Saturday, July 16, 2016


You might have noticed that Laurie and I are pretty flexible in our travel plans.  The ferry crossing at Dawson City can sometimes take hours waiting in line, because it only carries one rig like ours at a time.  The round trip takes it about 20 minutes, so if there are 4 or 5 rigs in front of you, you can end up waiting for hours.  We got right on, and when we got to the north shore of the Yukon River, it just didn't make sense to overnight again, so off we went.  The highway from Dawson to the Alaska border was paved, for the most part, so we got there in a few hours.  For us, arriving in Alaska in such a remote place was euphoric.  After a quick and easy check in at the border crossing (the agents live on site), it was on to Chicken, AK.  The first 10 miles of the Top of the World Highway in Alaska are velvety smooth, perfectly new and flawless asphalt.  Ha!  Sucker!  The remaining 30 miles were taken very slowly and carefully.  It's a gravel road, and it was pouring rain, and gosh I'm glad I did it but I'll never do it again.  The views were fantastic, but when your eyes are glued on the road ahead so you don't kill yourself and your wife, it's not as easy to enjoy.  All in all very doable though, just slow and a little nerve wracking.  A car or truck would have been no problem.  A bus, not exactly equipped for it though many of us take that road.

I have a tire pressure monitor system that tells me the status of both the RV and car's tires.  It gives you peace of mind knowing you're not dragging a car with a flat tire through the mud.  Speaking of cars with flat tires, a little Hyundai passed us on the road but then pulled over with flashers on.  I thought maybe they saw a bear or moose, but when the driver got out and put his hands to his face, I knew something was wrong.  I pulled over and learned they'd shredded a tire.  They were a young couple from Belgium and France in a rental car.  He'd never changed a tire, so I walked him through it (in the rain) and then followed them to Chicken to make sure the spare didn't blow as well.  No problem, just slow going.  When we got to Chicken, no tire repair whatsoever, so after we shared dinner at the cafe, they moved on to Tok, where TWH rejoins the Alaska Highway.  We overnighted in Chicken and didn't see them on the road, so I assume they made it okay.

After Chicken, the road becomes paved again and is pretty good all the way to Tok, AK.  The Alaska Highway was great, so we made it all the way into Fairbanks.  This is a thoroughly modern town with all the comforts of home.  We're in a full hookup spot with a lovely view of the Chena River, planning our next moves...but not too rigidly.

Some pictures...

Hitchhikers in Dawson City.  I guess having a passport is a big deal?  Gas money seems more appropriate.

Front row seat on the ferry across the Yukon River

Top of the World views are pretty spectacular.  Just pull over to enjoy them.

Our home at the Top of the World

Laurie says "Woohoo, Alaska!  At the border crossing.

I don't usually stop for a picture at the state welcome signs, but this one seemed special

Nicco and Marion, intrepid travelers from Belgium and France.  Very nice young couple.

In a town called Chicken, they go a little nuts with the whole chicken theme.  A 12' tall chicken seems appropriate.

The Alaska Highway between Tok and Fairbanks.  Very nice, smooth and beautiful views.  This isn't the ALCAN that my uncle George and Aunt Doris told me about. 

The 49th Sticker Ceremony

Now, how to get that Hawaii sticker?  I'm workin' on it...