We got to Fairbanks around 7 or 8 PM- I can't say for sure because I don't remember. And then we parted- Siggy, Dave, and Scott to the south, while I headed north to see how far I could go.
Back in Tok we'd run into some guys on big 1150 Adventures and they told us about the Haul road. One guy said he made it to Deadhorse in 10 hours from Fairbanks, but then flew a tire and had to wait a few days. That was all the Canadians needed to hear- no Deadhorse for their sport bikes. I wasn't set on Deadhorse, but I did want to take a good look at the road.
I ended up having to sleep on a loading dock while a thunderstorm washed the road away.
The next morning- as I heard the story first from Scott, then from Dave himself, a few weeks later- one tank south of Fairbanks, right after re-fueling, in a town- Dave was creamed by a kid in a truck. The kid didn't see him. Dave tried couldn't stop so he added power and turned away- tried to outrun the truck. And the kid never even slowed down, instead plowed right into him. Broke his femur, broke his right tib/fib, almost took his foot off, and broke his hand. Threw him into a sign, where he broke his other leg. Siggy and Scott right there. In a town- after the Cassier and thousands of miles, IN A TOWN. RVs stopped. An ambulance was there in minutes but they had no pain meds. Dave said he thought he'd die when they straightened his legs. Med-flight took off from Anchorage but had to turn back because of engine trouble. Dave in an ambulance back toward Fairbanks. Stopped at a town with a landing strip and put Dave on a turbo-prop. Dave with an embolism in his lung. Dave at the hospital in Fairbanks for a month. Dave at a hospital in Canada for two months. FUCK. Dave said he wished I was there with my beacon, but then he didn't need it because they were actually IN A TOWN!
Meanwhile, I was riding North. And it was raining worse than I've ever, ever seen it rain. Worse than Panama in the rainy season. People in the truck stop north of Fairbanks were saying, "there goes the road!"
The lack of night was messing with my internal clock. I knew I should rest, but all I wanted to do was RIDE. So after I woke up on the loading dock, I went, and a little while later, I met a lunatic. Gassing up his KTM on the side of the road. Looking like hell. Totally psyched.
"7/6/07 11:48 PM Fairbanks, AK 61,940/4644 2.64 gal @ $8.09 gonna eat, and shove-off at midnight, 7/7/07, for the Arctic Circle!"
"11:28 PM I didn't make it very far. It's a torrential down-pour- South American Style. Lightning and HOLY SHIT! And I'min a truck stop. If it's raining like this on the gravel road, then it's going to be gone."
And a little while later I met "AWOL." Very cool. We saluted you.
Then it got really hard. This is rain on the Dalton.
This next part I'm not real proud of. I started to fall asleep. But I couldn't stop on account of BEARs. I was tired and not thinking straight but I didn't want to stop. The road was shit and I couldn't ride faster than about 20mph anyway. I started to nod off. I was actually nodding off as I crossed the Yukon. I crawled up to the propane tank in front of the restaurant and I slept on the grass. When I woke up, I saw anothe lunatic- name unknown- on a Buell. He said he took a spill north of Wiseman and broke his shift lever, had to have it welded in Prudhoe Bay. I was surprised how similar his Buell was to my RS.
"1:16 PM Yukon River Camp. Got here at 6:30 local time. Place opens at 9 local. So I slept on the ground. 2 moose. 1 bobcat/lynx. Bad roads. FUN. But I kept falling asleep while riding. 62083/4787 2.6 gal @ $9.69?"
"2:57 PM a lunatic on a bike."
"3:32 PM N66 33.350' W150 48.661' ARCTIC CIRCLE! 62146/4850.7!"
This guy asked me if there were any more big hills ahead... and he said he wanted to ride to Ushuaia? I said, "No, this is the last one." A couple of days later, at Yukon River, one of them- the swiss one- was lurking around the cafe. I asked him where his buddies were. "I don't know," he said. He'd last seen them not long after I took his picture here. Teamwork?