(Jan) The Top of the World Highway consists of 100+ miles of gravel ‘highway’. The road is a challenge but the views from this ridge road are beautiful. The road is generally open mid May to mid October but this year it had been open for just one week when we drove it June 6th. There were still many snow banks along the road. We drove in sunny/partly cloudy weather and got along fine but we all knew that the narrow, winding, steep road would have been treacherous in wet or foggy conditions. We crossed the Canada/U.S. Border, the U.S.’s northern most Border crossing, Friday morning and arrived in Chicken, Alaska a couple of hours later. Chicken, founded as a gold mining camp, has a permanent population of 7 but that rises to 23 in the summer. We visited the Pedro Gold Dredge at the Chicken Gold Camp, bought T Shirts at the Down Town Chicken Mercantile, enjoyed ice cream cones at the Gold Camp Outpost and of course, had our photo taken with Chicken’s chicken!
We found a great boondocking location for the night about 9 miles from Chicken. Plenty of room for 4 rigs and a relaxing time around the campfire. Chuck got one of our ‘needed projects’ done there. We picked up a chip in our windshield down near Whitehorse and he got it fixed with a self-repair kit.
After a relaxing time having coffee outdoors this morning, we were off to Tok to rejoin the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks. Time to wash the vehicles after all of those miles of gravel roads! Chuck, Ron & Bernita tag teamed both our our rigs and both of our cars in 30 minutes for $9. Wow! We also met Gregg and Sally there and they joined our caravan. Oh! And we also shopped for postcards and a sweatshirt for me at All Alaska Gifts & Crafts and got 1/4 pound of fudge free!
We then got on the phones to see if we could all get into Teklanika Campground at Denali National Park and were soon disappointed to learn that they only had space for one rig on the dates that we wanted. But the rest of us did get into different campgrounds on most of the same days. We will spend a week around the Fairbanks area and then head to Denali. We’ve looked forward to it for a long time and we’re pretty excited that we’ll get to go! And get to go with friends!
Tonight (Saturday) we are at another great boondocking location along the Alaska Highwat at the Gerstle River. Today’s Mountain scenery was magnificent on our short drive into and then from Tok. Tomorrow; Fairbanks!