Good morning and goodbye Dawson... We head to Whitehorse today with several stops along the way. But first..."In the grass and weeds" we found this old Ford rusting away just down the streetfrom the older cemetery. Unfortunately most of the markers were not readable any longer becauseof the rotted wood but afew of them we could read the birth dates to be the early 1800''s. The first cabin belonged to the poet Robert Service. The second was the place that the author Jack London lived...
Finally the Yukon River and the free ferry ride across to see and explore the history of Dawson City... It still has the feel of the gold rush days and that makes it a real joy to finally get here.
Our drive to Tok was quite quick but then from there to Chicken time was something we just had to put behind us. The dirt roads had recently been plowed and we were grateful for that. Chicken was much smaller than I had imagined and of course very expensive. About 5 miles further out we found a Forest service campground. We were 1 of 3 others there and with the border crossing open only from 8 to 8, there was no vehicle traffic to spill the quiet serenity of this beautiful outback. This was and still is GOLD territory with private stakes all along the river banks. Large "Sluice" machines dotted the river for miles.
Left the Denali campground this morning and headed for "The Top Of The World" highway. On the way we stopped off for a look at Nanenana River and "town center". This is the place were the bets are made for the correct moment when the river ice breaks up in the spring. It also is one of the locations where President Harding spent a night after hammering the golden spike to start the Alaskan rail system. He slept in a room above the ticket office. Unfortunately the town is just about ready to be ancient history which is too bad...
Yep, the best burger I've had yet in Alaska...
Denali, no surprise !!! It is AMAZING..., The mountains, tundra, permafrost, and ANIMALS, all LARGE and absolutely beautiful... Then there is the WILDERNESS as it was before man MESSED with it !!! Sorry about the wolf picture, it was early morning on the windows still were somewhat steamed over. The rest, some far away and others right beside the bus. Altogether we were on the bus just over 12 hours and traveled about 200 miles of amazing beauty round trip.
A second day of hiking with Pauline and Malcolm with a couple of close sightings...moose (watching us very closely and making us a little nervous) and a black momma black bear... After two days of hiking our legs are a little weary, but now we will have a little drive time to repair. Last night we had a wonderful dinner of salmon at Malcolm's son and daughters-in-laws beautiful home...SPECIAL TREAT !!!
We have been in the Anchorage area now for 6 days and have found ourselves busy each and every day. A navy buddy and his lovely wife (Bo and Jeanie from Gulf Shores, Alabama) joined us for a couple of days. Last Saturday the 4 of us enjoyed about 3 hours at the farmers market (this is one huge farmers market that is spread for blocks right in town) and a self-guided tour around town. Yesterday Malcolm and Pauline joined us for a hike up Flat Top mountain followed with dinner at Humpy's. I must say when they post "difficult" in listing the hike, I think I'll reconsider hiking that trail and find one more in keeping for a hiker of my age and ability...I'm sure to feel this hike for some time.
Well the transmission is back in working order and we were off to Steward. Our first stop was the aquarium, then the local brewery for a couple of the local brewing tastes including dinner, and then out to the city beach/campground for a gathering of campers at the fire pit to meet some great people from around the world (5 countries were represented at tonight's bonfire). Then this morning we were off to explore Exit Glacier. Tonight we have moved on to Anchorage and are looking forward to meeting a lot of friends that have also opted for an amazing journey to this amazing Alaska.
While still in Homer we were lucky to see a few more locals... The Elks Club is the first picture and sits on the low cliff above the sea. The Elk were walking the beach, and of course the local farmers market, and the beautiful birds of Alaska.