If you keep up with Alaska news, you know that we have hundreds of forest fires and wildfires burning all over the state. ( This link will take you to a map of AK, showing all the fires currently burning ) It’s rather sad, and air all over the state has been smokey, if not hazy. I feel bad for anyone traveling to Alaska at this time, as I’m sure their trip has been impacted in some way.
I am keeping all of those impacted by the fire in my thoughts and prayers, whether in loss of home, loss of pet(s), or loss of precious woodland (as well as loss of healthy air to breathe!). I am also sending encouragement, strength and good thoughts to our brave men and women working non-stop to fight these fires. Today, I am also thankful for a second day of rain. The rain over my neighborhood has mostly been a fine or light drizzle, but overnight it was a little heavier. We need many more days of this to knock back the bigger fires, and help squelch the smaller ones. I’d rather have gray skies from rain clouds, than smoke!
This is what the sun looked like before I went to bed a few nights ago. It is so smoggy, that the sun is an orange ball as the light from it filters through the mess above. Imagine breathing this stuff! Needless to say, I have only been leaving my home when absolutely necessary. A few friends said they found ash on their vehicles when they woke one morning. UGH!
I haven’t been writing very often, as I’ve been quite busy with roadtrips and traveling. I’m working on photos from our recent trip up the Dempster Highway with friends. We stopped in Chicken for Chickenstock, and in Dawson City for a comfy hotel room and shower at either end of our tent camping adventure. We drove the entire highway to the town of Inuvik. It was an awesome trip and I have much to share about it - but it will need to wait until my next blog entry.
I will say that it was a beautiful drive and the road is in very good condition (when it’s dry). I’d even be comfortable towing a travel trailer (carefully) on the highway, although there are some very steep hills and some extremely windy areas too. We saw a handful on our travels. When the road is wet, however, different story. The mud can be rather deep in areas, and will grab your tires. And you’ll be covered in mud - everywhere!
SCENIC DRIVE - STEESE HIGHWAY
At the end of May, I took a scenic drive up the Steese Hwy with my friend Joyce. Joyce has never driven past mile 40 or 50, so we planned to go to Central - about 130 miles north of Fairbanks. The highway continues until it ends at the Yukon River (mp162) and the town of Circle. Even though we didn’t go all the way to Circle, it’s worth a drive if you want to check out the entire Steese Hwy. There’s not much there though, and at times I’ve felt that those who live there prefer their privacy.
(This info taken from the link above): The community of about 100 residents lies on the south bank of the Yukon River 14 miles downriver from Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Circle provides one of only two road-based access options for the preserve.
There’s not much left of the town, although there are still remnants of old buildings standing. Sometimes you can view fish wheels turning in the river, scooping up salmon in late summer. On one visit, several years ago, we saw a smokehouse full of hanging ducks.
Historically, Circle became a bustling log-cabin city of 1200 with two theaters, a music hall, eight dance halls and 28 saloons. It was known as the “largest log-cabin city in the world” until the nearby Klondike gold rush reduced the town significantly.