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Back to the USA--Top of the World and Taylor Highways

Today we reached Alaska at last! We joined the line of RV's waiting to board the George Black, the tiny, free ferry across the Yukon River at Dawson Creek. The ferry can only take 1 large RV and a couple of other vehicles at a time, so this 15 minute ride in a 40 ft. motorhome is quite an experience. We both made it across and started up the Top of the World Highway, as the Canadian section is called. The weather was perfect, the scenery was spectacular, and the first few miles of the highway were paved which made for a pleasant drive. Then the fun began. The remainder of the highway to the border of Canada and the USA was sections of pavement interspersed with dirt and gravel, and it was full of dust, potholes, bumps, dips, and washboard sections. The border crossing was the easiest and most pleasant that we have ever experienced, with both the Canadian and American agents being very pleasant and easy to work with. The first 13.5 miles on the American side, now called the Taylor Highway, were paved! but after that, we had many more miles of dirt, gravel, etc. By the time we completed the 103 miles to the Goldpanner RV Park in Chicken (our destination for the night), both rigs and cars were covered in dust. We were all SO ready to stop for the night. We had dinner at the 40 Mile Steakhouse at the campground, checked out the gift shop and some of the funny signs and chicken sculptures around the park, then gratefully settled in for the night. Chicken, Alaska, is such a funny little place. It was originally supposed to be named Ptarmagen after a bird in the area, but no one could spell it so they called it Chicken instead. There are 3 commercial areas, each with an RV park, and a restaurant of sorts, and one has a saloon. Each has a gift shop carrying many "chicken" souvenirs. The RV sites have no water or sewer, and the electricity is iffy at best as it is run by generator and fluctuates with the number of RV's parked there. There are only 2 flush toilets in Chicken, and there is no phone, TV, or internet service. There is a post office, but mail is only received on Tuesday and Friday. However, no trip to Alaska would be complete without seeing Chicken.