Top of the World Hwy, Yukon / Taylor Hwy + Alaska Hwy, Alaska– The wrong visa on top of the world

Fortune is with us: Today morning’s information is that Taylor is passable. The 120 km long Top of the World Highway between Dawson City and right after the Alaskan border is partially paved, partially gravel. It carries its name justly: The road wasn’t built, as usual, in the valleys of a mountain range but follows the mountains’ ridges. The highway mainly ranges between 1000 and 1200 m of elevation above tree-line and offers fantastic views to endless deserted expanses. On leaving Canada there is nothing to do. The US-American border Poker Creek is open only between 9 a.m. and p.m. from May to September, according to weather conditions. During winter the complete route is closed. The two border officers are kind; there is no food or vehicle control. We get a funny caribou stamp into our passport, but unfortunately it is the wrong visa. The immigration officers issued a waiver visa for three months only instead if the proper six-month-permit. That doesn’t seem to be an issue in the beginning since we don’t plan to spend such a long time in Alaska. Even after telling them that we want to enter the lower 48 later they don’t panic. Just after explaining the intension of spending another six months there they are starting to realize to having a problem. What now? They didn’t have a clue how to correct that to issue the correct visa. That needed many phone calls and even more time. We should better solve that on next entry to the United States, there they should know what to do. They are trying to assure us that we’ll not have to pay another six Dollars visa fee per person (Well, we’ll see…). They got rid of a problem and avoided a dressing-down of their supervisor. We agree in the end, because an officer who’s able to put such a nice stamp deserves leniency.

On Alaska side the highway consists of many potholes. We have to skip the trip to Eagle at Yukon River since the 100 km long road is closed. At the connecting Taylor Highway we can clearly see traces of the flooding. The brook that caused the disaster seems ridiculously small now when harmlessly murmuring in its bed. But the ravages it caused are obvious. In many places the creek just ate a piece of the roadside, but in some areas it just swept along the road and it had to be renewed completely. After another 200 km behind the border we are back to Alaska Highway at Tetlin Junction, watching the massive, snow covered mountains of Alaska Range. We are driving the last miles to Delta Junction where another monument was erected for the end of Alaska Highway. A favoured place to take a photo is in front of the info centre: the world’s two largest mosquitoes, made by an artist. There is a cross-section of the pipeline any a lot of interesting information. Right after we will meet the “real” pipeline. In Big Delta Richardson Highway crosses together with the pipeline huge Tanana River. The 1.2 m thick oil pipe is, very interesting, fixed at a suspension bridge.

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