12.08.16. Tok, Alaska to Fairbanks, Alaska. USA
At the cabins we stayed in last night, among the other guests were a lot of guys who appeared to be there for the hunting.
That turned out to be very interesting later in the morning, when we had our first coffee stop at the Silver Fox Roadhouse, where we met the owner Dan. http://silverfoxroadhouse.com/ Dan was an interesting guy indeed, aged about 70 ish, and originally from Pennsylvania he had moved up to Alaska when working on the Oil pipeline in the 1970’s, met a lady and lived there ever since.
His little gas station was a treasure trove of Wildlife exhibits, the majority of which he had hunted himself. He told us that in May each year he goes to the coast to fish for Halibut, where he hopes to catch enough to last all year, and then the rest of the year his family (wife and three sons) are fed by the hunting they do for Big Game: Caribou, Moose, Bears(!), Buffalo, oh and smaller critters too. He explained about the licensing laws and the requirement of decent treatment to the animals, and how he and his family never need any meat from a butcher, just their own. They eat it fresh, or preserve it in various ways, such as jerky etc. Dan explained the difference in sizes between Brown and Grizzly Bears, and told us this is because Brown bears only hibernate for three months of the year and get lots to eat, whereas Grizzlies sleep for at least six months. He also told us that bear meat can sometimes be inedible because it is so strongly flavoured by the large amounts of fish that they eat. Although hunting is difficult to understand for us, it seems to make some kind of sense up here in this vast wilderness. It was certainly fascinating; his website shows all about it (stay away if you’re squeamish).
The next milestone for us was that we reached the end of the Alaska Highway! Mile 1422, at Delta Junction, and we have ridden the entirety of the roadway. The furthest North in Alaska we have decided to go is Fairbanks, which was just another 50 miles on from Delta Junction, on a different road, The Richardson Highway. We’re certainly feeling pleased with ourselves indeed.
Now we will have time to explore the areas a bit more, and in a few days have some much needed time off, we are feeling pretty road weary, and fatigued for now.
Interstingly, we are now in another different time zone, Alaskan time, and are currently 9 hours behind British Summer Time. We are in the land of Midnight Sun.