Fairbanks to Canada Border (Dawson City) (See Map)
|At Tok we met four Canadians cycling on two tandem bicycles whose enthusiasm convinced us to take the high road into Canada via the town of Chicken and Dawson City along the Taylor Highway. Having done less training before setting out from England than we had planned, it was a tough route.
|You can get an idea of what life is like in this part of the world by reading the notice boards – no guns in the bar, moose and caribou antlers for sale, gold claims for lease …
|Don Marshall was a camp site ranger who amazed us by giving us a slide show about Spanish Galleons, a subject on which he has written many books.
|This is Ron and Marge with Don's dog who we were told is an excellent bear deterrent. Only a few days earlier he had chased a black bear up a tree and frightened it so much that it wouldn't come down for three days until Don chopped down the tree!
|We passed through the village of Chicken, which has only 22 inhabitants who are there all year round. It was originally named Ptarmigan after the grouse–like birds common here but the name was changed to chicken because no-one could spell Ptarmigan – close enough. We met an eccentric barman who enjoys firing unusual objects (usually girls’ underwear) from a small cannon into the car park.
|There is still gold to be found in the bedrock of the rivers. These guys showed us how to pan for gold but it seemed too much like hard work for us. You need quite a bit of patience.
|This is one of the machines which used to dredge these rivers for gold – panning for gold on a big scale.