June 13, 2008

Top of the World Highway to CHICKEN, ALASKA

On our way to the Ferry, we run across Dean & Reg once agaion to discover they had a fine trip up to Innuvik, only having to stop once to replace a transmission clutch band. They got on the Ferry ahead of us, and just watching it cross the Yukon was a treat….it reminded us so much of the Mississippi back home.

Once across we are on the famed “Top of the World” Highway that leads to the US border at “Border”. Although dirt (well every now & then there’s a trickle of gravel), it was pretty smooth and mostly free of heaves & potholes.
It wasn’t to long before we pass our Model T friends again, and ran ahead to the border. This view of the customs facility at the border confirms to us that this has to be the most remote crossing point in North America!

Arriving there, we were cordially greeted by an agent much more interested in our kayaks and travels than our passports, so we enjoyed a few minutes chat, and learned that this is the “vacation duty” spot for customs agents.

Ironically, the road on the US side (now called the Taylor Hwy) was far worse than it’s Canadian counterpart..interesting isn’t it??
So, now we come to the settlement of Border, a few old relics and a small store. We enjoyed the rustic charm of this place, everything was old fashioned with the exception of the generator humming out back…yep you’re hundreds of miles off the grid out here!

Just a little farther and we ARE in CHICKEN! Now what a name for a town, the story goes that the original founders wanted to name it after the Ptarmigan, but were uncertain as to the correct spelling. Well, the darn bird looks like a little Chicken, right? So, there you have it, straight from “official” sources. Now everything in Chicken is about Chickens (or Eggs)….

We also meet our friends Jess & Susie at the campground. Turns out they had traveled the Taylor "Highway" the day before in the rain. There jeep (which they tow behind a pickup camper) told the story of just how messy a dirt "Highway" in Alaska in the rain can be!

Before leaving I couldn’t pass up a visit to the airstrip, and sure‘nuf the Alaska special was there, a SuperCub wi
th tundra tires….