Birds of a Feather: Eagle to Chicken

Chicken Travel Blog

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7.23.08 Eagle to Chicken



At the U.S. border crossing, the kids were tickled with a sign there that said Population 2.  Our passports were stamped with a moose and the town name (which I cannot remember, but will upload a picture when I can). 


Eagle is small.  Dawson City has about 5 square blocks of town.  Eagle has about 25 buildings.  It is always fascinating to see what a town is like.  Will it be one building with all of the town’s services, or will it actually be a viable town with residents? 


The Eagle BLM campground was peaceful and wooded- we left early to catch a town tour.  The headquarters for the Yukon-Charley National Reserve was not the right place, but it was interesting and they directed us to the Courthouse. 


At the Courthouse, the National Park Service guy, Steve, a resident of Eagle for 38 years, began the walking tour, which was fascinating.  We learned so much on the tour:  we saw buildings not normally open to the public and took many pics.  The kids were great during the 2.5 hour tour and really got engrossed in it.  Our tour-mates had floated up the Yukon on a boat (Queen Victoria?) in 3.5 hours and would return in a 5.5 hour journey.  Now that sounds like the way to go!  Everyone was very nice and we hated to leave a few minutes early, but rain was imminent. 


While we did indeed hit storms going back down the Dalton (Top of the World) Highway, I thought the road was even smoother and easier to drive today than last night (perhaps not so tired).  The road to Eagle really is a huge improvement over the rest of the Top of the World Highway that is between Dawson City and Chicken, which is in embarrassing condition, particularly on the U.S. side.  We made it down from Eagle in just over 2 hours. 


On the road south from Eagle, we passed 2 tour buses of Princess and Holland America headed north, but fortunately they have a lead truck with lights and a big sign that says "2 buses follow!" so we knew to watch for them and pull over and stop as they barely skimmed by.  Other than that, we passed 2 cars, one construction truck, and a huge moose in middle of the road!  Oh, we also passed the poor hitchhiker from last night, which made me feel worse.  He'd walked about 9 miles north.  I hope someone helped him out.


Lia was all in a tither because I didn't pick up 2 hitchhikers in Eagle who were headed south, our direction.  They looked like young college students with backpacks and signs that said, "I'm nice!"  They were humorous about it too, but I was just inflexible with that self-imposed safety rule.  Then I felt bad too.  I wonder if there's some way to quiz them, take their passport numbers and leave them with Ned, call their Mom, something that would make it safe.  No other cars passed us headed south, so we might have been their last chance today.  Hopefully not.


We made it back to the Dalton Highway and on to Chicken.


Chicken is the location of the "Tisha" book and the historical town is privately-owned by the owner of the Goldpanner RV park.  He’s in Tok for the day and may not return in time for the 9am morning tour, but we’ll see.  there is a fake "old town" of Chicken on the other side of the highway and we enjoyed the tourist trap, although the 2 buses of Princess and Holland America folks were cramming the stores.


We’d decided to visit our Caravan Colorado Springs friends, from Dawson City, who were to be staying in the nearby Gold Rush RV Park in Chicken.  We found them and it was so fun talking with them, seeing the nice shop, taking a picture of a guy who just found a $3000 gold nugget, and panning for gold beside the campground cabin office that we decided to stay for the night.  It was 5pm and we’re going to have Cordon Bleu for dinner!  Yum! 


No phone here- just satellite phone for $3 / 15 minutes if they can get a signal.  We’re thrilled to have satellite internet though. 


Just 2 days before we pick Ned up from Fairbanks Airport!  We cannot wait!


Meagan292 says:
Hey Tessa!

I also have a safety rule about picking up hitchhikers, but I sometimes pine for those seemingly mythical days when hitchhikers were common and it was reasonably safe to pick them up. I've seen a few that I thought were probably okay, but just couldn't bring myself to stop. Anyway, I hope you, Ned and the kids are having fun in Alaska this weekend. I love your blog setup and all of the pictures. It's exciting that all four of you have a voice - everyone has such a different perspective. I'll keep checking in!

Posted on: Jul 27, 2008
cvanzoen says:
Wow, quite a journey you are making. I started noticing it since you came accross a few places I visited a couple of years ago among which the Dempster Highway up and down and now Chicken (it is a funny name for a town). Nice blog!
Posted on: Jul 25, 2008
onegr8horsewoman says:
What a name for a town, "Chicken". Lia is such a softy, Charles is older now and Jazy is probably taller. And it has only been a month since we saw each other. I know you will be so glad to have Ned join you for a few days. I love you all. Grammie
Posted on: Jul 24, 2008
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