Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tales From the Trail – Day 37

Top of the World/Taylor Highway

June 20, 2011

Before I launch into the adventures of this day I just want to mention a couple of interesting things. No. 1, you may remember the blog of us going to Laird springs. The Milepost magazine mentioned that we should be on the lookout for bears. So of course we did look out for them and thank goodness we didn’t see any. We had to walk on a long boardwalk I think it was 1/3 mile through the woods. The trip was uneventful and there were lots of people coming back and forth so we weren’t particularly frightened. Well on the way back from Skagway our bus driver was telling us about his best friend being mauled and killed by a bear at the hot springs recently. However I pulled the story up on the internet and this killing was in 1997 but it was just as he explained it. So don’t know if this was his friend or not. Anyway that was that.

The other interesting thing was while in Dawson City we were having an ice cream and this truck pulled up with a tag on the front that said Inuvik. Well I have heard more abut Inuvik this trip that I have in my entire live from people we have met in our travels who were taking the trip to Inuvik. So I was asking the people from the truck about it. One lady said yes that is her home town and the guy was from there too and the only reason she hung around with him is he was married to her “BFF” who was a First Nation. Well that led in to more discussion and we had a really nice and informational talk with them. And she said “No she doesn’t live in an Igloo and never did” when I said well they are really only used when the people are out hunting for temporary shelters, right? She was quite impressed that I knew that. She said I was the first tourist she had met who knew that. She is a graduate from Penn State and a guide for various trips around. Quite an interesting person and funny as all get out. When I asked here about the “Top of the World Highway” she went ooooogh and shook all over. Then she laughed and said I’m just kidding but guess what. SHE WASN’T! Which brings us to the meat of the blog.

We weren’t supposed to leave Dawson until tomorrow morning but looking at our schedule we have a trip planned for tomorrow evening. A midnight dinner float trip. And we have to meet with the people at 5:45 tomorrow afternoon. After hearing about Top of the World/Taylor Highway ( I will shorten that to TOW & TH) I figured we better get a real early start tomorrow morning like 5 am. Talked to the people at the hotel in Dawson and they said the border doesn’t open until 9 am so that won’t work. Lee finely said we better check out of Dawson and leave today heading for Fairbanks. So we did. Well kids, do you remember the “Little Gray Road” we went on when we went out west in 74? Well TOW made that road look like a super highway and the TH was even worse. We had to catch a little ferry right outside of Dawson to cross the river then from that point on we climbed these mountains on a gravel road. It was raining. It was slippery. And it was foggy. We were on narrow winding mountain roads. Thank God it was rainy and foggy. If I could have seen down those shear drop offs I would have probably had a heart attack rather than being a nervous wreck. Lee, bless his heart gave me permission to “Bitch” until we got to flat land. IT WAS HORRIBLE. Well that was only the beginning. We finely got to the border and into Alaska. The roads got 10 times worse. The roads became clay, narrower and more slippery. At one point in time the sign said “bump in the road” well we came to the bump and I looked over to my right and I saw what caused the bump. The land was shearing off into the ravine. Looked like it was going to go any minute. OMG, I thought I was going to die for sure. Right outside of Chicken AK we came upon a big RV who had run off in a ditch. I truck was towing them out.

Well it was a long day and we finely made it to Fairbanks where we are staying at a Bed & Breakfast. JILL decided to get even with us and took us the wrong way and then next thing we knew we are on, guess what? A narrow little dirt road winding up the mountain. I just wanted to cry. I kept saying OMG what have I gotten us into. Five days up on this mountain. Well after twisting and turning and getting to this impossible road that the dip stick wanted us to turn onto we called the place and said “We think we are lost” Well our host gave us directions and we quit listening to Jill. I think she is defective. In Dawson City she tried her best to get us to go the wrong way. I took her in the information center and asked the lady “have you ever had a GPS come in and ask for directions. She said she didn’t remember that happening. Anyway sure enough she was telling us to go the wrong way. I thing when she gets home she is going to get packaged up and go back to Garmin and as long as we stay in the lower 48 Sally can get us where we want to go. Anyway we are here at Lizzie's Nest Bed & Breakfast with some really nice hosts and a beautiful apartment.

That is all for tonight. It is midnight and still daylight.

Till we meet along the trail again see you soon and Happy Trails to you all.

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