Monday, August 21, 2006

Ferry Approaches

The George Black Ferry carries travelers across the Yukon River at Dawson City in the Yukon. The Alcan 5000 Rally got an early start on Day 7 with a quick crossing and a timed TSD section up the hill from the river along the Top of the World Highway.

Dan and I had a little surprise when we found the Saab wouldn't start after we got on the ferry. No worries though, we pushed it off on the west side of the river and the ferry crew brought out a jump starter box to get us moving. After getting it started it didn't have any further problems but it sure gave us a wakeup.

The Top of the World Highway was very dramatic. The road runs along the ridgelines of the mountains so every turn reveals a new vista that takes your breath away. We crossed into the United States at the northernmost border crossing in North America at Poker Creek. It's a remote outpost on the top of a ridge with a great view. Quite a spot to be stationed.

The town of Chicken, Alaska (signed as "Chicken Community") was next along the road and everybody stopped in downtown Chicken to check things out. Apparently the original miners wanted to call the town Ptarmigan but nobody could spell it so they settled on Chicken.

Fast Eddies restaurant in Tok, Alaska was a welcome stop for lunch with quick service and good food. (The halibut sandwich is highly recommended by TeamD.) No time to rest very long, competitors went straight into a timed section before the run into Fairbanks for the night.

Major flooding has struck southern areas of Alaska closing the Parks Highway which goes through Denali National Park and is a major north-south route between Fairbanks and Anchorage. The rally was supposed to take this route south but we now have to reroute on Day 8. Instead of the Parks Highway we'll head back toward Tok and turn south at Delta Junction to our overnight at Glenallen. This shorter day 8 route will give us all time to take the side trip to Valdez, Alaska.

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