Aptly named – Chicken is a tiny town at the beginning of State highway # 2 into the state, gold is still mined here, and one family is determined to preserve the equipment that made Alaska’s Gold Rush possible.
The Chicken identity is celebrated with humor and whimsy.
Chicken Cafe for a great breakfast and all things chicken.
Hens and Rooster Restrooms
The Pedro Dredge – now located at the Chicken Gold Camp & Outpost was operational for 20 plus years on the Chicken Creek, mining over 55,000 ounces of gold over eight years worth today 65-70 million dollars. We had a tour inside by the camp owner who also continues to prospect for gold. Gold fever is still quite real in this part of Alaska where the precious element is still mined along with many other vital minerals like silver and cooper. This dredge tour was fascinating.
Inside the dredge – examining the components. Creek material was scooped up in buckets, washed and separated inside – the gold pieces are accumulated and processed as the water is pushed back out via these large tubes.
The Buckets that were used to scoop material from the Chicken Creek lie dormant outside filled now with weeds not gold.
A giant piece of machinery – the buckets were attached to this giant arm to convey to raw stream material collected to the inside for separation and cleaning.
Perched on the dredge’s roof was the ubiquitous raven – a outsized version of the North American bird who has a historic role in Alaska’s Native American history. They seem enormous here in size and personality. They are comfortable with humans but often appear to be tolerating us as temporary occupants of this amazing state.
Loved this signage……resting comfortably nearby are gold mining machinery relics
Fireweed – a wildflower found in the Northwest Territories and Alaska seems taller and brighter here. Honey made from Fireweed is an effective allergy suppressant. I used it throughout Alaska.
One of our first Alaska skies – a sight of wonder and beauty. The clouds are feathery and delicate although it was at least 80 degrees it looked like a northeast winter sky. Photo taken after dinner – during our evening dog walk – still very daylight here.
West and North toward Fairbanks
The highway to Fairbanks was only slightly better than earlier highways – it was mostly hard top for two lanes except for frost heaves – There were interesting places to stop along the way. Our tour leaders made great suggestions about fun and noteworthy places to stop at as we traveled. A variety of places including a a carving shop below, ice cream shops and cinnamon roll bakeries were enjoyed – all provided either or both amusement and sustenance along the way.
The Knotty Shop
Lenny & Lola curled up together for this 200 mile section of the drive. They were troopers for the whole trip and managed our hopscotching between campgrounds like rockstars on tour. We couldn’t have better family members.
I couldn’t resist blowing this shot up once I realized it was a beautiful mountain caught on a stunning sunny day. Here is one of the giants in the Alaskan Range, northeast of Denali National Park.