Glenn Highway, Tok Cutoff, Taylor Highway
Trip Start Jul 02, 2008
24Trip End Sep 12, 2008
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Where I stayed
Chicken Gold Camp and Outpost
Just west of Glenallen, the highway passes over the Alaska Pipeline. Of course, we stopped for pictures. We stopped at the local grocery store in Glenallen for snacks, coffee, and other things.
Once we made the turn north, the views of Mt Sanford (16,237 ft), Mt Drum (12,010 ft), and the other mountains in the Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve were astounding. Actually Drum looks higher than Sanford simply because it is closer to the highway..
Like the group stopped to look at the grizzly bears up by Exit Glacier, we spotted another group pulled off to the side of the road - this time for a pair of trumpeter swans in an absolutely beautiful pond. More pictures, not only of swans but of reflections.
The fall colors were starting in this area and we took advantage of the views on both sides of the road - mountains on one side and changing trees on the other. The condition of the highway got worse with frost heaves and gravel areas the farther north we went
We stopped in Tok for diesel and a semi pulled in behind us - couldn't resist taking a picture of his license plates. Was the first time I'd seen a vehicle that is triple registered. Bought a sorta unintentional souvenir in Tok. I wanted coffee and they didn't have lids for the to-go coffee cups. Ended up buying the coffee and spending $15 for a Tok travel cup. Now there's a way to sell souvenirs.
At Tok we turned right (east) on the Alaska Highway and proceeded to Tetlin Junction where we turned north again onto the Taylor Highway
The closer we got to Chicken, the prettier the fall colors got. The fires in 2004 cleared huge areas of black spruce (not a real attractive tree as trees go) and now the underbrush is willow and raspberry bushes and fireweed. Most of the fireweed has bloomed out and is anywhere from green to yellow to fiery red to maroon.
We found an RV spot at Chicken Gold Camp and Outpost (the RV park is a recycled gold mine) and went down to Beautiful Downtown Chicken, a combination store, restaurant, bar, and liquor store (pictures of that in tomorrow's blog).