KLONDIKE HIGHWAY 2 TO DAWSON CITY, YUKON:
The route from Whitehorse to Dawson City began as a trail, used first by Natives, trappers, prospectors and then by gold stampeders during the Klondike Gold rush of 1897-98. The Klondike Gold Rush began with the discovery of gold on Rabbit Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River. More than 100,000 gold seekers headed for the Klondike in the spring of 1897. Almost none of them made it to Dawson City by winter of 1897. The ones that did arrive faced starvation in the ill-supplied town and the claims already taken.
Although we found zero gold, we did stop at Braeburn Lodge for the world’s largest cinnamon buns.
DAWSON CITY MILE POST 930:
It is the second largest city in the Yukon Province with a total population of 2,038. It is situated where the Yukon River and Klondike River merge. Located 165 miles south of the Artic Circle, we needed warm clothes and a comforter at night.
Dawson City is a national historic site and has the look and feel of a well-preserved gold rush Wild West town.
Dawson City was a temporary home to two American authors; Robert William Service and Jack London. Robert W. Service’s cabin held artifacts and keepsakes from the Yukon bard. He wrote many poems and parables of the Yukon gold rush. We attended theater shows that read aloud Robert Service “The Cremation of Sam McGee” and “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”. Jack London lived in a cabin when he came up to the Yukon during the gold rush in 1897. The cabin was discovered with his signature on the wall and brought to Dawson City. The museum had an excellent collection of photos tracing Jack London’s journey to the Yukon. The exhibits linked London’s literature with the people he met and the event that occurred in the Klondike with the books “The Call of the Wild” and “ White Fang”.
TOP OF THE WORLD HIGHWAY FROM DAWSON CITY, YUKON TO CHICKEN, ALASKA:
We put the RV and Jeep on a very, very small Dawson City Ferry so to get across the Yukon River. The West Dawson City side of the river began our drive on the Top of the World ‘Highway’. It was slow-going 109 miles of dirt, gravel, potholes, dips, ruts, steep grades, and hairpin turns. The highest point was 4,515 feet elevation. The Yukon to Alaska road meanders on top of a mountain range with breathtaking views of interior Alaska wilderness. We keep looking for the evasive caribou and moose-no luck yet!
Most of the Alaskan roads are affected by Permafrost. Permafrost is a thick subsurface layer of rock, soil or sediment that is frozen for two or more years. Permafrost active layer of freezing and melting causes erosion, and the roads to swell up. It makes for a slow and go drive. A yellow ‘Bump’ warning sign on the roads means slow down right now! We have not broken any of our glasses or dishes yet. We watch in the rear view camera our towed Jeep launch up in the air!
After driving six hours on the 109 mile Top of the World Highway we spent the night in Chicken, Alaska. The population of Chicken Alaska is 23 in the summer and 7 in the winter since the temperature dips to 40 below zero. Most town folk leave in October for Arizona. We got back on The Alaska Highway at Milepost 1301 at Tok, Alaska.
DELTA JUNCTION END OF THE ALASKA HIGHWAY MILE POST 1422:
Delta Junction is the official end of the Alaska Highway, milepost 1422. It began as a construction camp on the Richardson Highway (connects to Fairbanks) in 1919 and then became the end of Alaska Highway in 1939.
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