Sunday, July 09, 2006

Alaska Day 53

Friday July 7, 2006 Mile 56.5 Tok Cutoff - Chicken - Tok - Mile 1250 Alaska Hwy Log 288 Miles
There are no chickens in Chicken. There are no Herb and Wilma in Chicken. There is rain, mud, more mud. There is the absence of grass for Jake. Although it was early afternoon and plenty of time for Jake to play, he told us he didn't want to get his feet dirty and then track all that into the RV. So we explored the chickenery, talked to a few folks, and headed back in the other direction from 40 more miles of mud between Chicken and Dawson City.

Along the Taylor Highway from Chicken to Tok we saw evidence of the fires of 2004, where miles and miles were burned. The forest is coming back, and the fireweed is thriving, literally covering some of the hills. Quite a bit of rock grafitti on the stabilized sand dunes. Worth the drive.

It is heartwarming to see the helpful spirit in Alaska, where one traveler stops to check on another who is stopped in a remote or relatively unsafe place along the road. One man had just finished changing a tire and getting ready to pull back onto the road. (Could he have come from the Top of the World Highway?)

Back on the Tok Cutoff where there was much construction on the northern end, as we passed a break in the woods, we briefly saw a moose standing in a small pond close to the road. What a sight! There was no place to pull off onto the roadside, and we went by so quickly that we didnt get a photo -- but our memories still have the picture.

Heading toward Whitehorse, we we stopped for the night at Mile 1250 of the Alaska Highway on a turnout by a picnic table area, where it just looked like bears should come and visit us by way of the trails leading up the steep hills. Beautiful spruce, quaking aspen and red/orange berries on some low growing bushes. Across the highway, we saw some rock grafitti on the sandy hillside.

Actually, we know there are no bears within miles of this place, because Jake found a grilled chicken breast that had been thrown down the hill, retrieved it, and Herb had to encourage him to "Put!" If there were bears here, they would have gotten the chicken first.

Pictures are here.

Walldog, Willie and Jake

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