next?”


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