July 19, Wednesday
We headed south from Fairbanks on the Alaskan Highway at 8:30. There was a stretch of 213 miles through Delta Jct. to Tok, that we mushed along – listening to Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” on audio tape. It was especially fun, as we were following along the Tanana River as Buck (the dog/hero in the story) was mushing along the Tanana to Dawson City.
We stopped at North Pole and the Santa Klaus House, the Knotty Shop, and to take pictures of several moose along the road. We remember Tom's parents sending us a postcard from North Pole, on their Alaska trip back in 1978!
I followed along the Mileposts book, mile-marker by mile-marker . . . backwards! One stop was at the Delta Meat & Packing Company where we bought a lamb breast and some Yak steaks! There was free tasting of the reindeer sausage and the processed meat sticks, and we found the Yak meat stick to be very mild. Time will tell about the Yak Steaks!
Arriving at Tok we re-gassed the truck and pointed our nose 12 more miles down the highway where we left the AlCan and cut off onto the Taylor Highway . . . to Chicken. Chicken is remote – population 23 in summer and 7 in winter and three businesses – one of which is an RV Park. The 66 mile road up to Chicken was paved in some places, graveled or dirt in others, semi-maintained, and scenic. The pavement ended for good just as we arrived at Chicken Gold Camp RV Park -- it was basically an extension of the graveled/dirt road into a big parking lot with about 20 camping rigs backed into the perimeters. They did not have electric or water hookups, but we were prepared for that with full tanks and battery.
A bit about the weather: since we arrived in Fairbanks, the temps have been in the high 70’s! Two days ago the trip to the Arctic Circle was uncomfortably warm in the tour bus, and today, as the thermometer reached 80 on our drive up to Chicken, we had the AC running. We must have acclimatized to 55 degrees during all those weeks on the Inter-coastal Waterway, and anything above 70 seems excessively hot!
We took advantage of a rain shower that lasted about an hour to sit outside under the awning for a nice cool-down. I propped my feet so that the rain gave me a refreshing foot-washing. The day ended with final plans for driving the famed Top of the World highway tomorrow!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown