Adventure Caravans / tours by RV to Alaska and the Canadian Rockies in 2008
Adventure Caravans / tours by RV to Alaska and the Canadian Rockies in 2008
Day 22 - Dawson City, YT to Chicken, AK
It is now about 6:45 AM and we are starting to line up at the ferry terminal to get across the Yukon River. The ferry is just coming in. Phil and Sue Schaaf are the first to drive aboard the ferry. It can take two motorhomes and two to three cars in one crossing.
They are leaving the dock. If you look closely, the dock is nothing more than a gravel pier. If it gets washed away,they have a front end loader that just puts more gravel down. The current is very swift so as the ferry leaves it gets swept downstream until it gets turned toward the other bank.
The other side has the same type of gravel pier. We really did not have any problems boarding or driving off. The entire round trip takes about 10 minutes. We couldn't believe our eyes when we say small chunks of ice floating down the river.
The day started out sunny and clear. The gravel roads were OK on the Yukon side. It had rained the previous day, so dust was not a problem.
The scenery continued to be great until we ran into the clouds and the visibility decreased significantly. The max speed all day was 35 MPH and most of the time we were driving between 25 and 30 MPH.
We were in and out of the fog as we drove up and down the valley.
We crossed into Alaska at Poker Creek, AK. We were still in the fog as you can see from the above picture.
We almost missed this sign, so I stopped in the road and went back to take a picture. As soon as we arrived in Alaska, the roads were more narrow and not as well maintained.
This was the only commercial stop along the way. We chose to just take a picture from the road and continue on. I got a kick out of the GPS. The road felt about as narrow as the GPS depicts it to be.
These two pictures give you an idea of the width of the road and how steep the embankment is on the RH picture. The shoulders were very soft. When we encountered truck or RV traffic from the opposite direction, I always pulled to my side of the road and stopped. I didn't want to be driving in the soft shoulder, so I let the other guy do that.
This is the sign arriving at Chicken, AK (Pop. 8) A string of our Caravan arrives at the campground.
Since Susan and I did not get a chance to go through the dredge in Dawson City, we were pleased to see a dredge at the Chicken Gold Mine and RV Campground. So we took the tour which was provided by the owner. This is the rear of the dredge where the tailings and the two sluices dump their material. This is the front of the dredge that does all the work of digging into the creek bed. When it is working, there are large buckets that dig out the soil and transport it into the dredge.
It goes into this large cylinder and anything smaller than 3/4 inch fall down into the two sluices that run on either side of the cylinder. They then go down these ramps that had rails running across them and the pads with the small holes he is showing. They used mercury in the small holes that attached to the gold which made the gold flakes heavy and were held by rails until removed.
This is it!! This is downtown Chicken, AK. That's right, four stores, the Mercantile Emporium, a liquor store, a saloon and a cafe. Here Susan Shallbetter and Carol Buck pose for us outside the Emporium.
Outside the saloon, a couple of customers lounge in chairs and inside they have all sorts of items nailed to the ceiling; including hats and various selections of women's under garments.
That evening, Susan Shaaf along with a couple of the Caravan ladies, prepared a delicious meal for us. The RV Resort has a wonderful covered picnic area we were able to use.
Some of our caravan members took advantage of the sluice to pan for gold. I know it is difficult to see, but Lynne is pointing to a gold flake in her pan. Hmmmm.
Millie and Frank Cotten were the proud recipients of two "I drove the Top of the World Highway and Survived"
T-shirts.
At the end of the evening, a number of us sat around a fire and revisited the day's journey.
We are all very happy to have Spence and Madi Schaaf as our Tail Gunners. They have been called into action twice on this trip to help stranded members. It makes us all feel more comfortable knowing they are behind us in case we need any assistance.
Day 23

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