EASTBOUND

Leaving Alaska was hard. We drove toward the Canadian boarder feeling that we’d only seen a small part of this beautiful, wild place. Nevertheless it was time to start heading south, and we choose to take the long way through Chicken and Dawson City along the Top of the World Highway.

We’d planned to just pass through Chicken, but we noticed a “Free Camping” sign and decided to stay the night.

The campground turned out to be a dirt lot behind the saloon. What it lacked in beauty it made up for in proximity to beer and company.

We found out that the saloon will give you a few free beers if you give the bartender a pair of panties to be shot out of a makeshift cannon for everyone's enjoyment. These belonged to a young Australian lady whose father talked her into it.

We’d been alone on the road for a while, so we were stoked to meet fellow travelers here. It seemed a little ironic that we met so many rad people (and dogs) in a town with a population of 7.

At this point in the year, it was still light though the night, making it easy to lose track of time and stay up all night visiting with new friends.

OH CANADA

After a rowdy final night in Alaska, we continued east to Canada. The road wound across the hilltops treating us to incredible views, and it was easy to see why it’s called the Top of the World Highway. We seemed to reach the highest point at the US/Canadian border, where we were greeted by the border officer we’d met the night before at the Chicken Saloon. After crossing into the Yukon, we slowly descended toward the Yukon River.

When we reached the river, the last ferry had already left, so we made camp that night along the riverbank in the rain.

The next morning the weather was dreary, but we were still excited to check out Dawson City and take a shower.

We packed up camp early and headed to the shore to catch the ferry, which was even smaller and more rickety than we’d expected.

We stayed inside during the short ride, feeling sorry for ferry operators working hard in the rain.

DAWSON CITY

The weather began to clear up when we rode into Dawson, so we decided to take a walk around the old town. Many of the original buildings built during the 1800’s gold rush still stand and new additions mimic the style of these originals. Although it is a typical tourist town full of gift shops and cafes, the remoteness makes it feel more authentic.

That night we found ourselves at Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall, watching a can-can performance. That month, we’d spent so much time alone in remote, muddy, wild areas, so to be drinking and watching girls with their skirts above their head felt like a big departure from our reality


FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’re like us, you’ll love Chicken. A peculiar place with no running water or electricity, but plenty of beer and friendly folks.

The Top of the World is a great scenic, remote drive, and some stretches are dirt and gravel. There's such little traffic that the border crossing consists of only 2 officials, 1 American and 1 Canadian, both of whom we’d seen at the Chicken Saloon the night before drinking late into the night.

As for Dawson, we’d met some Czechoslovakian travelers in Chicken who raved about the town and show at Gertie's, but we wouldn’t say either are a must see.

CAMPING

Chicken Saloon, Free
[64.07093, -141.94214]

Gold Rush Campground, $37
[64.06312, -139.42715]

Yukon River Campground, $12
[64.07267, -139.43753]

ENTERTAINMENT

Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall
[64.06141, -139.43021]

Chicken Saloon
[64.07093, -141.94214]