Today we boarded the Ferry to cross the Yukon to continue to Alaska on the Top of the World Highway. The highway was decent on the Yukon side, no potholes as in 2009. About 50 miles gravel road was pretty good, with few washboard areas then pavement with a few repair spots at 80 km marker.
Happily, it was a sunny day on Top of The World Highway with views of many layers of mountains. So often on this leg of our trip we could see the highway extending great distances ahead.
“Yukon Highway 9 began as a pack trail out of Dawson City shortly after the gold rush. It serviced “Sixty-mile” and neighboring gold creeks. The trail was gradually improved and came to be known as Ridge Road. In the 1930’s, the road was extended to the border and from there to Jack Wade and Chicken, connecting these eastern Alaskan communities to Dawson City in Canada. In the late 1940’s, Alaska’s Taylor Highway gave all these communities road access to the outside world by way of the newly completed Alaska Highway.”
From the vantage of the highest point on the highway, we could see the border crossing ahead. Its location is called Poker Creek. As we approached the border we were surprised to see a line of RVs and motorcycles. Since we had been passed by the motorcyclists and not seen other RVs ahead of us it was strange to see so many waiting in line.
Finally, one of the Canadian guards came along to inform everyone of the delay. There had been an accident with injuries nine miles west of the crossing, a biker had gone down. There are only two guards for each side and one of the US border guards had to go to the accident scene with medical supplies, leaving only one guard to process the incoming travelers. With so many bikers going back to Tok after the rally weekend in Dawson, they had to be processed one at a time. Slow process. We were held up for over an hour at the border.
After crossing the border, we came upon the accident scene. There was an ambulance, from Tok, and they were placing the injured biker inside. Several bikers that had been in front of us in line at the crossing, were standing guard on the highway directing traffic around the accident site.
The highway that was paved with a yellow centerline abruptly stopped and became a gravel dirt road the rest of the way to Chicken. It was pretty well hard packed and smooth for a dirt road. We passed by some heavy machinery that was filling trucks with dirt and rocks like crazy, so many trucks going west filled and coming back empty for more. We found out why later on.
We arrived at Chicken Gold Camp RV and Café, set up and went inside for lunch before walking around the park to see the dredge and watch people pan for gold. I came across the motorhome that crossed the Yukon on the Ferry in front of us (see the photos) and asked for her email address so I could send her the photos of their crossing. She was delighted and we chatted for a while. The greatest joy about RVing and camping is meeting people and sharing experiences.