Today we crossed the Canada/US border and traveled past Chicken, AK. on the Top of the World Hwy. The actual travel was 3.5 hours and 126.8 miles of rough road. But first it was a very long wait for the ferry to cross the Yukon. We arrived at 8 a.m. and didn’t all cross until afternoon.
There was a Caravan of 18 RV’s in line that arrived at 5 a.m., and we also had to wait for the fuel tanker to fuel up the ferry and a sewer truck got to cut in line to cross the ferry. They also occasionally had to use the dozer to add more dirt to the ramp. Several ferry trips only took cars, who waited in a second line. Lots of delays.
While we were waiting, walking around talking to everyone else waiting in line, an employee from the Visitor Center in period costumed came to chat and hand out little trinkets, pins etc. of Dawson to help ease the stress of waiting.
We finally crossed at 1:45 p.m. Ron & Tina crossed by 2:30, Keith and Lisa at about 2:50 pm. Lisa had taken a trip on the ferry as a pedestrian to the other side early on, before we crossed, to be able to get photos of us all crossing the Yukon. Poor thing, it was a long wait.
While waiting to cross, the guys would chat to one another on the CB radio. At one point the Ferry Captain (who was on the same channel) explained to them that he was taking more of the cars (in the separate line) because there was a wedding across the river that afternoon that had to be there in a timely manner. We thanked him for the explanation.
We drove the “Top of the World Hwy” with amazing vistas, and crossed the Canada/US Border. The first part of the highway was paved then it became a dirt & gravel road. After the border we came down in elevation and were following along a river. This is where the most exciting part happened.
We came across several herds or perhaps small portions of a large herd of Caribou. Lots of adorable babies and bucks with large racks. They were grazing along the road side, along the river, and just milling around in the middle of our road. At one point, they decided they had the right of way and wanted to just stand their ground.
After quite a long "photo op", a commercial truck across from us decided he had enough photos and started inching his truck forward. The Caribou reluctantly decided to move along and filtered off into the wood. Keith had engine power issues again towards the end with the uphill grades and limped into camp.
We arrived at BLM (Bureau of Land Management) West Fork campground at 6:40 p.m. Alaska time (we gained an hour). After having dinner, Lisa brought champagne out to share with the group, having finally made it to Alaska.