Our previous visit to Tok didn’t allow us much time to do things here. And there’s not a lot to do in Tok. But you’ll note a similar photo at the end of that blog to this one. Jean and Claudette weren’t with us this time, but the other 10 of us were together at the same table in the same restaurant!
We like Fast Eddy’s Restaurant. It’s a good thing, since there aren’t many choices in Tok, with a population of about 1500. Don and I had dinner at Fast Eddy’s on Saturday night, then lunch there with Pat and Jim on Monday, followed by dinner with the “gang” Saturday night! We’ve almost memorized the menu.
Everyone who drives to Alaska from Canada/the lower 48 must go through Tok. That explains why there are 7 campgrounds/RV parks listed for this small town in Alaskan Camping by Mike and Terri Church, our “Bible” for finding campgrounds. There are at least 4 fuel stations and an equal number of gift shops, but I could only find 2 restaurants and a small grocery store.
If you’re interested, you can read more about Tok in a Wikipedia article. Near the end it states “On January 10, 2009 Tok made headlines with an unconfirmed temperature reading of -80°F.” We won’t be here when/if it ever gets that cold again!
We had a quiet couple of days, getting the laundry caught up and doing a few chores around the motor home. Yesterday we went to the gift shop that offered a free 1/4 lb. of fudge with a coupon from the TourSaver book.
Today we went to the visitor center and watched part of a video about the inside passage, which we won’t see on this trip because it’s only accessible by air or water. Here are a few pictures of interesting displays in the gift shop and visitor center. Notice the burled posts and dredge buckets in front of the shop.
Lots of wildlife displays were among the racks of T-shirts, wooden bowls, jewelry, etc.
These wolf pelts were all one piece, as if the innards of the animals were somehow melted out. No split down the underside leaving the pelt as a closed tube, and parts of the mouth and paws remained.
Many artistic carvings were created from antlers.
If only we had a larger bathroom!
The visitor center had lots of nice animal displays, too, but I will spare you those pictures except for this massive Musk Ox head.
There was a brochure and display about how Tok (rhymes with “smoke”)got its name. After reading it, I was more confused than before. Suffice it to say that there are several different stories believed by various natives, any one of which might be true. However, it did NOT come from the initials of Thorine Ostric Knornsson, a Norwegian gold miner who dressed up as a clown on his birthday in 1907. The town didn’t exist until 1942. It also did not come from a Husky pup named Tok. It didn’t come from the “OK” written on a survey map near where the “T” from the Slana cut-off was printed. And it didn’t come from the road camp called “Tokyo.” Read up on the topic if you’re interested in this kind of trivia!
A final picture from the visitor center – this crocheted mailbox caught my eye!
Yesterday marked one year since Don’s fall from a ladder in Minot, ND last summer, breaking both his left wrist and his left heel. His doctor said his heel would take the longest to heal, with pain likely to last a year and possibly a permanent limp. He must have been conservative in the time estimate; the year’s passing hasn’t magically made the pain go away. Still, we’re glad the accident wasn’t even more disastrous and the wrist has healed pretty well. Don’s getting around better than several months ago, but the heel is still a little painful at times, and he’s not up for hiking the 32-mile Chilkoot Trail again just yet (as he did 8 years ago)!
This afternoon we drove a couple of miles south of town to visit our friends who are parked at Sourdough RV Park. (We chose to stay at Tok RV Village with cable TV.)
Mary showed us her progress on crocheting squares for an afghan. Great job for a newbie!
We enjoyed happy hour under cover during a light rain and discussed our travel plans for heading south with the rest of the group.
Some of us are considering taking the Cassiar Highway (AK-37) through British Columbia, as it’s reported to be smoother and more scenic than the Alaska Highway through that province. That route will also allow us to visit Jasper, Whistler and Banff National Parks.
Later, 8 of us decided to go out to dinner – guess where we went! Yep, back to Fast Eddy’s. And some of us are (unbelievably) going to meet there for breakfast in the morning to start off our trip into Canada’s Yukon Territory. We’ll be back in Alaska when we go on to Haines on Wednesday.