Out of the Yukon

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North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks
August 6th 2018
Published: August 7th 2018
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You've probably never wondered what sled dogs do during the summer but here it is. This kennel has 141 dogs and runs sled dog tours during the winter. During the summer, they give talks on sledding. Racing is all about how well the musher knows his dogs - he controls how fast they run, how long and when they rest. There have been instances where the dogs just quit running. Falling asleep at a rest stop is a major risk - no one will wake you while the competition moves on.

The town is Dawson City. I like to think we drove 1300 miles for this? Very rustic. We honored the town by having a tire problem on the tow car and had to spend an extra day. The derelict stern wheeler is the result of the Alaska Highway being completed and the gold rush ending. Too expensive to move, there are four on the banks of Yukon River just wasting away. An interesting design - they could torque the cable that ran from bow to stern to bow or flatten the ship, depending on how heavy they were loaded.

The picture on the ferry is as we were crossing the Yukon River. The drive over Top of the World highway is only 108 miles but is unpaved and washboard. I would not recommend it to any motorhome - 6 hours of hard, rattling 10 mph road wasn't worth the view. The picture is the northern most US border crossing.

In Fairbanks, they mined using dredges. The dredge used a chain of buckets to scoop up soil. Each bucket is 6 cubic yards and they ran at 23 buckets per minute. They destroyed the landscape and created huge piles of tailings. They extracted the gold from the fine ore using liquid mercury. Fairbanks now has a annual ice art (carving) contest. The ice is beautifully clear, even in large blocks. They store some in an Ice Museum.

It raining for the second day and about 50 degrees. We're off to Denali and have a white water rafting adventure planned. Could be cold.

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