Monday, August 19, 2013
Chicken Alaska to Dawson Yukon.
We left Valdez Alaska and enjoyed the beautiful scenic drive up to Tok. Lots of waterfalls and views of the snow covered Wrangell Mountains. Again we were alone in a small state campground that was situated on the old gold rush trail which included an abandoned railroad tunnel. We continued up the Taylor Highway to the town of Chicken, so named because the first settlers could not spell Ptarmigan, the common bird of the area. This is a funky town of dirt roads and old mining equipment and a huge chicken statue with way signs pointing to various corners of the globe – including Lizard Lick, NC! After Chicken, the Top of the World Highway and became a serious narrow, no-shoulder, no-guard rail, thousand foot drop off dirt road that winds up to the Canadian Border. The border checkpoint was a lonely windblown outpost above treeline and I almost asked the bored looking Canadian guard what he had done to merit such an assignment (but thought better of it). We descended the tundra into the famous gold rush town of Dawson City where we found a nice little campground right on the Yukon River. We took a funky ferry across the river into the town, which seemed little changed from it's wild days. We saw what was supposed to be Jack London's cabin and the familiar hordes of German tourists and some colorful locals.