Jen’s Journal – July 20, 2019

Day 21: Eagle, AK

Partly sunny and warm.

Last night was the third night in a row that we camped in a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) campground. They only cost $5 if you have a National Parks Access Pass. They only have picnic tables and outhouses, but they have been pretty nice. I can wash up in Arvi, but I’ve avoided using the shower because it takes a while to run water before the hot water runs, and we just don’t carry that much water. So I am wanting to wash my hair.

We did a two-hour walking tour of Eagle. In 2013 Tom, Dan, Allie and I went to Fort Wilkins, North of Copper Harbor, way up in the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The fort was built for defense, but there was really nothing to defend, and boredom was a problem and many soldiers walked off. A difficult place to walk off, considering its location. Well, Eagle reminded me of Fort Wilkins. Because some miners were sick of all the laws set by the Canadian government in Dawson City, they wanted a mining town on the Yukon in the USA. A town was built and streets were laid out and Fort Egbert was built for governance, and soldiers were sent to man the fort, all in 1899 for all the gold miners. Then they waited for the miners to show up. Turns out there wasn’t much gold around Eagle and miners eventually went on to Fairbanks and Nome. Hardly anyone stayed in Eagle. Boredom got to the soldiers and many walked off. I didn’t even take any pictures during the tour because I didn’t see anything interesting to photograph. But the tour did interest me because there is a historical society and 83 citizens trying to keep the town together and keep friends with the Han tribe that has lived there for centuries. And they hold a checkpoint for the Yukon Quest dogsled race.

It sounds like I am dissing Eagle but I am really marveled by it.

We drove back through Chicken on our way out. We saw two caribou and a rabbit this time. We always see ravens. I learned that those black birds are ravens, not crows, because crows only live in the lower 48. This is what the road to Chicken looks like.

We met a nice old Vietnam Vet who lives in Chicken during the summers because they don’t even have cell phone towers there so he doesn’t have to deal with all the news. Really we think he lives there because his daughter lives there.

We got back to some civilization in Tok, where we went out for pizza.

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