Day 18. Monday 5 September.
Goodbye, Johny Horton. For you, Ula & Ian:
North to Alaska
You go north, the rush is on
North to Alaska
I go North, the rush is on.
Well, it was on 120 years ago. But now we’re heading south.
After a tour of original Chicken, (mostly based around a 19 year old teacher’s experience), we set off. It was only 170 odd kilometres, but most of it was over dirt roads which were narrow and winding. That said, they were mostly in good condition.
But the scenery! The hills were kind of bald (relatively) but covered in lichen and low scrub of pink, gold, russet…with blue mountains beyond and beyond…….The Top of the World Highway is only open for part of the year…but what a gem. We had CB radio contact as an extra security but given the clear conditions, it was a bit of a toy.
We had been warned of the things we couldn’t take over the border into Canada: apart from alcohol, we were warned that anything uncooked wouldn’t get through, and we would likely have at least a three hour delay. In the event, it was the three Fs – ‘Do you have any fruit, firewood or firearms?’ Having eaten or disposed of all vegetable matter, and having boiled all our eggs at the layby just before the border post, we were honestly able to say ‘No’ to all three and passed through in about 5 minutes, being wished ‘welcome to Canada’.
The road twisted and turned, with dust galore and we came down to the Yukon River, the transport highway for so long.
A little free ferry brought us across into Dawson City, a tourist town on the permafrost, complete with raised timber footpaths, architecture straight out of Western movies and bugs (like sandflies) galore.
T has been nursing lumpy welts on head, face and behind ears for a few days…the manager of the RV park says ‘it takes years to get rid of the histamines from these autumn-loving bugs’….someone in the group has an anti-histamine drug, which T duly takes and thinks about her ‘I’m not allergic to anything back home’ status.