Alaska – Part 1

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)

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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.

Campground for three nigths

Campground for three nigths

 

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.

Dirt around the corner - mile 0 of the 415 miles highway

Dirt around the corner – mile 0 of the 415 miles highway

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They would not sell gas to Nate so we transferred some from my tanks

They would not sell gas to Nate so we transferred some from my tanks

Gas siphon

Gas siphon

Arctic circle - almost 24h daylight at that point

Arctic circle – almost 24h daylight at that point

 

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)

View from campground

View from campground

Pipeline we followed all the way up

Pipeline we followed all the way up

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Atigun Pass - 4500ft

Atigun Pass – 4500ft

 

AK1

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5 responses to “Alaska – Part 1

  1. Bonjour François-Xavier
    Quel plaisir d’avoir de tes nouvelles! Ma belle Julie m’a donné ton site et sois assuré que nous te suivrons assidûment au cours de ton long périple. Nous te souhaitons un merveilleux voyage rempli de belles surprises et d’heureuses rencontres et surtout pas des pépins pour faire capoter tes parents.
    Nous pensons très fort à toi.
    Au plaisir de te revoir à ton retour
    Amitiés
    Marie Ouellet et Jacques Cardinal
    Gatineau

    • Bonjour à vous deux,
      Merci d’avoir pris le temps de m’écrire de si beaux souhaits.
      Il me fera plaisir de lire vos commentaires! Je travaille à temps plein sur la prévention des pépins… 🙂
      Au plaisir,

  2. Hi,
    Just like here in Finland, Lapland. I live some 60 miles southward from the Arctic Circle. Fine travel experiences to you in the future as well, and fine landscapes to us. Take care

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