University of Alaska at Fairbanks to Wiseman (408 KM)
July 14th 2011
I was up really early this morning about 0430. Guess you can say I was anxiously awaiting to get back on the road and see what the Dalton Highway was all about. We checked out by 0620 and were on our way to Prudhoe Bay. It’s a long ride to the actual beginning of the highway, all pavement from Fairbanks but a nice ride with some decent curves and views.
We got our first real glance at the pipe line. When you see it for the first time it is hard to imagine how the heck they protect this long pipe and how they built it.
There were views but to be honest every time I saw one I went by it and only got trees. I am real lazy about turning back once I missed something and also Cheryl likes to keep moving. She hates stopping. So, on this day because it was so nice out, sunny, some clouds and no rain I kept my camera out around my neck on a lanyard and try my hand at moving photos.
We finally got to the Dalton Highway sign after about 130 miles or so I think it was and of course we need to eat and pee. No one really needs to know we had to pee but it’s all part of an adventure.
OK, so we still had another 14 miles to go before it was official.
To our surprise the Dalton was nothing like the Dempster. We were told some of the Dalton was paved but I think those who just got back from riding it forgot how much is paved. the road to Wiseman for the most part is really good. Lot’s of blacktop, compact clay and some gravel. I am sure when this is wet it could get slick but we seemed to be riding on pavement most of the 408 KM we did today. From what we have been told the rest of the way to Deadhorse is a little different. Less pavement more gravel like roads.
Some one handed pictures while riding
Still missing the open views. I am so bad at timing.
We had to pass that truck in front of me and then out run him.
Having fun with self portraits.
Still managing to take pics on the fly. Not really stopping much. I guess we have been inundated with beauty, plus we did not have a reservation either in Coldfoot or Wiseman to stay for the night. getting up there early was our idea to get in fast.
We only about 6 bikes today and 2 of them were Harley’s heading up. We got to the vista for Finger Mountain I believe it is called and one of the Harley’s lost his oil pan. Even though this is not that bad of a road still not made for street bikes.
Pipeline is to your right. I really did take a lot more pictures today since I did them from the bike. Not a bad way of doing things and I was certain to be safe when taking them.
There are a lot of dead trees it looks like. And nothing really grows up here because of the harsh winters and lack of roots/water.
See the road looks like a normal highway in many parts.
Coming into Yukon for our first gas pit stop and of course bathroom break. When out on the road you tend to drink a lot of water, hence all the pee breaks.
The only gas pump
Sort of motel and food.
All better after this break and off again towards Coldfoot for some lunch but first we had something to do.
Had to do more riding to get to our next goal before food.
Pretty purple flowers lined certain parts of the road. Very beautiful
The next picture is where we saw that poor Harley guy looking under his bike to find that he was not going anywhere. He would get help later. This is also that Finger Mountain thing. Cheryl said it looks like a penis. I know this is supposed to be G rated but really???? I agree with Cheryl on this one.
Now the next few pictures mean a lot to us. Our goal on this trip was to at least make it to the Arctic Circle on the Dempster and on the Dalton. So, here we are, Arctic Circle # 2. We have succeeded hitting both of them on motorcycles in one trip.
From the sounds of it there have been at least 2 Triumph Tigers to reach this spot before us. Bummer!
And here is Cheryl yet again reminding me how much (4 yrs.) younger she is than me.
Then me, half way up and Cheryl still had to lift my sorry butt up.
Short lived we got back on the bikes and headed north.
Don’t you just love it when you see signs like this one? It was a tight blind corner but I have never seen such an honest sign before.
he dark clouds ahead were apparently over at Deadhorse. Was raining there today.
Anyone getting tired of me saying that it has been raining or some precipitation all the time except today? Weather becomes an obsession when riding.
arrived at Coldfoot, was greeted by a nice cat and some decent food and then more gas.
At Coldfoot they wanted over $200 a night for this
Soon you will see what we got for $90
next picture is the nice floor in the restaurant.
We do not get Land O Lakes products in Canada. When I lived in NY I used to love Land O Lakes anything.
Why doesn’t half and half need to be refrigerated anyway? Almost forgot to take a picture of my patty melt.
waiting to get gas
We are carrying an extra 2 gallons as we have done quite a few times on this trip just in case. We might need it for the trip to Deadhorse.
The we got back on the bikes to head to Wiseman. Some biker buddies of ours told us about this cool place Boreal Lodge. We had a hard time finding it at first because we did not ride far enough from Coldfoot. It’s about 18 KM from Coldfoot down a dirt road about 3 miles and then you come to this.
About a population of 15 full time residents belonging to the same family pretty much. the family that owns this lodge. The ride into the lodge is very beautiful.
You cross over this little bridge and voila
And this is what we walked into. And when I say Wiseman is in the middle of no where, check out our SPOTwalla page.
Our room is the 5th door to your right. Two twins, towels, linens, bathroom right next door, free showers and they have laundry too. There is a common TV room with kitchen. They do not serve food here but you sure can cook your own. WIFI in the main gift store only and no uploading big files like our BLOG entry. This will have to wait until we are “allowed” to upload.
This is the shared kitchen and TV room
They have one cabin which is loaded with a loft, bathroom, kitchen and bedroom with TV and phone.
They use wind and solar power a well as generators to get electricity here.
Some friendly cats and we took around the area, very small but very cool things to see.
Lot’s of bugs here but we got our spray.
Nice river flowing near by and if we were staying longer we just might have gone fishing.
We are hoping that when we get to Deadhorse tomorrow that we can take the tour to the ocean. They need to check the back grounds of visitors for security reasons. Hence the 24 hours notice but they do not make it easy to make a reservation. Caribou Arctic Inn does the tours. We shall see if we get there only to really turn back.
UPDATE: We got a tour for 5 PM but no place to stay yet. Caribou is full so we are hoping to get in at the Prudhoe Hotel at $110 per person. OUCH oh but it includes meals. Or, we ride out of town about 10 miles and chance camping with the Grizzly’s. Stay tuned.