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Old 08-13-2012, 02:18 PM   #36
AnjinSan OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Bucharest
Oddometer: 232
The New World I.17 – A bit of North Pole and a lot of Alaskan hospitality

Next morning we realize that we slept exactly near the airport. A little bit closer and we could have pitched the tents under the airplane wings.
Last evening we discussed over dinner what should we do once we reach Fairbanks. Dalton Highway and it’s endpoint Deadhorse is indeed a very popular point, especially for those who travel all the way on the North-South route. Very similar to Dempster highway, 650 kilometers of gravel ending up in a Oil camp. Hmm we postpone the decision for later, depending also on the weather we will find in Fairbanks
The good thing when traveling by motorcycle is that you get to meet people. With most of them you just exchange just the usual “hi, how are you?” and “where are you from?”. But from time to time you meet people with whom conversations just go on, naturally.
In Tok we meet Thomas, a German guy who bought a pick-up car, and was spending his vacation in Alaska. When he heard we are going to Fairbanks he commented “Why are you going to Fairbanks, if not for the Dalton? And the road from here to there is sooo boring!”
“We don’t know yet… but we are going”.
And yeah, he was wright, the road to Fairbanks could be considered quite… uneventful. But on the other hand it is all in the eye of the traveler. For example we went again through acres and acres of burned forest.
It was interesting to find out that these trees burn very quickly leaving nothing but scorched roots. And the speed the fire is traveling could be very high. Even 40-50 miles per hour. So one cannot run from it. You could take refuge in a lake. Of course you would have to share the space with all the animals in the area that can swim…
Seems that fires are a too-common event in the great North. They even have warning levels for fire hazard.

On a more happy note, during one of our stops, Andreea found these.
And yes, she can eat them without taking the helmet off. She can do a lot without taking her helmet off when it is cold outside
And when we were close to Fairbanks we had to stop yet again as we just entered… North Pole!
I have to admit, Alaskans have very good inspiration at naming towns!
In the visitors center we found a map with pins showing the places where visitors were coming from. So we had to stick one in Bucharest on the map. We were the first ones from Romania it seems.
We reach Fairbanks and we start to look for accommodation. We had a host from CouchSurfing but the problem was that we were too early in the city and we were not sure if he was at home or if we could stay at him and Rodney as well. Rodney decides to check out the University Dormitories which during summer when the students are away one might find a clean room. Me and Andreea remain behind to have lunch and try to find out if our host is in town.
I was feeling quite off after the ride and having a small headache, I propose to have a cafe. Just across the street from the pizza place, there was a book store named Gulliver’s, and at the second floor we find some refuge with hot cafe between the books.
It was getting late and we still didn’t knew where we will sleep. We were starting to think about joining Rodney at the dormitories when something happened.
A guy came to our table and said “sorry, you will have to move from here, we need to rearrange the tables as from 7 we have a presentation”.
“OK, we were about done anyway. No problem”
“But you could stay at the presentation, it is about K2 peak”. “we would love to, but we have to go and find a place to sleep, we just got in town”. “hmm for how long you need to stay in Fairbanks? You could stay at my place”
…. “are you serious?” “Yes, my name is David, and I am the owner of this bookstore. You see that house? It’s mine. You can stay with me for 1 or 2 days, I have a spare bedroom”
We look at him in disbelief but he was very serious. So, what else could one say? Thank you! And in this way, we got to have a place to stay, we met a great guy, David, who was very happy that he was only 2 months to retirement and making plans to travel himself. And as a bonus, we got to see the presentation about K2 peak and meet a Sherpa native.
Alaska is cool!
Next time we get to see if we end up on Dalton and which will be the Northern most point of our trip. Stay tuned!
Written from a nice bakery where the best product is heat.

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