Saturday, October 15, 2011

A tour of Coldfoot

After spending a week and a half in Ferry, I hitchhiked up to Fairbanks and guided a van tour up to Coldfoot. I've been here since. Because I'll be leaving Alaska in a couple days, I thought I'd do a picture tour.

Coldfoot, in 1898, was first a "boom town" during the Alaskan gold rush. It was soon after deserted, but became home to several hundred workers in the mid-70s, during the construction of the pipeline. It was deserted again until Dick Mackey, a famous dog musher, came up here to serve burgers out of a blue school bus. The truckers--desiring something more--dropped off their empty packing crates and built this cafe.

Coldfoot serves truckers and travelers who travel up the Dalton Highway--a 416-mile half-gravel, half-asphalt road that's become popular on the reality TV show "Ice Road Truckers." Coldfoot is in the middle of  the Central Brooks Range, and the mountains we see in the pictures are between 3,000 and 4,500 feet tall.

Here's the "Truckers Only" table. Fox News on the telly as usual.

The "Frozen Foot" saloon.

Here's Sassy, who lives in and around the cafe. 

Here's the 52-room, Slate Creek Inn, also owned by the people who run the cafe. This building was refurbished from one of the original pipeline dormitories.

There are about 20 or so dogs in camp (outnumbering the winter population of people). They're mostly Alaskan Huskies. They'll be mushed throughout the winter. 


There are lots of old equipment, vehicles and buildings behind Coldfoot.

The Diesel generator, plus some ravens hanging out by the dump. Most of the garbage is shipped to a dump in Fairbanks.

The "Tire Shop." There are lots of blown tires on the Dalton Highway.


Diane said...

Where are you heading next?

D said...

Great post; another journey in life makes another chapter in your story. We all go through life not knowing what comes next. It's just a matter of accepting that we don't know what comes next, and embracing it with logic and common sense. May fate and free will smile in your direction on this next journey. As always, keep writing your fantastic, and sometimes oddly humoristic stories for the rest of us to enjoy.

Ken said...


D--thanks so much, will do!

Fellas--Sorry I deleted comments; better to pretend that that convo never happened.

007 said...

Glad you did that, i'll be nicer next time Ken. I think i had too much beer. Sorry.

Ken said...

007--No prob. Happens to the best of us.

Brie said...

My money is on Ken occupying Wall Street. Any takers? Talk about a global wide revolutionary discourse, civil disobedience and raising hell like the disenchanted generation of the 60’s, there is where it is at, baby!!

Ken said...

Brie--I'll be on Wall Street or Zuccotti within the hour!!!! I can't wait to do a post, but i'll be leaving my laptop at an acquaintance's so it may be a few days or a week. best,