Itís a little cool this morning. With a large lunch and supper, I decided to forego breakfast and get something in town later. I packed up camp and was sitting in the line for the ferry when I got to thinking that there wasnít anything I really wanted in town except fuel. I had enough fuel to make it to Chicken AK or Tok if I needed too. So I wheeled out of line and headed west. Driving the Top of the World Highway is nice. Itís pretty much a gravel road with a few paved spots.
I had a guy drop his motorcycle (BMW GS1200) in front of me. He had passed me earlier and then stopped and was turning around to get a picture when his bike fell over. I stopped and helped him pick it up. The traffic on this road is horrible; I bet I met 5 cars in two hours on the way to the border.
The border crossing was quick. A tin shed on the top of a hill in the middle of nowhere. I think this is where they send the Border Patrol guys that screw up. I actually liked the spot. You could see for miles. But pretty windy and cold. The road got worse from there. It was like driving Higgins Gulch road above Crowe Peak.
I got to Chicken and bought fuel. $4.35 per gallon. This was as much as the highest I paid in Canada. As I was driving off, the clerk came running out, flagging me down. I didnít think I had left my credit card, Hope it was good. Nope he was from Spearfish and we chatted about home.
I went to the downtown Chicken had a piece of pie and used their internet to check my mail. Headed on to Tok. I got my fishing license ($80 for 14 days) then talked to the girl at Game and fish about area fishing. I drove to Moon Lake and was going to camp but didnít have the correct change. I wasnít going to give them anymore after paying the $80 for fishing. So I headed down the road a ways.
I came across an RV with a flat tire. It was a father with his 3 grown daughters, doing a father-daughter trip. The RV had no jack or lug wrench. They had rented it in Anchorage and couldnít get the guys to return their call. While we were changing the tire, the guy texted back that it didnít have a jack for liability reasons. Loaned them a jack, lug wrench and helped finish changing the tire. Then I drove another Ĺ mile to a turn off next to Yerrick Creek. Set up here and called it a night. 198,846 206 miles
It was another cool evening. But I did get up and got going. Nothing too exciting on this trip. I stopped by Delta Meats and bought some reindeer sticks and some jalapeno and olive summer sausage. Finally talked to Sherri and we got an offer on the Gillette house. Itís low but we figured out a counter offer.
I was going to stop in the North Pole and have a cup of coffee. There was construction and I was always too late to exit by the time I saw it. I ended up driving through Fairbanks so I just went got fuel at this truck stop north of town. I was going to get propane also, but it still felt pretty full. So I didnít exchange it. The girl at the truck stop wasnít too into her job and seemed more interested in flirting with the two truckers in front of me. Forever to get out of there.
Iíve decided to head up the Haul Road (also known as the Dalton Highway). At least to Coldfoot. Weíll see about Prudhoe Bay. I am leaning towards going so pushed to past the Yukon tonight.
Stopped at the BLM visitorsí center at the Yukon Crossing. A couple was working it. Almost seemed like they were to busy reading their books than to talk to me. I donít think I would have gotten any of the brochures from the guy if she hadnít prompted him. He barely looked up from the book he was reading and acted annoyed that I would be so rude to even talk to him. So back on the road.
The BLM ďcampsiteĒ 5 Mile is a big parking lot with a privy. I decided to set up here anyway for the views to the south. Nice breeze to keep the bugs away, but pretty warm out. Two guys are hiding in their tent to get out of the sun. They are riding their bicycles. Well get up early tomorrow and see how many miles I can get put away. 199,150 319 miles
Woke up at 4:30 because of cold. I didnít get the sleeping bag out, because it was so warm last night. Not that cold now, just uncomfortable to sleep. So start coffee and decide to go all the way to Deadhorse. Iím up early for a start. So GO.
Itís getting cooler with a light rain shower as I am getting ready. It sucks to be riding a bike now. Well the trip to Deadhorse is an ego thing, just to say I did it. But as every mile progresses I get into more and more breathtaking country. Itís like having the Tetonís on one side of the road and the Rockies on the other side. I note numerous streams that Iíll want to check out on my way back. The road conditions are all over the place. They range from good gravel to really bad chip seal. My speed varies from 35 to 50 mph. I usually run 40 to 45. It just seems easier on the truck and Iím not in that big of hurry.
The scenery is great. What can I say? I try to get some pictures but itís hazy out and I donít think they are very good.
I donít see much for wildlife except for a White Ptarmigan and finally after I get out in the tundra, I see some musk ox.
The wind starts to get pretty hard as I hit the tundra. Of course itís right in my face. Some delays for road construction. As I get closer to Deadhorse, they are really applying a lot of magnesium chloride and the truck is getting drenched in it. Meeting a lot more trucks as I get closer.
Deadhorse is pretty industrial and the wind was cold. Since itís coming right off the Artic Ocean I guess it doesnít have much time to heat up over the ground. There isnít much for wind breaks there either. I fuel and call Sherri. We had a counter to our counter on the house. It still isnít close enough. We put another counter back. This is as far as we go.
I then get out of Deadhorse. I drive 100 miles south to get by some of the worst of the construction. I am parked beside the Sag River. The wind is still cold. I turn the heat on in the camper.
With this wind I can find almost every leak in this old camper. Itís still warmer than a tent. I can hear all the truck traffic on the haul road and the river and the furnace. But I am tired. I drove almost 450 miles of gravel roads today and took lots of pictures. So time to go to bed.
199,579 450 miles