Friday, January 23, 2009

Almost Normal

Well right now it is 9 degrees, almost normal. Normal is a high of -1 and low of -19 degrees F. We did get some snow this week, to make up for the melt we had last week.

One of the trips the wife and I took while we were here, is to Dawson City in the Yukon. This sometimes gets confused with Dawson Creek, which is the starting point of the Alcan Highway that runs to Fairbanks.

We went there in the fall of 2007 and the scenery was lovely. To get there from here, you have to go to Tok and just before the Canadian border turn left on the Taylor highway (AK - 5) which takes you to Chicken, AK. This was the second town in Alaska to be incorporated.

So how did they come up with a name like Chicken. Easy, no one could spell Ptarmigan, which they wanted to call their town. Read about the how they selected the name Chicken here. And read more about Chicken, AK here. This is a picture of Chicken.

As we left Chicken, we headed east toward Boundary, Alaska. Boundary is just before the Canadian border. And around the start of the Top of the World Highway. The highway has breath taking views, especially in the fall it is beautiful. This highway runs almost all the way to Dawson and was created following old miners trails.

When we got to Dawson, we had to take a ferry across the Yukon River into Dawson. I think I mentioned in one of my first posts that the first bridge across the Yukon was built in the 70s, to support the pipeline construction north of Fairbanks. This ferry is run by the government and is free.

In Dawson, what surprised me was the numerous hotels but the lack of parking. In fact when we checked in about 4 that afternoon, I asked where to park and was told, in the street. We were about the only ones in the hotel at the time, but that was about to change.

Around 6 that night, while the wife and I were having a beer, all these buses started coming in from Fairbanks, Whitehorse and I think some from Anchorage. These buses filled up the hotels with tourist and explained why there was no parking spaces. The town existed for tourist coming in on buses.

More about our visit to Dawson next week.