The Top Of The World Highway
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
A beautiful sunny day with no bugs meant I could get back into shorts, T-shirt and my much loved flips. Leaving Dawson City to the North requires a ferry across the Yukon River – a much in demand service it turned out. I chatted to anyone and everyone while waiting for about an hour until my turn finally came. The river was so wide and the current so strong, the ferry driver “danced” across the river. He let the current really grab us and pull us downstream quite a long way. Not concerned at all, he executed a beautiful 90 degree turn then just at the right moment, gunned the engines and powered us upstream for a perfect docking.
Coolest ferry crossing I’ve been on.
Just as I started onto The Top Of The World Highway I picked up my first hitchhiker – a young guy from Belgium who had been on the road in the North for about 3 weeks. I was happy to have someone to share the drive with and we chatted it up then entire day. The road climbs steadily for the first 10 kms or so and then all of a sudden you pop and and you’re quite literally on top of the world. 360 degree views await, with snow-capped jagged peaks in every direction and lush green valleys in the foreground. We rounded a bend to see a grizzly sow on her hind legs with two cubs nearby – she had heard us coming and stood up for a better view. Too quickly they vanished into the dense forest, something they seem to be very good at doing.
The road winds on in much the same fashion for about 100kms before reaching the most northerly land border in the US. My first border crossing of the trip went very smoothly which I was more than happy with. Crossing into Alaska the road winds slowly down and down into a beautiful lush green valley, but now with epicly snow-capped, epicly jagged peaks epicly close. We quickly decided that everything in Alaska must be epic and used the word about a hundred times in 5 minutes. When it started pouring rain, it made sense that it was epic rain, but that didn’t make it any less pesky than normal rain.
Mad props to Bill for suggesting The Top Of The World Highway – one of the most beautiful roads I have ever driven.
I’m totally pumped to spend my first night in Alaska. I can’t wait for tomorrow.