Welcome to Alaska

This morning we woke up in a cloud at the top of the world. The border crossing that was in sight before going to sleep last night, was not even visible this morning.

2011-08-14-Good morning fog.jpg2011-08-14-Waking up in a cloud.jpgA bit of breakfast with our delicious blueberries and we made our way to the border.

2011-08-14-Blueberry snack.jpgThe crossing itself posed no real issue, which is a relief after our last entry into the United States. The border agent did however confiscate our tomatoes and firewood which was unfortunate.

2011-08-14-Border crossing.jpg2011-08-14-Welcome to Alaska.jpgWe drove for a while and the road started to get rougher but the scenery just as top notch.

2011-08-14-Burnt forest.jpg2011-08-14-So many views.jpg2011-08-14-Straight and true.jpgWe arrived at Chicken, a town which got its name to avoid the embarrassment of misspelling pharmington, Alaska’s state bird. The ‘town’ consists of 3 main buildings, the gift shop, the cafe and the gas station. The rest is mostly marketing. They provide free coffee, although there are 3 donation jars surrounding the area, they offer free dry camping with a fill up and they also “now have flushing toilets (absolutely free!)”. The last one made me giggle because I had to question if we’re going to have to start paying for washrooms in Alaska. The food on the other hand was somewhat overpriced, it all seemed to be fresh home cooking though so I cut them some slack. In the gift shop you could get practically anything chicken-related your heart could possibly desire. A cool stop over but we pressed on without so much as a drop of gas. We expect prices to come down (for food and gas) as we keep driving inland.

2011-08-14-Chicken, AK (Cellphone snap).jpg2011-08-14-Gift Store (Cellphone snap).jpg2011-08-14-Yup (Cellphone snap).jpgAfter Chicken the road was in variable condition, half gravel, half paved. Along this stretch we found everything to be rather unwelcoming. No trespassing signs everywhere and signs every mile indicating no camping. The signage for the road however, stopped completely – there was a long while there we just didn’t know how much further until the next town. So much so, we pretty much ran out of gas and thought we had severely miscalculated. Having no idea how far we had left to travel we just crossed our fingers. We did however make it – just barely. It’s a scary thought to ACTUALLY run out of gas once we’ve used up the gerry can.

2011-08-14-A quick top up.jpgTok was a nice little town, but again, we didn’t stay long. We wanted to find out what scenery Alaska had to offer. We wanted to get away from the souvenir stores, the big straight Alaska Highway, the oversized machinery and the giant muklucks.

2011-08-14-Alaska highway.jpg2011-08-14-Big things.jpg2011-08-14-Mukluk land?.jpgShortly after that we found a great little spot that we hung out for a while when the sun was trying to shine. It seems we stumbled upon what would be an amazing camp spot with towering trees around and two firepits. Pretty cool, but too bad we have no wood!

2011-08-14-Hidden in the trees.jpg2011-08-14-Pipe burried here.jpgWe ultimately wanted to put some more distance between us and so we continued on, finding the end point of the highway that we started at Mile 0 in Dawson Creek, BC.

2011-08-14-End of the Alaskan highway!.jpgAndrew also found a giant mosquito and got stung.

2011-08-14-Stung.jpgWe grabbed a buffalo burger for dinner and it turned out to be pretty good. This is the first non mainstream meat we’ve really had and it’s not even that far off the beaten track. We really hope to try all sorts of interesting proteins while we’re here.

2011-08-14-We found the Drive-in (Cellphone snap).jpgWe ended up finding another of what seems to be an abundant amount of free camping opportunities down little dirt roads off the main highway. Alaska is looking good so far, we’re looking forward to what tomorrow brings.

2011-08-14-Boondocking tonight.jpg