Joined: Jul 2008
A Day Ride on the Dalton (Pt 5)
The tundra blazed by, mile after mile in an endless blur. I kept count 30 miles at a time (48k). It seems like the more you look at the ODO, or the clock for that matter, the slower it moves so I forced myself not to look down. As agonizing as it was, I used every inch of my willpower not to look down. Just keep going, no stopping, just go, go, go! ………….even though it wasn’t written on the side of my bike.
No looking down and no full throttle, I couldn’t run out.
Just the steady hummm of the thumper, mile after mile, hour after hour……
Finally, I guess I had missed it on the way in, but this time saw the actual sign. Little Old Atigun Pass:
It was a relief to put the Arctic behind me and get back onto the familiar Southern Slope.
Yea, sorry about that one, “cheap camera” raring it’s ugly little head I suppose.
I had a little light left, but not much more than that.
And I couldn’t dilly dally, and no looking for camp either.
Because I still had a loooooooooooooooooooonnnng way to go and short time to get there.
Honestly I wasn’t sure it could be done. But none of that mattered, I was committed. I had no choice.
And I had to hammer it.
But gas was still a concern, so I would speed up and kill it at the tops of the hills, I coasted almost all the way down the pass.
30 miles, then another 30, and another and another.
Finally I made it back to Coldfoot.
I needed a break by this time. I had oatmeal for breakfast, a little beef jerky and trail-mix at a couple stops on the way up and some halibut in Deadhorse. I needed to refuel more than just the bike. I also needed some coffee, it was cold. Well actually, it was just starting to get cold. Obvious pun omitted.
On my way into Deadhorse I passed an FJ Cruiser that was headed out. The truckers at the little Coldfoot Café didn’t seem to have much interest, but the guys in the FJ were chatty. We talked about our trips and this and that, we also agreed that it was next to amazing they didn’t have a broken windshield.
But I couldn’t stay and chat forever, although it was not like the daylight was burning either. So, I had another cup of coffee.
It was a blur, from there on out and it was back to the 30 mile regiment. That and praying nothing ran out in front of me.
It seemed all the big game was long gone, since the first shot of the hunting season I hadn’t seen a thing along any of the roads.
Riding full out mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after kilometer after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after kilometer after mile after mile
After mile after mile after mile after mile after mile after kilometer after mile after mile after mile.
At one point, I had to pull over and stretch the legs and take a piss, I shut off the bike and black was completely and breathtakingly all encompassing. Like drive you insane in the depths in a cave pitch black.
It was all I could do to stay warm and keep going. But even if I wanted to stop, I had no blanket, actually I did have an emergency blanket that I haven’t had the fortune to use yet in Baja, but I had nothing more to put on or shelter myself with.
I had to keep going.
Finally I made it to the Youkon River, and there were even a few of the workers still playing poker in the café.
At first the guy in charge said I couldn't have any. It was too late and they were done for the night. So, I pulled out some cash and I had to beg and to tell them that if he didn' I would run out. Honestly, I thought I didn’t need it but I really didn’t want to worry about it. I had already done enough of that. I had to plead my case but he finally gave in.
After I topped off and had a few more bites of trail-mix, it was back in the saddle and off down the road.
But not until I had taken the chace to warm my hands on the engine cases.
No stopping, just GO, GO, GO!
And finally the dirt turned to pavement and I only had one more measly 30 mile stint, and there I was.
I let the rat out, heated up some soup, and tried several times to get this picture to come out, just in case there were any doubters.
Yea, who would have known a KLR could go that fast!
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