Friday, August 9, 2013

Turning the corner at TOK

033(Chuck & Jan) When we crossed the border to start our Alaska adventure we intended to see snow on the way north, spend the full season in Alaska and have snow chase us back south. But as our friend John B says “Life sometimes gets in the way of the best laid plans.” On our drive up to Tok from Valdez we looked at all of the joys, duties and 037responsibilities ahead of us in the next two months and decided to change our direction. From here we will go to Iowa and then spend October in Seattle, Washington. Our visits to Haines, Skagway and Hyder will have to wait for our next Alaska trip.

Our drive out of Alaska and through Yukon Territory, British Columbia and Alberta has been beautiful. We’ve seen lots of interesting things and scenery out of the windshield such as the Yukon lake scene above and the 22 foot wildlife monument in Haines Junction. Whirlpool Canyon on the Liard River still looks wild but the water level had dropped dramatically since our visit there last May. Along the road we saw two herds of buffalo, several caribou, a deer, a porcupine, trumpet swans and two bears; one had been hit and was laying dead in the road.

(Chuck) On our return through Watson Lake, we took the time to wander through the sign post forest. Travelers have left their names and hometowns posted in the forest. The signs are official city signs, carved wooden signs and sometimes just names and dates written on a hubcap. After seeing the large number of German city signs, Jan wondered if there were any left in Germany.

047Ron’s sign with our names engraved. 052There’s a Flip Flop on the right 055
German city signs are gold & black046 Escapee #3 members Bud & Cathy left their sticker in 2008051 062

043There are remnants of Roadhouses along the highways of the Yukon and Alaska. They were located at approximate 100 mile intervals to serve the need of the travelers. Todays vehicles are more reliable, travel further on a tank of fuel and self contained Rvs have displaced the need for overnight accommodations. Many of the surviving road houses have For Sale Signs posted or they are closed and their entrances are blocked. Other once busy facilities are hidden in a thick growth of trees. Many Alaska travelers will remember Mukluk Annie’s as a favorite stop. 

After following the Alaska highway from Tok to it’s starting point in Dawson Creek, we are going through Edmonton & Calgary, Alberta and south to Montana.

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