Top of the World

That’s the name of the highway that runs from West Dawson City to U.S. customs at Poker Creek. I was up at 5:30 am and caught the ferry that runs across the Yukon R. 24/7 shortly after 6. It was smooth sailing from there. Well, not quite. Hairpin turns, high elevations, still some snow in spots, gravel roads and depressions due to the warming of permafrost. The 180-mile or so trip took about six hours, but the views were spectacular and along the way I saw a moose and some marmots. But the most spectacular part of the trip occurred at the campground where I’m staying in Tok (pronounced toak). Grabbing a bite to eat at the camp’s kitchen, I met a couple in their late 70s/early 80s. They were visiting the husband’s daughter, now age 57, who they had not seen until now (Jim and Jan have been married for 14 years). The daughter had been given up for adoption, grown up in Alaska and, after her foster parents died, decided to try to track down her father, which she managed to do through a DNA connection via another relative. Jim and Jan were beaming as they told this story, not sad about all the years gone by but glad to have finally made the connection.

9 thoughts on “Top of the World

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  1. What a great story! How cool was the ferry ride!!! Would love to go to Alaska someday…. looks so beautiful and would love the wildlife….. be careful of the grizzlies!!! Xoxo


    1. Annie: The ferry ride was cool, but short, probably under 10 minutes. No grizzlies yet, but saw some ravens chasing after a bald eagle, which was pretty cool.


  2. Wow, following you like one of those old cartoons where they snake a line across the US map to music. Great to think of you in reverie atop one of those vistas. Guess they can’t call it permafrost anymore, unfortunately. I’m moved to hear your story and can’t imagine anyone who can experience this more deeply. There’s a poem, or three, coming, I can tell. Happy Trails bud!


    1. Hey, thanks, Jim. Hadn’t really thought about the permafrost, but you’re right — it’s not “perma” anymore. Picked up a book of poetry by Robert Service and am reading The Cremation of Sam McGee, where the men “moiled for gold.”


      1. You are such the intellectual. You pick up a book of
        Poems…. I would pick up gold mining for dummies and really think I would have a chance!!! Lol!!!


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