The Alaska Canadian border is 1221.8 miles from Dawson Creek and Tok, Alaska is 1314 miles from Dawson Creek. Tok is not the end of the Alcan but it is the first sizable American town on the Alcan which officially ends in Delta Junction 1422 miles from Dawson Creek. For some reason, however, Tok is the spiritual end of the Alcan . Americans reaching Tok consider themselves to have arrived. Some continue on to Delta Junction and then Fairbanks while others head for the coast. There are several stories as to how Tok got it's name. The first has it that it was originally called Tokyo Camp but in 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor it was shortened to Tok. The more credible story says that Tok was named for a little black dog that was the mascot of the Black troops whose Alcan construction campo it was.
In any event we spent two days in Tok where we stopped in the Visitors Center to obtain more information about Alaska. Tok is not a very scenic town although it's small plane airport is a very important part of Alaskan life. Alaskan's don't have a lot of roads so many Alaskan's get around in small planes.
On the other hand the Tok Cutoff the road that connects Tok to the Glen Highway and Anchorage is scenic and under construction to repair earthquake damage from 2 years ago.
From Tok we took the Tok Cutoff which is under construction and headed for the Glen Highway and Anchorage. We camped that night at the pleasant but mosquito infested Tolsona Wilderness Campground. Every camp site is on the creek and they have an impressive antique collection in the office.
From Tolsona we drove to the Golden Nugget Campground across the street from Costco and two blocks from the doctors office in Anchorage. We made two stops on our way to Anchorage, one for gas and the other for breakfast and a brief walk at the Matunska Glacier State Recreation Area which overlooks the Matunuska Glacier.
When I finely went to the doctor in Anchorage discovered that the kidney stone on my left side had bounced back into the kidney but that the pain on my right side was from the gallbladder which I decided to remove while in Anchorage rather then have trouble down the road. As a result we remained in Anchorage for longer then planned. None the less we made the best of it, Anchorage has a very extensive system of paved and unpaved bicycle and ski trails and several miles of parks. We walked several of these trails and even saw a mother moose and her calf.
the view from the bicycle path looking back at the Anchorage skyline. Anchorage has a harbor of sorts but it is shallow so only barges can make it in. As you can see from the view looking north it also has extensive mud flats and I am told a view of Mt. McKinley on extremely clear days.
Anchorage is very bicycle and walker friendly with a winter climate they claim is similar to Chicago. Many of the paths are lighted so that they can be used when the hours of daylight decrease during the long winter. I was taken by Solar system signs, one for each planet that were placed on the bike path in the scale of their actual distance from each other.
We visited Earthquake park which isn't much except that it has a memorial and history of the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake which changed the face and economic history of south west Alaska. We went to the Saturday street market and got into a discussion about bagels with a couple ex patriot New Yorker who for some reason retired to Anchorage. They claimed that the bagels are as good as New York's because the baker is from Long Island. Maybe they followed him to Alaska. We don't know because we didn't taste them.
We also visited the Ulu Factory and bought an Ulu which is a native knife used for preparing food for cooking that is reminiscent of the choppers our mothers and grandmothers used for "gehockder flaish" chopped liver and gefilte fish.They even sell a bowl that looks like my Mother's wooden bowl. Next to the Ulu factory is the salmon fishing and viewing bridge but we only saw two salmon trying to make it up stream. One fisherman caught and lost one if those salmon. We have been told that it is not a very good year for catching salmon.
When the doctor released me we went north for 50 miles to Palmer for two days and visited the Musk Ox farm and Independence Mine