Week 14: Delta Junction, AK to Chicken, AK to Dawson City, YT

We had hoped to visit Chicken earlier in the trip to go to Chickenstock Music Festival, but unfortunately it sold out before I had a chance to get tickets. But Chicken is on the way to Dawson City, so we got a second chance. We spent the night in the ‘free camping’ area outside the Saloon, and met lots of interesting folks in the Saloon, mostly folks from other parts of Alaska passing through. Chicken was once a thriving gold town, but is now only about 40 people (in summer). See the photo below, which explains all.

Then on to Dawson City via the top of the world highway, which was beautiful. The end of this road is supposed to be a 5 minute ferry ride across the Yukon River into Dawson City, but the ferry was out of the water to replace the propeller (see photo below). Luckily there was a nice campground near the ferry terminal, and they were running a ‘pedestrian ferry’ (a small fishing boat that held about 8 people), so we could still get into town. The ferry was back in the water by the time we were ready to move on, so we were not really impacted. The ferry runs all summer, and you can drive across the river in the winter. But spring/fall you are stuck on one side or the other, unless you fly.

Getting ready to put the ferry back in the river

The history of Dawson City is fascinating. The population went from 20 to 20000 to 2000 between 1895 and 1905, and it’s still about 2000 today. Parks Canada has done an excellent job preserving/restoring historic buildings, and runs a great walking tour of several of the buildings.

We happened to be in town for the annual ‘outhouse race’ in Dawson City. Only two teams entered this year, possibly because no one wanted to do the ‘poop the potato’ relay with a potato covered in chocolate fudge (I think it was chocolate…). But the event was really fun to watch.

This week’s photos are here.

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