No, not that kind. The one in Alaska.
You know, the one that’s named after the State Bird of Alaska, the ptarmigan. The only problem was that when the town got its first Post Office in 1902, nobody could agree on how to spell ‘Ptarmigan’ so they went with Chicken instead.
Everyone could spell that.
Today’s blog is about Chicken for two reasons. It’s in the news, and we were there in Chicken 5 years ago today.
It’s in the news because a couple of weeks ago an EPA SWAT team (huh?)descended on the 17 residents of Chicken to check for Clean Water Act violations. (once again, huh?) The heavily-armed, body-armored wearing EPA agents swarmed over the many small family mining claims in the area, to check their gold mine holding ponds. There were more agents than residents.
They said they were heavily armed because the Alaskan State Troopers told them there was “rampant drug and human trafficking going on the area”. The State Troopers deny they ever said any such thing. I think some people just wanted to play with their shiny new toys.
And any ‘trafficking’ would be pretty obvious. There’s only one road through there, the Taylor Highway. There’s nowhere else to go. To even get to Chicken, you drive 75 miles from Tok, on a lane and a half wide, gravel road, trying to avoid the moose running across right in front of you.
Tok is the first Alaskan town you come to after you enter Alaska on the Alaskan Highway, and itself only has about 1200 people. It’s too small to even have a Wal-Mart. And that’s small.
From Tok to Fairbanks is over 200 miles, and to Anchorage is over 300 miles. So these agents, made up of EPA, the FBI, Coast Guard (more huh?), Department of Defense (even more huh?), the Alaska Department of Public Safety and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, had to drive 300 miles to Tok, then 75 miles to Chicken, and apparently, another 40 miles out to Boundary, the last town before you enter Canada.
All for nothing. No charges, state or federal, have been filed. Your tax dollars at work.
This is Chicken.
And this is Chicken.
And this is Chicken.
And this was what Chicken was here for. The gold dredge, abandoned in place once the gold ran out.
Not much to make such a fuss over. But it all makes for some real pretty scenery.
And this is Boundary, the last ‘town’ on the Taylor Highway before you enter Canada, about 4 miles away.
That’s all there is to Boundary. But again, the scenery getting there is great.
And concerning all the “rampant drug and human trafficking going on the area”, like I said, there’s nowhere to go. If it was coming from Tok, the only place it can go is through two border crossings into Canada. And the same two border crossings in reverse.
There’s only one road in and out.
Like I said, shiny new toys.
Thought I end this Alaskan-themed blog with some pics of the multitude of beautiful flowers that you see everywhere. 24 hours of daylight does wonders for the plants.
And here’s a few other beautiful things. Our daughter Brandi, who visited us in August of 2008,
and our granddaughter Piper, who visited us in July of 2008. And of course, my Sweetie. Like I said, beautiful things.
And of course, every Alaskan blog has to end with a moose picture.
Thought for the Day:
"Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night." – Charlie Brown, Peanuts
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