April 25, 2009 – The Alaskan Highway – Part 5

Today’s travel was lots of “bumps and dips” – Slow going but the scenery is still incredible:

04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Yukon 073

 04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Yukon 012

 04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Yukon 022

 04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Yukon 025  04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Yukon 047

Information on the frost heaves from the Milepost (a little history lesson – :-)):

However, engineers met their match on the stretch of bumpy road between the Donjek River and the Alaska border. From the 18th Co. Engineers’ pioneer road building in 1943, to the modern engineering techniques of Yukon’s Dept. of Highways, this section of the Alaska Highway has presented some unique challenges.

According to Public Works Yukon, much of the soil along the north Alaska Highway is of glacial origin and unsuitable for road embankments. “Anything that causes the permafrost to melt will cause the ice-rich soil to liquefy, and liquid soil has little strength and will settle or subside. Then if this soil refreezes during lower air temperatures, it will expand or heave.” This process wreaks havoc on the driveability of the road surface by creating undulations and cracking.

Despite the best efforts of American and Canadian scientists and engineers, permafrost continues to be a major challenge for road maintenance north of Destruction Bay. Research continues on techniques to slow down melting beneath the roadbed and achieve a more stable highway embankment (see the permafrost research project underway on the Alaska Highway at Milepost DC 1164.6, south of Beaver Creek).

In the meantime, watch for roadside flags indicating road damage, and slow down for bumps and dips in the highway!

And watch, we did!

We did see this fellow crossing the road:

Copy of 04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Yukon 036 2

We also saw lots of caribou and moose but too far away for some good pictures..

And we crossed back in to the good old USA and Alaska:

04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Alaska 018

Here is the international boundary markers:


04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Alaska 002 

 04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Alaska 006    04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Alaska 008

From the Milepost:

The international boundary marker here make a good photo-op, as does the narrow clearing which marks the border. This is part of the 20-foot-/6-m-wide swath cut by surveyors from 1904 to 1920 along the 141st meridian (from Demarcation Point on the Arctic Ocean south 600 miles/966 km to Mount St. Elias in the Wrangell Mountains) to mark the Alaska–Canada border. This swath continues south to mark the boundary between southeastern Alaska and Canada. Portions of the swath are cleared periodically by the International Boundary Commission. The boundary line between Alaska and Yukon was originally described in an 1825 treaty between Russia and England. The U.S. accepted this version of the boundary with its purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. But after gold was discovered in the Klondike in 1896, a dispute arose between the U.S. and Canada, with both claiming the seaports at the head of Lynn Canal. An international tribunal decided in favor of the U.S. in 1903.

Here is that 20’ swath:

04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Alaska 004

Interesting!  From there we were going to stay in Border City but their campgrounds are also closed so we headed to Tok and found their state park open – YEA!!!!!!

We stayed at the same site where we camped in July 2007 and then again in August 2007..

04-27-09  B Alaskan Highway - Alaska 002

Here is the Tok River behind our site:

04-27-09  B Alaskan Highway - Alaska 009  04-27-09  B Alaskan Highway - Alaska 008

 04-27-09  B Alaskan Highway - Alaska 004

In July 2007, it was raging, in late August 2007, it was down and running mildly and now, it is frozen…. Cool :-)))

We are going to be here for a few days, figuring out our next moves!

04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Yukon 087

 04-25-09  B Alaskan Highway - Yukon 077

Miles Traveled:  211 Miles

Routes Traveled:

YK: PH-1

AK: SR-2


No comments: