Side Trip to Chicken

Tok Travel Blog

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Looking toward the Alaska Range

There is a town in Alaska on the Taylor Highway between Tok and Dawson City named Chicken.  The story goes that the original settlers of the town wanted to name the town after the state bird, the ptarmigan, but did not know how to spell it.  Since the ptarmigan resembles a chicken, sort of, they did the next best thing and named the town Chicken.  The post office is Chicken has been operating since 1903.  The town grew up around the gold mining of the time. 

Today we set off to visit Chicken.  The drive from Tok took about two hours.  While we were there we took a tour of the original town site which is now run down and deteriorating.  The town was fully occupied until the dredge owners stopped operations in 1967.  The town is also the setting for the book, Tisha, based on the life of a local schoolteacher in the 1920’s. 

Then we took a walk through what is now “beautiful downtown Chicken”.

In addition to the porcupine, we also saw a caribou, hawk and snowshoe hare.  None of them stayed around for a photo op however,

We arrived back to the campground with just enough time to get a little dinner and head to the “Pancake Toss”.  The campground holds a pancake toss nightly and if you get a pancake in the “buckit”, you win a free breakfast.  We didn’t win, although we started our day with the pancake breakfast here today.  The owner’s brother, Danny, is trying to carry on Ken’s traditions with the pancake toss.   He was a lot like we remembered Ken although just not quite the same.  It remains to be seen if Ken’s wife can keep the campground going.

Tomorrow we have a long drive to Whitehorse where we will spend a few days
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Looking toward the Alaska Range
Looking toward the Alaska Range
Sign for Chicken
Sign for Chicken
Gift shop decor
Gift shop decor
Old town Chicken
Old town Chicken
Womens lodging
Women's lodging
Hotel/school
Hotel/school
Cabin
Cabin
Barns
Barns
Front of school
Front of school
Inside school
Inside school
Roadhouse
Roadhouse
Beautiful Downtown Chicken
Beautiful Downtown Chicken
Chicken Post Office
Chicken Post Office
Porcupine heading off the road
Porcupine heading off the road
Tok