Happy Birthday, America! We celebrated the 4th of July in a unique way…we crossed the border from the Yukon Territory to Alaska! However, our route was a precarious one. We left Moose Creek Government Campground around 11AM and headed toward Dawson City. It was very interesting to see all of the gold mining areas along the Klondike River as we arrived into town. Dawson City has been maintained as it was over 100 years ago. It has many historic buildings, dirt streets and wooden sidewalks. We decide to have lunch at one of the shops on Front Street. It was a beautiful day so we sat outside on the wood deck (that matched the sidewalks). After we ordered our food, Mark was putting his wallet in his pocket and two credit cards fell onto the deck; however, only one was under the table. At a closer look, he determined that his driver’s license was missing and must have fallen through the gap between the wood planks. The waitress said she was short-handed and couldn’t help and that the owner would be back soon. In a few minutes, the owner came by and said that she didn’t have any way to remove the planks and that she would need to call someone. Mark said he had some tools in the Airstream and asked the owner if it would be okay if he tried to remove the planks to get to his drivers license. She said sure so Mark and Sean went to the trailer and in a few minutes came back with screwdrivers, a small sledge hammer and a crowbar. Using the crowbar Mark was able to remove one short plank and get his license. Using the sledgehammer, he pounded the screws and plank back in place. We told the owner that everything was fine and we left. Mark was happy he put the crowbar into the trailer for the trip!
Downtown Dawson City
With the driver’s license in tow, we headed for the ferry to get across the Yukon River.
We waited for about an hour and then we were signaled to drive on with a few other vehicles. It was the first time the Airstream has been on a boat ride. It was all fairly uneventful as we drove off the ramp on the other side and only slightly scraped the deck.
As we left the shore of the Yukon River, we had know idea of what was ahead. It is approximately 160 miles across the “Top of the World” Highway to get back to the Alaska Highway. After a short time on this road, we realized that this was going to be a long, rough ride. The highway follows several ridgelines over the mountains and the condition of this highway was very bad. The scenery was spectacular but the drive was difficult. We were thrilled to reach the “Top of the World” and decent into the border crossing checkpoint. The border officer was very friendly and told us that we were at the halfway point of the highway. We were excited to be in Alaska at last! We were also excited to see a new asphalt road leaving the border! Unfortunately after a few miles, the road went back to the same condition as the Yukon side and we slowed to a crawl to negotiate ruts, potholes and rocks. We were happy to finally get to the town of Chicken and stopped to take a look around. It is a very cool little settlement. We left Chicken and entered into a construction area that was so bad, we though we may need to put the truck in 4WD to get through. From there, the road continued to be poor and it felt like it took forever to get back to the Alaska Highway. We finally made it to Tok at 10PM and after fueling, we drove to Moon Lake State Campground and found a great campsite adjacent to the lake. We BBQ’d sausages and celebrated the 4th of July with dinner at 11:45PM. We were all happy to be done with the “Top of the World” highway!