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Middle of Nowhere Toe-Shot Town

So I am going to drop 2 posts this week because I have been away for awhile (not totally my fault) and some of you don’t really care about the 2nd half of my Alaska trip.

Here is your warning. This entire post will be about the second half of my adventures and have literally nothing to do with Marty’s. The post that will be up shortly after this post will be like my normal posts with info on specials, news announcements and a movie review.

So as some of you know, an item on my bucket list was to travel to a tiny town in northern Yukon territory, Canada called Dawson City and to take a shot of liquor with a mummified human toe in it. Yes, you read that right. A shot with a human toe in it.

The trip was a 10+ hour drive from where I was staying in Haines, AK. Luckily, the person I was staying with is a champion and as much of a heathen as I am and eagerly agreed to make the (what ended up being) 26 hour round trip drive.

Now I have had a lot of people ask me if I wore pants and shoes while I was there. To that I answer yes… and no.

still in sandals

I did put on some pants but they zipped off into shorts if needed. On the drive up there we had a couple of small adventures and saw quite a bit of wild life. The temperature seemed to drop a degree every 10km north that we drove. It finally settled on -22 (yes, negative 22 degrees Fahrenheit).

The folks in Dawson City made fun of me a bit for wearing just a hoodie, a tshirt, some pants and my sandals. Funnily enough though, my feet were never cold. My hands and face were so cold they went numb almost instantly. The absolute worst part was when outside, every exhalation from my nose froze my mustache. That was just the worst feeling. Though it felt less bad than trying to breathe through my mouth.

So, 10ish hours of frozen solid road, 1 beautiful sunset behind the mountains that surrounded us and many sing along songs later, we arrived at our destination.

This is the home (and one of the only three bars in Dawson City) of the legendary Sour Toe Cocktail.

the video above is not mine, obviously, but this picture is.

After arriving around 11pm we were informed that the process of issuing a SourToe cocktail was a bit too labor intensive for the only bartender on duty to perform. Beckah and I got a bit sad faced and defeated. We decided to go outside for a cigarette and to lick our wounds (and crank the car just to make sure).

After expressing our intentions regarding doing the “toe shot” to some locals who were also outside and some good conversation about how my feet don’t get cold; we met the drunkest man in Dawson City.

His name is Nick and he is a 3rd generation Dawson resident whose grandparents used to own the very bar we were perched in front of. We expressed our dismay about not being able to do the “toe shot” and bid our temporary farewells. Between the sob story I gave the bartender about driving 10 hours for one purpose and it also being my birthday (it actually was and I had to show her my ID to prove it) and drunk Nick (seriously one of the drunkest people I have ever seen and he was still conscious) badgering the bartender to let him issue it to us.

She caved and let ole drunky pants give issue us the “toe shots”.

somehow me managed to spell my name right but totally butchered “Alabama”. Or, “Abbama” as he spelled it

Bottoms up time. Unfortunately the size requirements on the website required that I shorten the videos more than I wanted to. But, you get the point.

Now its Beckah’s turn with the full disclaimer which is actually “you may drink it fast. you may drink it slow, but your lips have to touch the toe.” Or drunk Nicks variation of it…

We took our “toe shots” with Yukon Jack whiskey because that was the preferred way Captain Jack took his.

Sadly, one week after mine and Beckah’s fateful trip to the Yukon, the man who created it died.

I got my certificate and my bragging rights, and all on my birthday. I feel like if I had met Capt. Jack, we would have hit it off and had a shot or two together. RIP sir, your legend lives on.

After visiting the other 2 bars in town and closing them down (at 2:30am mind you) we hit the road home. About and hour and a half into the drive home, we pulled over on the side of the frozen highway in about a foot of snow, we napped. Waking up roughly every hour or so to start the car and shivering violently despite being in the car and tucked snuggly under the best blanket I have ever experienced, we managed under 3 hours of sleep but it was welcome rest for the last 8.5 hour drive home. The one liter full water bottle in the door pocket of the car was frozen solid. It was not under the blanket.

We drove home in the sunrise watching the world come alive with critters abounding and cold light of the sun reminding us that just a few hours before, we practiced some light cannibalism and loved every minute of it.

Also, on the way home we ran into some funny things on the side of the road, one of which was a huge moose just 10 feet off of the road.

And these two things, for which I have no description.

A few days later, I started my adventure home. My 10 day trip turned into a 14 day debacle that ended with me spending roughly 24 hours on either a plane or in an airport terminal.

That sums up the last little bit of the trip. There are a lot more pictures and videos, but I didn’t want to bore you too much. I am sorry that the picture I tried to take of the aurora didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

As much as I needed the vacation, it felt incredible to be back home and back in the swing of things here with GM.

New blog will be up Friday for this week. This one took me a bit longer than I had anticipated and my fingers are tired. Come back Friday night and next Tuesday for two new blogs giving you all the info you were hoping for and less of my tangents.

Ever your servant,


Follow along! @martysgmbham