02 June 2012

Top of the World Highway to Alaska!

We finally made it! Not that the whole trip hasn't been a complete adventure, but Alaska was the reason we were doing it all. This morning we left our gorgeous campsite on the Yukon River, across from Dawson City, and rode what is known as the Top of the World Highway. It was a gravel road to the border, and then hard packed dirt from the border to Chicken, AK. (way back when, the residents wanted to name it Ptarmigan, but no one knew how to spell it. Not a joke.)

The gravel road was challenging, and surprisingly enough, really dusty! My bike and I are FILTHY! When we got to the border,we were the only ones for miles crossing. It is the northernmost U.S. border, and it has a population of 2. We waited for a while at the red light, until the border agent came out and very sternly said we had to go one at a time. Josh went first and got the interrogation, (we have communication systems so we were able to listen in on each other's conversation) and then I went next. The border agent was all smiles for me and asking about the trip and weather, and wishing me good weather along the way. Sometimes it pays to be a girl on a motorbike.

We continued riding on a fantastic dirt road into Chicken. There wasn't much to see, but we saw it and had lunch before riding on to Tok. Of course, it rained on us. Doesn't seem to be a day of riding if it doesn't rain on us.

At the visitor's center in Tok, we ran into a guy who was riding a Goldwing around B.C. and Alaska. He told us about a motorcycle campground nearby and then rode off. We walked over to The Burnt Paw where they have mushing equipment and husky puppies that you can play with. Only once we got there, there was a sign up saying all puppies had found happy homes--more puppies next week. OH COME ON! I have been looking forward to playing with sled dog puppies since I discovered this place in October. Total letdown!

We walked back across the street, and as we were getting ready to pullout, another rider on a BMW F800GS pulled up. We chatted and Ovi from Vermont said he would follow us to the campground. What a find this place was! It is called Thompson's Eagle's Claw Motorcycle Campground, and the woman who created it and owns it is great! There were tent sites, a small bunk house, a cabin, a walled tent (we took that one), a tee-pee, and--get this--an ambulance! Seriously. She had an old ambulance she turned into a cabin like sleeping area. Ovi took that.

There was a kitchen area, and after everyone had eaten--Ovi, Josh, myself, Jay from Estes Park, and Don from Vancouver--it was discovered that Ovi's back tire was bad. Well, there was a shop on site, and all the guys went to fix the tire. They said it would take thirty minutes, so I counted on it taking two hours and headed for the sauna! Heavenly!

It was a great night and we all slept really well. We said goodbye the next morning, exchanging contact info, and headed for Fairbanks.



  1. Come on now, how many guys does it take to change a tire? Glad to hear you made it to Alaska. Looking forward to reading more as you continue on your trip. Love from Mom and Dad

  2. How do you spell Chicken?? Remarkable trip. Mom