“Do you think we’ll get shot?”

Old barrel, string holding up sign from barrel. Sign reads, "Posted keep out"

Couldn’t help myself… great photo ops!

This was the question that popped in my mind when we decided to trespass beyond the, “No Trespassing” sign off the Taylor highway. Unlike in the lower 48 when Jaz and I have been faced with this dilemma (trespass for a cool photo and take the risk) usually the risk is being kicked off the property with a lecture from the rent-a-cop, or possibly a ticket. This, however is Alaska… a place where it’s probably written into the state laws that it is okay to shoot car tires out if they goose-tail you or shower your motorbike with gravel as they pass you…

Again… Do you think we will get shot? We decided to risk the possibility for the photos – thus another good day of motorbike traveling unfolded as we explored a couple of old shacks off the highway that were probably used for gold mining in the not-so-distant past.

We pulled out of Tok and turned north towards Chicken and Eagle. The road was, for the most part okay, with patches of gravel and repair and the usual frost heaves. We rolled into Chicken and topped off with gas and I picked up a sticker for my side luggage. We turned back onto the road and it quickly deteriorated. It had rained enough that there were areas of mud and potholes filled with water, but we could pick around them. We turned, passed the fork where we could go to Dawson or Eagle, and headed north to the Yukon River.

"Got laid? Chicken, Alaska"

My new sticker on my bike.

I had never driven this section of the road, but I had been to Eagle before. Years ago I paddled a canoe from Dawson to the Haul Road near Circle. It took a week and half to travel the distance, and I rolled into Eagle from the river. The road in was a new experience! BOY what a treat. This drive was absolutely gorgeous. Before this ride, I would have put,“Top of the World” highway in the top five for drives I have ever done. This put that road to shame.

The road was treacherous though, and what muddy corners existed caused the bikes to slide and wiggle, and that is a little frightening. Neither one of us came close to dropping a bike, but it was certainly a tense ride in. I slide three times; once in gravel twice in mud, but I wasn’t going fast enough to not be able to recover. Jaz slide more, but her 40 years of riding allowed her to correct without issues. We made it into Eagle without any mishaps. We spent two days in a cabin tent and photographed the historic district, the Fort, and even went on the Yukon River out to Calico Bluff for photo shots and visited with some homesteaders for a while. The Taylor is a must for experienced riders. It was remote and wild and beautiful!

Catch-up (Eagle 2 weekends ago)
Glennallen: City of God
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.


  1. As an editor, I have to praise your headline and the choice of photos (including the sticker). 🙂

    I have bicycling pals back in Kansas who have some of the same issues you and Jaz do with photography on the back roads, but are more bothered by potentially rabid dogs than gun-totin' land owners. (Although I imagine they have guns, too.)

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