Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Visit to Chicken and we are on the Top of the World

I am catching up on the blog as we are now back in the lower 48. No internet or cell while in Canada and the WIFI the few commercial campgrounds we went to was a joke. You got only 25 or 50 mb's and that lasted about 15 minutes. Anyway back to the adventure. We left beautiful Blueberry Lake and started our trip back to the lower 48. We made an one night stay at Tok which everyone goes through on the way into Alaska and the way out.We then headed up a new route for us up to Chicken, Alaska. Chicken was a big mining town but now has a popular of 7 according to the 2010 census. Why the name Chicken you may ask.

 In the late 1800's, early miners traveled far in search of gold. Food was sometimes scarce, but a particular area near the South Fork of the 40-Mile River was abundant in Ptarmigan, now the state bird which bears a resemblance to a chicken (Ah the foreshadowing is thicker than steel.) The miners kept themselves alive with the help of the Ptarmigan (if you consider being eaten as helping.)

In 1902, Chicken was to become incorporated, the second town in Alaska to do so. The name "Ptarmigan" was suggested. Many people liked the name, but felt the quotation marks were too presumptuous. The name was shortened to Ptarmigan.

The only problem was that nobody could agree on the correct spelling. They didn't want their town name to be the source of ridicule and laughter, so they decided on "Chicken."
The down town area consists of 3 buildings, a small restaurant, bar and gift shop.

We just stayed there for a short time and then continued a short way on the Taylor Highway to a nice BLM campground called Walker Fork Campground.

We just stayed one night and then continued on the Taylor Highway to the Top of the World Highway. The Top of the World Hwy isn't that far in miles/kilometers but is slow going due to unpaved sections and twists and turns, We actually though the section from Tok to Walker Fork was the slowest. I think we were going only around 20MPH most of the way. The Top of the World Hwy is something to see. The pictures I took don't really show the grandeur. There are sections where you are driving on a narrow section where you can look down both sides of the road to the Valleys below.
The distance to Dawson City of the HWY is 79 miles but it took us about 3 1/2 hours.

 There was a tiny border crossing on the Highway. Pretty easy crossing.

We didn't really see any wildlife in Alaska. However, we had barely crossed the border into the Yukon and came across some Caribou in the middle of the road. Pretty cool!

The highway ends at the Ferry Crossing which we took to get to Dawson City.It is a short ride across the Yukon River.  Our first ferry ride with the motorhome.

We stayed at a commercial campground in Dawson City for another one night stay. We got set up and went into town. Dawson City is a small town with a population of 1,500. During the Gold Rush days there were up to 35,000 people. It is a fun town to explore and is definitely set up as a tourist town. We even did some shopping. We bought a small paddle decorated with a Native American design which we will hang in the MH and I bought an amber bracelet. We stopped in a Saloon for a drink and then over to a nice restaurant for dinner. Someone we met in our travels told us Klondike Kate's was the place to go and it was very good. They are known for the use of fresh ingredients and herbs. I had Alberta slow cooked lamb which was really tender.

We had a long drive from Dawson City and headed up at a nice Yukon Gov Campground called Fox Lake. We had a lovely spot overlooking the lake.  

We made another one night stay in the Whitehorse area. On our way to Alaska when we stayed in Whitehorse we had dinner at the Wolf's Den. It was right next to a campground, The Caribou RV Park. It looked nice set among the trees and so this time we decided to stay there. We set up and as it was early evening walked over the restaurant for some good Swiss/German food.
Next stop is the Cassiar Highway.

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