July 11th: Dawson City, YT to Fairbanks, AK (USA) – 620km
I stayed up late the night before to publish my Yukon post and had to get up early for check out time. Waking up, I did not feel like I would end up in Fairbanks that night. We packed up and headed up to the ferry to cross the river. On the other side was the Top of the World Highway. Although different, this dirt road is, in my opinion, just as scenic as the Icefield Parkway in Alberta. The road takes you up high on the tip of the mountains and the view is quite something. USA border is somewhere up there and it was my best border crossing in a long time. Then the road gets very twisty and fun coming back down in the valleys. My rear tire got worn out unusually fast there for some reason… We had lunch in a tiny town called Chicken, before continuing to the Alaska Highway in the rain. Once we reached it, it was nice pavement, strait and somewhat boring up to Fairbanks. We arrived there around 7pm, set camp and cooked dinner before going to bed. (video coming soon)
July 12th: Fairbanks
Nate had been coughing really badly since the morning before and he did not feel better waking up. We decided to go shopping for a few things we needed and wait to see how he would feel the next day before making any plans. I took the opportunity to shorten my chain as I was at the end of my tensioning bolts. I then purchased some more oil for my oiler and another master link or the chain. I spent the rest of the day working in a cafe. At night, I went out for a run before bathing in the cold river as showers were not available.
July 13th: Fairbanks
Nate did not feel better in the morning and went out to see a doctor. I left the campground to sit in a cafe to work on a few things. I went through a book in the afternoon and out for a run at night.
July 14th: Fairbanks to Coldfoot – 410km
Nate felt better, but fever soaked his sleeping bag and he needed to wash and dry it before leaving towards Prudhoe Bay. He came back around 1pm and we left after grabbing lunch and gas around 2.30pm. It was starting to rain and wind was blowing quite hard when we left. We had more than 150km of paved road before hitting the Dalton Highway. There we met a few guys going south saying the road was washed out at some point beyond Coldfoot. Even though it did not seem very inviting, we decided to keep going. Road was wet and muddy from that point. A few stretches were paved but the rest was dirt. We stopped at the arctic circle where I realized I blew for fork seals. I hit a vey deep hole with full tanks… I washed my fork boots and cleaned the seals to prevent further oil leaks. Final 60 miles were paved before we stopped in Coldfoot. We had dinner there before setting out tents under the rain a few miles farther in a state park.
July 15th: Coldfoot to Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay) – 400km
Waking up in a sunny day felt good. I took a couple hours to wash my seals very well, lube the chain, change my air pre filter and clean the mud where necessary. I then rode back to Coldfoot to make a reservation for the bus tour to the Arctic Ocean the next day. They needed our passport information to do a background check as we will go through oil fields. We left around 11am towards Deadhorse camp in Prudhoe Bay. Road was fine for the first few hours and got wet and slippery. When we stopped, I never saw as many mosquitoes flying around, it was crazy. It took us a full 7 hours to get in Prudhoe Bay. We rented a room up there and it included 3 meals for a “cheap” 230$ double room. (video coming soon)