the remainder of the 100 miles of the Taylor Highway from Chicken to Eagle is a dirt, sometimes winding road with steep mountains, blind curves, soft shoulders and big drop offs. The Holland America Line buses that go to Eagle have a pilot car out in front of them.
Why go to Eagle. I don't know but we did. Not with the trailer which we left in Chicken. Actually there was a reason but after making the trip I am still not sure it was a good one although many people (lemmings) do it. At mile 96 about 30 miles from Chicken is the Jack Wade Junction. At this point the road splits. The Taylor highway continues to Eagle while the Boundary Spur road continues 13 miles to the Canadian border and the Over The World Highway which is supposed to be scenic and the highest point in North America. It's is also the shortest way to Dawson City an integral part of the klondike gold rush story and a place we wanted to visit before returning to the lower forty-eight. We went to Eagle with the truck because I wanted to see if I was foolish enough to drive truck and trailer to the Jack Wade Junction and on to the border. I guess I could have driven to the junction or even the border but several people told us that Eagle was worth the trip. In our estimation it wasn't but that's life.
With overcast sky and the threat of rain we drove to Eagle.
When we arrived we stopped at the Yukon Charlie National Preserve Visitors Center and saw an introduction movie.
Eagle is the headquarters of Yukon Charlie National Preserve, a wild and scenic part of the Yukon River which is only accessible by river. The National Park Service maintains several cabins along the river for the use of canoers and kayakers that want a wilderness experience. We then walked over to the court house
to begin looking at the sites but everything was locked. Fortunately one of the Docents from the Eagle Historical Society was available and arranged a private tour of the courthouse and other historical buildings.
At one time Eagle was the most important town in Alaska. Judge Wickersham the first territorial judge appointed by Washington, DC had this courthouse built in 1901. After examining both floors of the courthouse along with the historic artifacts contained there we walked past the airport to the remaining buildings of Fort Egbert.
They have a collection of old vehicles and the lower floor of the donkey stable is just how the Army left it complete with donkey names above the stalls (except where souvenir hunters stole them). For those of you who follow history and remember a book and movie of the fifties Billy Mitchell served at Fort Egbert as a First Luitenent. We also went to the customs house overlooking the river. remember Eagle is a border town. Amongst the items on display was an old typewriter. The man taking us on tour who was the retired postmaster and operator of the Eagle roadhouse, He was a man about our age. during the tour he related a story about old typewriter in the Customs house which may make some of you feel old. This past summer while leading a tour a young girl of sixteen pointed to the type writer and asked him what it was.
Below is City Hall still operational as the flag indicates and unlike Chicken Eagle has phone service.
The next day we hooked up the trailer and drove 30 miles of the Taylor Highway to the Jack Wade junction, the 13 miles of the boundary spur road to the border and then 65 miles of the Over the top highway to the Dawson City free ferry which crosses the Yukon.