Dennis was awake early, before 6am and thought it would be a good idea if we got on the road. I didn’t think it was such a good idea but, reluctantly, got up.
Continuing south east from Harding Lake was a very pretty drive. Lakes on one side, the Tanana River on the other, forests and the majestic snowy peaks of the Alaska Mountain range towering in the distance.
We stopped at Delta Junction for a coffee and to post some birthday cards. A mistake to stop, as the Land Rover did not want to start again. We had to get a kind person to give us a tow! First time the starting issue has been this serious! Delta Junction is quite an interesting little settlement. We stopped again, in trepidation, at the Visitor Centre, where we made use of their wifi and took some photos of the Mile Post Monument commemorating the end of the Alaska Highway. Thankfully we got started, but stopped again shortly afterwards at the Farmers Market and Museum. No problem getting going again though. One just never knows!
After we had been on the road for about another hour Dennis said he was tired and I must take over driving. So much for his enthusiasm for getting on the road early! He immediately fell asleep, while I carried on, listening to him snoring away! On waking he was hungry so we pulled over at a rest spot for some lunch.
While we were parked Dennis had a chat with a truck driver who was attaching a truck to a trailer parked next to us. He told Dennis there had only been a foot of snow this winter (a foot sounds a lot to an English woman), obviously not for Alaska though. Also that the temperature had been 70 degrees F at the beginning of May. However, according to that moron who is currently in the UK and our poor Queen has had to entertain, there is no such thing as “climate change” or “global warming”. Yesterday I read, and I cant remember whose prediction it was, that we will destroy ourselves by 2050. With the damage we have done and continue to do to the world, I can see that happening. Yesterday Dennis thought he was too negative in his blog. I better lighten the tone today and not get too pessimistic.
Soon we reached Tok, the only township we have visited twice, having gone around in a complete circle. Not stopping this time, we headed north at the Taylor Highway aiming for Chicken 67 miles to the north east. Why on earth call a place Chicken?? Apparently when it was just a tented mining encampment, the settlers wanted to call it Ptarmigan, due to the large number of these birds in the area. They couldn’t agree on how to spell Ptarmigan though. As they are similar large birds, they called it Chicken. There is not much to it. An old gold dredge and a few cafes, RV parks and tatty tourist shops selling “I got laid in Chicken”T shirts and caps.
The ride, virtually the entire 67 miles to Chicken from the Alaska Highway, has been scenically marred by 2 enormous fires which happened in 2004 and 2005. We have been told no effort is made to put out these forest fires. The forests have no commercial value and there is virtually no habitation to be concerned about. It is not worth the cost of trying to extinguish them. Apparently there are currently some fires burning in Canada, which may affect our future route. There is a website available with information on any fires, so we will be able to check out any possible hazards.
Tonight we are camped about 10 miles further on from Chicken, where the road changes to gravel. Once we reach the border it will change it’s name to the Top of the World Highway. A quiet little spot between the road and the river. Just enough space to put up the Caranex and access to the river for water – so we can have a shower tonight :}