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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 64.8378, -147.716
We set out early for the US border along the Top of the World Highway, but the road was partly gravel and so the going was slow. The views were really nice and very remote, much like the Dempster, but perhaps after so many days of scenery, it began to wear on us, because it was not too "wowing".
Anyways, we arrived at the Poker Creek border crossing, most northerly land border in the USA around 9:45am. There's one of those air hoses connected to a bell in the road so that when you pull up, the man inside knows someone is waiting. This had to be the easiest border crossing ever. The customs agent asked us if we had any weapons and what we bought in Canada and then let us go on our way.
As promised to us by the Canadian information center, the American side of the road was in horrible shape. Most of it was dirt road with a lot of big chuck holes. I would not recommend this road for any heavily loaded vehicle. Eventually we came to Chicken Alaska, the world's smallest and most remote tourist trap. A dozen RVs were parked buying souvenirs
and gas at the travel mart. The funny thing is, most of them were just coming up the way to visit Chicken and then return back to Alaska again. It would be a great sin to visit Canada, after all.
Is it to anyone's surprise that the first matching 2009 Silver Grand Marquis LS we found was in the first American town? Well, look no further than the pictures below.
After taking a washroom break, we headed on south down the Taylor highway (thankfully mostly paved) towards Tok. This junction of Tok is kind of a nerve center of transportation for Alaska. It is not possible to drive into or out of the main part of Alaska without going through Tok. I checked with a windshield repair place, but the man was in Fairbanks that day. Fantastic.
Anyways, having rejoined the Alaska highway after our 5 day detour, we resumed our northward journey toward Delta Junction and Fairbanks. Delta Junction is the end of the original 1942 Alaska highway, although nowadays it continues on to Fairbanks. We grabbed a bite to eat at a local diner and I checked in with work. After only being back in America for a couple hours, its
funny the small things you notice. A sign on the wall stating "Prayer may not be allowed in schools, but it is welcome at our tables" made me laugh, as well as a huge reprint of a newspaper article where the owner gives a long explanation about why it is ok that he has the flag of Israel hanging out front. Just before we entered DJ, the rain started. This is a steady rain with no signs of cloud breaks anywhere, the first time on our trip.
We continued on up into Fairbanks through the rain. We stopped at a suburb called North Pole on the way and had the windshield repaired and oil changed. They were really nice people, but the repair job on the windshield didn't work out so well. It is fixed, but there is a little line of bubbles where the crack was. They tell me it can't be helped. Sigh, hopefully the rental car company is lenient. In any case, the rain persists.
We pulled into Fairbanks in the late afternoon and spent some time trying to find a place. It seems like most places are sold out or near sold out, so we got a room
in one of the seedier places in town, the Alaska Motor Inn. The owner was an Arab who didn't understand why we wanted to stay there, but took our money all the same. I think everyone else there was more of a permanent resident so to speak. In any case, it was better than a campsite in the rain.
Our only other event of the day was visiting the Fairbanks library so we could catch up on Internet activity and let people know where we were. So ends the day. The rain persists.
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