Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Visit to Eagle, AK, July 1, 2010

The only Eagle town tour began at 9 am, so that meant we needed to drive 80 miles on unknown condition dirt/gravel road, the camp hosts said it would take between 2.5 and 3 hours to drive depending on the conditions. So we set the alarm and were up at 5 am and on the road shortly after 6 driving back up the road we traveled yesterday for about 14 miles until we came to the junction that heads towards Eagle.

IMG_0995 The roads were a little better as we headed to Eagle, one short section a grader was working. We met him in our lane coming at us, so we quickly moved over, but this is what he left for us. The photo shows us now in the correct lane, but we had to drive up over this dirt pile as the road on our side was running.

IMG_1000 Our arrival in Eagle was perfect, about 8:50, the Milepost said the tour began at the Courthouse, found that, so we waited and waited in our car for some activity. Finally Bob checked out the front of the Courthouse where it said that the tour began at the NPS office (Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve). Bob had wanted to go there first as we had 10 minutes when we first arrived, but I had told him no, so in the end he was right. Sure hate to say that!!

Everyone was very relaxed at the park service, they first had to call and find out who was doing the tour, they then let us watch a 15 minute film about the area so the tour guide could arrive. Finally we jumped into the guide’s car as it was raining by this time and off we go to meet up with another couple for the tour. Fort Egbert was our first stop. This Fort was established in 1899 and became a key communications center for the 1506 mile long Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System (WAMCATS). This fort now consists of four buildings and a grass airstrip (buildings were removed for this airstrip). The building housed many displays and old photos.


This is a restored (and it runs) Jeffrey Quad a four wheel drive truck, built in 1913, used in Eagle by the Army. Sometime before 1920 it was relocated to Dawson and used for mining.

In 1916, the Army’s first motorized campaign, this type of vehicle was used when General Pershing chased Pancho Villa into Mexico. Notice the holes in the tires, chains would be wrapped around the tire through the holes for traction.


Wouldn’t you look surprised too!

May 2009 this is what Eagle looked like from the air. During spring “break up” there was an ice jam downstream while upstream the river was experiencing “break up” as they call it, so all the ice was jamming up in Eagle. Several homes were destroyed that were in the bottom right of the photo. To see more photos of the flood go to:



Horse snowshoes.

Remedies for mosquitoes for the horses – blankets and smoking.

IMG_1021 IMG_1022

Cows were not the norm in the arctic, this cow is “'said to be the only one which wintered in that far north settlement”. The handwritten words indicate that his poor cow froze to death while Miss T was in Dawson Dec 99 – 62 below.



Dogs were even used for plowing a garden.

One fellow even trained Moose to harness.


I loved this one…they sure fooled these chickens!!



Both of us enjoyed picking and eating these sweet wild strawberries, they were the size of large blueberries, yummy!!


Our final view this trip of the mighty Yukon River!


The drive back was long, with some showers and torrential rain.

IMG_8907 Yes, we eventually drive through these showers.

IMG_8910 The beautiful fireweed doing its thing following a fire.

Tomorrow on the Chicken Alaska!!

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