We're about a week too early for the salmon who will soon begin going home to spawn.
Whitefish built this friendly ladder to help them over the huge power dam. Isn't that nice?
This is just sitting in somebody's yard. What do you do with old bicycle wheels?
The sternwheeler Klondike used to ferry people and goods up and down the river and now is a museum with displays to represent the good old days.
I don't want to know how they milked the reindeer. Must have been Vixen.
The Dawson City Museum where we spent several hours on Saturday, learning all about gold mining and settling a town at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers. Al learned more than I did.
He always does. And he remembers it.
Why it's important to practice good maintenance on your house.
Tom Dually met his Grandfather. Note the hood ornament.
You usta could walk to Russia from here.
These are hardy people! I whine when it gets below 40. Above!
Apparently the pictures didn't load yesterday and I'm learning that's what happens when the connection is agonizingly slow, which is what we have here, even with the fancy Verizon Hot Spot thing-a-ma-jig. I'm going to skip over all the scenery pictures for now but will try the mosquitoes so you can see why Al is tortured by them.
Thursday night found us in the tiny town of Chicken, year-round populan of seven or twelve, depending on the source. No cell phone, no internet, no TV. It's an old gold-mining town, but everything around here is an old gold-mining town. The founders wanted to name it Ptarmigan
(the Alaska state bird), but couldn't agree on the correct spelling, so settled for Chicken.
This gigantic speciman was made from recycled high school lockers.
Apparently those doors can only be slammed so many times before they give up.
The Taylor Highway (yes, they dare to use the word highway) leads from Chicken to the Canadian border. It's much better on the Canadian side where it is the Top of The World Highway, with the highest point being 4,515 feet, above the treeline and the clouds. This is an especially smooth and wide part, but mostly it's narrow and nerve shattering.
Yesterday a big RV slid over the edge, where it was all soft and mushy - no injuries,
but the tow truck looked like it belonged to the Jack's Giant.
It stopped raining in the early evening, so we had better luck this morning at 6:00 - and less dust. Also little traffic because the border doesn't open until 8:00, meaning we had no oncoming traffic for the American part. Still, I wouldn't want to do it every day.
Filled with self-accomplishment pride, Al has bestowed a Ph.D on himself - Pothole Driver.
Now we're in Dawson City, Yukon where Klondike gold mining is still active,
so I'm going out to pick up a few huge nuggets.
Today we went to North Pole, Alaska.
Not THE North Pole, but a small town near Fairbanks where Santa is king every day.
The Post Office really delivers every letter to Santa right here and
local volunteers help him answer each and every one!
There is a display of several outstanding letters.
Apparently Gavin's parents haven't yet gotten to the lessons about greed.
Maybe because he has a computer and printer.
Santa even likes Old Fat Broads.
Comet and Blitzen
Then we went a few more miles to see a section of the Alaska Pipeline.
Please forgive me for photographing all these statistics so I wouldn't have to type them.
Tomorrow we leave Fairbanks, the most Northern point of our trip, and will begin a month-long journey back to the US. We'll be in Canada, mostly in small towns, and know from previous experience that it might not always be easy to get a good wi-fi connection, even with the fancy tools we pay extra for, but that's just the way it is. So don't be flummoxed if I'm not around very often.
This also means that from now on it will be a bit darker. The Fairbanks weather report tells how many hours and minutes of daylight there are each day. Today is nineteen hours and three minutes. Tomorrow will be six minutes and fifty-nine seconds less.