Dawson City & Top of the World Highway
Eagle Travel Blog› entry 85 of 167 › view all entries
Long, but great day today!
Enjoyed chatting with our new friends from
Also admired our
Talked with the Sourdough (old-timer) from the Dempster and he clarified that the north section was the worst he’d ever seen it. The construction site around there was dangerous mud. I was glad I was frank with the guy who’d been standing in the road to seek the opinion of those who’d just driven from
What a fun town! I wish we’d had more time here, but I’d love to take Ned back there in the future. We took a
What I would love to see when we go back is the dredge, the Discovery Claim, the Midnight Dome (and drink a glass of champagne at midnight), the fun at Diamond-Tooth Gertie’s including the entire can-can show, the mummified human toe in a drink at Sourdough Joe’s (but I’ll pass on the drink personally), ride the paddleboat on the Yukon, pan for gold, visit the First Nations’ Museum, watch the 3 movies at the Visitor’s Center, read the books “Klondike” and “I Married the Klondike” and “Rebel Women of the Klondike”, etc. You see, there is so much to do there! It is hard to tell whether a town has very much, but
We were able to purchase a few “I Survived the Dempster” t-shirts, which features mud on the car, luggage flying off the roof, and bloodshot eyes of screaming passengers! Haha! Also, we finally found some Fireweed Jelly and Fireweed Honey. It’s a purple flowering plant and we’ve been told the honey and jelly are delicious.
To head on up the road, you get on the main road at the
So where to go, where to go….
We asked a few people, in fact, about the Top of the
RV driver at ferry (I parked right after the ferry and jumped out to ask the RV’s in line (which were filthy), who’d just come over Top-of-the-World Hwy, how the road was): “Horrible, terrible, awful, potholed, miserable, and raining every few minutes… by the time you get to Chicken, you’ll have had enough of that road, let alone going to Eagle.”
Woman in Raven’s Roost: “Bad road, in 1 day on July 1st (Canada Day), they received their entire annual rainfall and it washed out the road in places and going up to Eagle is even worse.
Gas pump man at Boundary: “The next 40 miles are (insert expletive) and the road to Eagle is REALLY (insert expletive)! The whole last week has been rain and there’ve been buses going off the road. I would not drive the curvy mountain road in this RV. A car maybe, but not this.”
So, we thought about it.
And we drove it!
Top of the
Okay, to be fair, the road does require concentration, high-alert, low speed, and lots of cautious driving. I can do that. It takes a long time if you’re going along carefully in an RV. Fine, we take our time. But it was not punishing or jarring for the most part. The view was magnificent. The mountains were not overly steep and Ciao Baby never broke a sweat.
But I didn’t argue with him, I just handed over the notarized letters, we chatted about our trip, fruit (we got to keep our Washington apple- no not the same one we brought into Canada), and after he did license plate and passport checks (he didn’t even know what Global Entry was), we made our way into the great land of Alaska.
Eagle Decision Point: Should we skip Eagle or risk the road to it? Well, we can always turn back.
So we took it!
And it was similar to my description of Top of the World: Very slow, required careful concentration, and for the entire 60 miles, we rarely reached 30 mph. The road is, for the most part, one lane and if someone is coming, you’d want to stop and inch by each other in most places.
Thank the Lord, it was bone dry for 95% of the drive. If it rains, I’m out of here, because it is dirt in places and would get slick. But it was far smoother than the rest of the Top of the World Highway!
The road the final 10 miles into Eagle is in pretty bad condition, but 10 miles is not far and you can pick your way over it. Also, in two places, the road is down to one lane with cones blocking off the crumbling edge of the outside lane. Rock slides limit the other side of the road. So it is a tricky road in places, that’s true, but it is not a bad road when it is dry.
Guess how many cars we saw on the way here to Eagle? One! And that was just 10 miles from Eagle, coming toward us.
I felt sorry for the hitchhiker we waved to as we passed- I assured Lia that he’d pass us in a truck in just a few minutes- oops. It’s a shame that a few bad apples have spoiled that classic form of travel for everyone, but sadly it’s not something I’ll risk with the kids or me.
It is a gorgeous drive to Eagle! This road is actually the continuation of Top of the
We rode through Eagle before coming into the BLM Campground on the NW side of town- it is interesting. Lia said she felt sorry for the people here because they are poor, so we talked about what “wealth” and “poor” mean to some people and how “rich” they are in fresh air, nature, beauty, trees, values, family, neighborliness, etc. and how I’ll bet the people here don’t envy the rat-race of those of us in more populated and “rich” places.
We’re hoping to take a tour tomorrow and then head down to Chicken to see where Anne Purdy taught. We cannot recommend highly enough in the book “Tisha”. Just don’t blame me if you stay up until the wee hours of the night finishing that fascinating book! You’ve been forewarned. J
We’ve changed our watches AGAIN. I think that’s two time zones in 2 days. With the sun up all the time, we don’t know what time it is. Days are long and fun can be packed into all hours. There is no limit on driving as you can see around the clock (although it does become like twilight)��" actually, as I look outside, it looks quite dark in this forest. I guess we’re further south now.
Hoping to make it to Tok tomorrow night, then