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Old 08-16-2012, 05:55 PM   #91
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Day 11 Continued

We were back to traveling alone. We knew Bernie and Doug were out there somewhere and the folks on the Goldwing. But we were traveling on our own for the most part. That wasn't a bad thing it was just what we had been doing all along up until today and it was kind of nice to have the company.

We had a few spots we wanted to stop and fish at along the way. I had told Dylan that this was all new territory for us and we needed to be safe no matter what. We had to have a place to pull off to get us and the bike off the road. The trucks and other vehicles could be quite large and we didn't want to get in anyones way. We also had to have a good plan for animals and how I could keep an eye on him and the surrounding area for animals that may be threatening. Dylan was OK with that. We had picked out a few areas based on what we read on:

http://www.alaskaoutdoorjournal.com/...isheries2.html

Bonanza Creek looked pretty good so we stopped there. The moment we stopped and pulled our helmets off we were in trouble!!! The bugs were on us in a heartbeat! They were flying up our noses and getting into our ears and eyes. I grabbed Dylan's hat and head net and helped him get it on. Then I was able to get myself covered up. Whew! That was terrible! I've been to the BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness) and the bugs can get pretty bad there. Nothing like this!

Putting the pole together at Bonanza Creek



There was a nice pull off and an area to park the bike so it was pretty safe. This is the small opening to the creek. I went down with Dylan and could watch both sides of the creek and up and downstream.





He wanted to catch an Arctic Grayling in the worst way! This was one of the spots we thought would be good.

From the Alaska Outdoor Journal:

Bonanza Creek South Fork 123 mi and North Fork 124 mi.

Arctic grayling, burbot, whitefish

These creeks contain Arctic grayling, burbot, and whitefish. There is a good turnout on the southeast side of the bridge on the South Fork with room for a few campsites. The North Fork has a small turnout on the northeast side of the bridge. Both forks join and then meet Fish Creek before flowing to the South Fork of the Koyukuk River. The North Fork carries more volume than the South Fork.



Didn't catch a fish here but he was happy that he was able to get off the bike and experience this. It was fun watching him in his element. I felt like an innocent bystander!



We only stayed on some of these fishing stops for no more than 30 minutes or so. It was a nice break but we needed to keep moving.

We drove on after packing the gear back up. The next area we wanted to stop was the Jim River. Again from the Alaska Outdoor Journal:

Jim River 140 mi (Bridge #1), 141 mi (Bridge #2), 144 mi (Bridge #3).

Chinook & chum salmon, Arctic grayling, burbot, whitefish, northern pike

Campsites available, day trip canoe & rafting opportunities
The crossing at Jim River Bridge Number 3 is the largest of the three branches of Jim River. There is a good turnout for parking on the southeast side of the bridge. Chinook and chum salmon, Arctic grayling, burbot, whitefish, and northern pike are all found in the Jim River. This river is probably the most productive fisheries stream crossed by the Dalton Highway. The Jim River and Prospect Creek join and flow into the South Fork of the Koyukuk River. The road parallels the river for approximately 10 miles from Bridge Number 1 to the junction of the Bettles winter access road near Pump Station Number 5 (Prospect Camp). The winter access road leaves the Dalton Highway approximately one mile north of the Prospect Creek crossing and leads to the old Prospect Pipeline Camp and the Jim River. Campsites are available here. A nice day trip by canoe or raft begins at any of the bridge crossings with a take-out destination at the Bettles winter access road. The Jim River can also be reached by parking near the Douglas Creek bridge and walking over to the stream.

This looked really promising! There was another vehicle in the pullout area. We had to hike to the river a short distance.



This is what you see everywhere:



Yup, moose poop!

This sign was right at the edge of the trail to the river:



The river was a beautiful sight. The bugs weren't nearly as bad and we didn't need the head nets.



The bridge you see in the photo above is the Dalton Highway.

Dylan fishing the Jim River (Bridge 3):



Just down river a bit from us the family who must have been in the other vehicle were all fishing. All of a sudden a big scream came out and a young boy was jumping up and down and yelling! He had caught a fish and the whole family got into the excitement. Great to see! Dylan wanted to hang out there for awhile but he was getting hungry and we needed to put some miles on again.

I think the photo below is of Grayling Lake. We couldn't stop anywhere again to fish today until we found a spot to stay.



I didn't know what time the Arctic Interagency Visitors Center closed (across from Coldfoot) so we turned in there before we fueled up in Coldfoot. Good idea! It was really cool! We got Dylan's National Park Passport stamped with the Gates of the Arctic stamp. We also got some t-shirts, a hat and some pins. We also were able to get, are you ready.....our official certificates for crossing the Arctic Circle! Suitable for framing of course!



The ranger recommended we not stay in Coldfoot if we were camping. She said there are a lot of sled dogs housed there and they are always barking. Good to know. She said go another 5 miles up the road to Marion Creek Campground.

We left and went across the Dalton Highway to Coldfoot Camp to get fuel before our push the next day to Prudhoe Bay.

The Post Office



The store, restaurant and gas station.



I pulled up to the pump and got in line to get fuel and was behind another rider. We later found out he was from northern California and he admittedly was in over his head with the whole idea of camping in the "wilds". He had a real bear phobia and was pretty freaked out. While he was getting his fuel we tried to let him know a few pointers about keeping the bears away. Well, he was convinced to stick with us that night. That's cool, we like the company. We're going to Marion Creek. He said meet you there. I pulled up to get my fuel and when I was done I usually pull the bike forward or at least get it out of the way. I looked around and there was no one else around so I thought I could run in real quick and pay. The young lady that was at the cash register was very talkative and it took a few minutes to get back outside. Well there was a lady in "construction crew" clothing, high viz yellow, walking off kind of in a huff because she had to stretch the pump hose to fill her truck.

Oops, sorry (remember this part of the story, it comes back to haunt me).
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:36 PM   #92
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Day 11 Continued

Here's the total at the pump for my fuel in Coldfoot:



Wow! $5.199 per gallon. Going to get higher than that even!

We headed up the road which is paved right at Coldfoot past Wiseman. This is where we spend the next two nights:



One of the cleanest most beautiful campgrounds I have ever stayed in. Below is a photo of the wood bin for the free firewood, the trash containers (with bear proof storage behind) and the outhouse.



The area where you pay and get local info:





Scenery surrounding the campground:





A plane flying up or down the Dalton:



Our campsite (Number 13) for the two nights we stayed there.



Shortly after we had our camp set up and we had eaten in comes Ron. He was the rider with the bear phobia we saw at Coldfoot. He grabbed the site right across from us and hung out talking about how to keep the bears from coming into his campsite. We politely told Ron we were heading to Marion Creek to fish for awhile. He was REALLY freaked that he would be alone and was scared for us being out in the "wilderness".

We walked to the river so that Dylan could fish for awhile. I entertained myself again by taking photos and a couple of short videos.



The bugs weren't bad by the river but in camp they were nasty!



Look at the crystal clear water!



This is the sights and sounds we were able to experience. I could have stayed in this little bit of paradise for quite awhile:



One more video from Marion Creek:



This little bird was NUTS! He kept getting closer and closer to us with no fear at all. I was later told they are know as "Camp Robbers" or Grey Jays.



We went back to our campsite and Rob was waiting for us. While Dylan put his gear away and I was writing in my journal Rob had stopped by wanting all nervous about us seeing any bears and if we had caught any fish. Out of Dyan's "innocent" youthful mouth comes "yeah, I put the fish right behind your tent". Rob was about to pack it all in and leave. Not funny Dylan, you shouldn't have said that....I know it was funny but he was pretty nervous.

We all survived our night at Marion Creek!

Ok, true confession time....

I wrote in my journal every night and thought I was religious about the mileage. Well, if I use what I wrote in my journal we only went 69 miles today. That's not possible. From Fairbanks to Coldfoot is 252 miles. I have no idea what happened. But from here on it is correct, I checked!

Todd & Dylan
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:24 PM   #93
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Day 12

I forgot to add a photo from Day 11. It's at Coldfoot Camp and it's the motel that I believe is made from ATCO units.



The motels are quite expensive in the area ($220 per night!). That's one of the reasons Dylan and I camped.

http://www.atcosl.com


Now on to day 12....

We woke up and didn't have to break camp. We left the tent and sleeping gear there so that we could just crawl back inside without too much hassle later tonight. I thought we would be pretty tired and it would also leave the bike a little bit lighter for the push up to Prudhoe Bay.

It was still crystal clear outside but had some kind of haze. We would latter find out from the "flagger" that it was smoke from a fire somewhere.



The series of photos you see with asphalt are between Marion Creek and Wiseman. After Wiseman it's all gravel.

These two crazy guys followed us the entire way to Prudhoe and back. Sometimes they would be in front and sometimes beside us but they were always riding really close.



Another way the pipeline gets across the rivers and stream, a bridge. Sometime it would be part of the bridge the Dalton had and others it must have been underground.



These photos are on June 21, 2012. The summer solstice. The sun is not going to set tonight. We will be able to see the midnight sun as we are traveling. Dylan and I thought that was going to be quite the experience. Not many folks would be able to say they were north of the Arctic Circle during the Summer Solstice.



We started taking photos and didn't stop. There are so many of them that they may be out of order (the ride up or the ride back). The sights may not have been the most beautiful things we had seen on our trip but they were VERY different than we had ever seen before.



Trees and other plant life was getting shorter the further north we went.



See what I mean about the pipeline always being there and when it disappears for a bit you get "worried" about it.





We hit a construction zone north of Wiseman and the pavement ended. We are now all gravel, sand, boulders, just about any kind of fill you could imagine. Here we go!!!



The haze was still with us but it didn't matter.







The "towers" you see on the pipeline supports are, from my understanding, giant heat sinks to dissipate the heat from the oil traveling down the pipeline and keep it from melting the permafrost.



A good look up the Dalton and the calcium chloride embedded gravel. It makes a pretty "rock" solid covering on your bike and anything else it gets on. Since Dylan was behind me and above the top case a little bit his back got a good coating of it.





Our first glimpse of the Brooks Range. Hmmmmm, that must mean Atigun Pass is coming up....uh oh.



We've still got a lot of territory to cover first though.





We pulled off the road to take a quick break and get a drink. We had plenty of water and food for the trip up and back. I also had a water filter and lord knows there was enough of that around to filter for drinking water.



My turn to get the self portrait of the two of us.



I'm not sure if the flag lady I asked was yanking my chain or not. I'm sure some of what they tell you is nothing more than entertainment for them. They stand there all alone for so long and then poof a bike pulls up and they probably can't wait to unleash some stretched out half truth to the unknowing "tourists". Well, the photo below shows a pipe coming out of a culvert and on the opposite end is another one the same way. I asked what they were for and she says "They attach another hose right before winter and pump antifreeze through the culverts so they don't freeze." Ok, I'll buy that.



I thought our ride was over shortly after this area. I learned to be a bit more careful and don't take my new found "gravel riding skills" to seriously. I'm still an amateur.

Todd & Dylan
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:47 PM   #94
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Day 12 Continued

We were making really good time and feeling great! I knew we were getting closer to Atigun Pass and got the video camera ready.

There are a series of short clips leading up to the pass and then a long one as we climb up and over Atigun Pass. Then a few short ones again coming down. Dylan took a few shots at the peak. I apologize for how crooked the camera is but the road was pretty rough here and had jarred the camera out of alignment. Tilt your head and it won't look so bad.

This clip is right at the foot of the pass.



This is the longest clip (a little more than 7 minutes) it begins at the first hairpin turn on the way up the pass heading north.



Dylan's photos along the summit. He was pretty intimidated taking photos while we were so close to the edge and you can see how far down it really is.





I think this photo is right in the middle of the pass.



Now we're going to start back down.



Still quite a bit of snow in the area! This is June 21!!!







That was Atigun Pass. The photos and video do not do it justice. It's MUCH steeper than it looks and I can only imagine what it would be like in the winter or when it was wet. Glad we had the perfect day!

The next section is where I thought Dylan and I were done for. Pump Station 4 will always be engraved in my mind.

Todd & Dylan
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:17 PM   #95
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Day 12 Continued

After coming over Atigun Pass I was feeling pretty full of myself. You watch Ice Road Truckers and hear about the trials and tribulations of Atigun Pass and you think to yourself "I'm pretty hot, I can do the Dalton Highway. Who says this is so tough?"

I, excuse me, we, were flying along the Dalton and passed Dietrich Camp, nothing more than an emergency response center (I think) for the pipeline. They also monitor CB Channel 19 which must mean they respond to ANY emergency. My thought and not anyone else's.

The road seems to be nice and hard packed with very little loose gravel. The calcium chloride wasn't as thick or maybe as fresh on the road so it was really nice to ride along at 50 to 60 MPH. Then we went through the Atigun Pass and had to slow down to maneuver the pass without having a mishap somewhere on that 4,800 foot pass.

Once we descended to the flat tundra again it was like someone shooting a loose cannon. We passed Atigun Camp and were really enjoying the high speeds, the sunshine, the clear blue sky and an absolutely perfect day.

Until…..

I could see Pump Station 4 in the distance and usually expected good road in that area since it was probably more heavily used. In my mind that is…..

You can see from the small clip I took out of a Milepost map of the area that there was a long sweeping left hand turn toward Pump Station 4. The pipeline crossed under the Dalton and then it made a slight right hand dog leg. That's where all hell broke loose!



We were cruising along at about 55 or 60 mph and all of a sudden the bike became possessed! The front end had a mind of its own and had slowed way down yet Dylan and I were still moving at a pretty good clip! The back end of the bike (where all the weight was) started to fish tail and go out of control. Instead of looking at all the beautiful sights and pump station 4 all of this brought my attention back to the road and what I saw really freaked me out.

Of course I'm able to play this all back in my head in slow motion now but at the time it was ugly, very ugly.

Bernie (of the Bernie and Doug fame riding along with us at times) sent me this message tonight and said it was ok to post:

"We also had a few pucker moments at pump station 4. We were warned about it but of course missed its exact location till we were just on it.

A couple of bikes coming from Prudhoe (one for sure was an 800GS) gestured for us to slow down just before we got there for some reason............ good thing we did.* If I ever figure out who it is I owe him a beer and a thanks. Doug took the right side first and it looked pretty spectacular with the bike shaking its head and trying to dump him off. I took the left and it was no better."

Someone fess up! You'll get a free beer!

When I did look down what I saw was about a foot deep of a weird sand gravel mixture. Now, I'm an amateur off-road rider but have riden just enough with HARD HEADED FOLKS (thanks Yooper Bob and DIrty Dan) to know that you need to lean back and hit the throttle to get through it. My initial reaction of course was to back off, I never hit the brakes, but then I saw what a mess it was and hit the throttle to get the front end back up on top and coast through. The back of the heavy bike stopped its fishtail reaction and we were able to through it upright! The first reaction the bike had was to nose dive when it hit that soft crap. I could picture us sprawled out on the Dalton and some big semi-truck running us over.

When we were at Yukon River Camp on the way back to Fairbanks another rider shared his story with us. He was tired and had stopped several times to take a break. He didn't want to camp in that area so he was going to push through. He hit that area and the bike and him went down. The soft "quick" gravel had no footing and he couldn't get his bike back up alone. A semi-truck came through and was able to stop (had to, he was blocking the entire Dalton Highway) and helped him pick it up and go on his way. He was pretty thankful that he hadn't hurt anything more than his ego.

The next few pictures are of a pullout right before Galbraith Camp which is right after the pump station.



That took the life out of me! I needed to stop and regroup. Probably should have cleaned my shorts out, too!



Dylan got off the bike and says "Wow was that a fun ride!" Out of the mouths of babes, eh?



Ummm, look at this sky. Can it get any more blue than this? No pollution, no smog, just pristine views.



We were here for a bit. Maybe 20 or 30 minutes. We watched a group of folks walk off with backpacks towards the mountains. Maybe going to spend a few days there? Who knows. I was envious that they were going to see it even closer than I was going to.



All of these photos were taken from that pullout. I needed to get my bearings corrected and then get back on the road. We had a destination but no timeline. Hell, it wasn't going to get dark, we had all the light we needed!

Now that I was ready to go again we headed out. You can see that the plant life doesn't grow very high and you can see for miles. It's a good and a bad feeling. Good because you know exactly where you're headed, bad because you see there's absolutely nothing between here and there!



Even a rock stands out.



Dat dare is a hole lotta pipe!



Seriously, what an engineering marvel. Does anyone else wonder if there's actually oil flowing through it?

They are kind of hard to see but in the photo below there are some small purple flowers. They smell wonderful! When you get along areas that have huge patches of them you would almost think you were in heaven.



I was taking a self portrait. Look very closely in Dylan's left lens of his sunglasses. We were both very happy we had good sunglasses. We would find out just how good on the return trip at the Arctic Circle. For now, you'll have to trust me, I'm smiling…..



Bike porn on the tundra!



For those who do not own a bike or haven't had to depend on a bike (or any other kind of vehicle) to get them "home" from somewhere… You begin to have quite an attachment to your lifeline. For me it included not only self preservation but also the safety of my son. It. Did. Not. Fail. It will always have a place of honor.



One more…



What on earth could be next? We've had perfect weather, a near fatal (in my mind) incident with "quick" gravel, 4,800 feet of steep mountain passes, and pure desolation.

As a prelim….

Dad: Dylan, what the hell is that in the road?
Dylan: I don't know.
Dad: Get your camera in case it moves.
Dylan: It's moving! It's really hairy!!
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:31 PM   #96
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Captivating writing style! Really enjoying following your RR.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:24 PM   #97
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I've been glued to this thread for days.
This is my morning coffee, dammit!

Nice one Todd and Dylan.
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:18 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BitesTheDust View Post
Captivating writing style! Really enjoying following your RR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by westfrogger View Post
I've been glued to this thread for days.
This is my morning coffee, dammit!

Nice one Todd and Dylan.
Thank you so much for following along. It's been great reliving the trip. My wife wants me to hurry so she can read more detail than what Dylan and I have relayed to her. It's been a lot of fun (and work ) putting the photos together and putting my thoughts into words.

Thanks again!

Todd & Dylan
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:50 AM   #99
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Thanks for the great ride report! I've been enjoying following along
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:03 AM   #100
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NorWis, I've been enjoying your report. Glad you kept the bike up through that. My wife and I followed in your tracks up to Deadhorse on July 2nd. Last year I took my son on a ride up to the Grand Canyon for a few days. He was also 11. It was nothing as big as your trip, though. Dylan will remember this forever. Great job, Dad!
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:03 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokklym View Post
Thanks for the great ride report! I've been enjoying following along
Thanks! It's been just as fun for us telling about our adventure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
NorWis, I've been enjoying your report. Glad you kept the bike up through that. My wife and I followed in your tracks up to Deadhorse on July 2nd. Last year I took my son on a ride up to the Grand Canyon for a few days. He was also 11. It was nothing as big as your trip, though. Dylan will remember this forever. Great job, Dad!
Keep at it. I'm now reaping the benefits of the trip in small ways with my son. He listens to me rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other. What I have to say is important now rather than just "an old man talking". It may have something to do with mutual respect.

Thank you!!!

Todd
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:13 PM   #102
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Day 12 Continued

As we got closer to Pump Station 3 is when the exchange between Dylan and I happened. This is what I was referring to from a distance:



I stopped well short so I didn't spook it anymore than I already had. It stood there for quite awhile and we were able to get some really good photos.



What a strange yet beautiful and magnificent creature.



Fo those who have never seen one (I hadn't), this is a musk ox. When it walked, and later ran all of the hair jiggled and the legs looked kind of silly (rather short). Quite an animal to behold. We felt pretty honored to have seen one on the way UP to Prudhoe Bay (hint, hint for what's in store on the return).

You can see pump station 3 behind the musk ox.



I at first thought we were in deep trouble with the way it was facing us. It started to move toward us but to our left. I put the bike in gear and told Dylan to hold on. He did, with one hand! The other was on his camera trying to get a closer picture. The musk ox went to the left of us and we went further to the right. We gave each other plenty of room.

The best of the shots Dylan had taken one handed as it was passing by us.



We felt VERY privileged to have been so close to a species that goes back to prehistoric times. What I have read very recently is that they were so close to extinction that they had to be reintroduced to Alaska. They have rebounded quite nicely.

Another pullout and a photo of our worthy steed by the pipeline!



A visual reminder to slow down and be careful:



Hard to believe you could feel so alone when you can see so far in the distance. But we were alone. Not a frightening type of "alone" but rather a peaceful solitude type. You knew at some point during this time of year a vehicle would drive by. We had even seen a few bicyclists. We pulled over at a small information area and took in the sights and signs. It was quite interesting to read about and see first hand the "braided rivers".







The next few photos are from the Franklin Bluffs which is not too far from Prudhoe Bay. We were getting excited but needed to keep that excitement contained so we didn't do something silly to ruin it.







Then with much warning (you can see it from a VERY long way off) you see it. The Beverly Hillbilly's theme came to mind "Oil that is, Black Gold, Texas Tea".



You could see this oil derrick from a long way off. It get kept getting bigger and bigger! Compare it to the trucks in front of it.



Then a few caribou show up. They were losing some fur and weren't that "healthy" looking.





Hmmmm, what's next? Is it over? The end? Does the adventure really finish in Prudhoe Bay? Or is it only half way? Remember from the beginning, this was a 24 day trip.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:37 AM   #103
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Fantastic RR ! Thanks for all the pictures of the haul road and the surrounding area as well as the great descriptions of riding it. So enjoying this.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:09 AM   #104
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Day 12 Continued

Destination reached! We made it. We have reached the goal that Dylan and I had set out to accomplish.

I had a big lump in my throat and felt an overwhelming sense of pride that we both made it. Some one in another ride report had written that Deadhorse or Prudhoe Bay resembles a factory with no walls or a ceiling. That statement couldn't be any more true. This is not for tourists, it's a working town and if you are not here to work you get the feeling that you shouldn't be here.

The views as we came into town:





I am not entirely sure what the order of the photos should be but they are all in Prudhoe Bay.









While driving past one of the ATCO motels we saw Bernie & Doug! They were going to stay in Prudhoe Bay for the night but were getting ready to go find the general store to get THE infamous photo! Wait for us! We're in!!!

We followed them to the store. They had already been there and knew the way to that and also to the gas station, which we would need for our return trip.



It was quite aways via several twists and turns and a stop sign. You had to be careful since things that moved around here could eat motorcycles for a snack!



Some of the photos are blurry. Dylan's camera was giving up the ghost. It's been through several trips and had seen better days.





We went to the general store and there were all kinds of vehicles parked in front of the infamous sign. We were not about to be denied this photo so we snuck around all the vehicles and even had to push the bikes a little to get them at least in front of the building. I was getting that picture! Doug & Bernie felt the same way. You do not ride 4,000 miles and not get proof! If you don't have a photo, you weren't there, right? Hmmmmm, would we have to do it again then? Food for thought!!!

Our friends, Doug on the left and Bernie on the right. Couldn't have asked for better folks to hang out with for just a short period of time.



They knew we were pressed for time, not daylight, but time. We still had a ride equal to what we had just done. We were going back to Marion Creek. They were staying the night and heading to the Arctic Ocean on the tour bus.

They helped get us lined up for the photo as well and took our pictures with several cameras (in case one puked on the way home).

It was wonderful to see the excitement in everyone's eyes and face even if we were all exhausted. We had made it! I stood back and let Dylan get his congratulations and stood proud as a peacock to see my son standing side by side other adventurers as a peer. To overhear Bernie tell Dylan that now he should know in his heart that "he can do anything he sets his mind to no matter how hard it is" I thought I was going to melt on the spot.

Our "proof" that we made it on our trusty steed, The Elegant Hog:



Just us. I may not have a smile on my face but my entire body is grinning!



What on earth could we need from the Prudhoe Bay general store? Stickers! We couldn't leave without stickers! Dylan was looking for Mountain Dew and a Snickers bar. I needed stickers for the bike!



They had just about anything you could think of that a worker would need here. They would have to!





Ok, we've got to get fuel and get moving. I can't afford to stay here much longer and we need to get some rest.

Fuel costs (even though the oil is right below us) was enormous. I didn't expect anything less than that and just took the $5.50 per gallon in stride. Even with Bernie and Doug's instructions on how to use the fuel pumps I had a hard time figuring it out. Twist this, pay here, turn that, then do this and push this button, move this mat, etc....



One more shot of Dylan and I at the end of the Dalton Highway, we made it…..



We rode out of Prudhoe Bay a few miles and then we pulled over to grab a quick bite to eat and reflect on our own in the solitude I spoke about earlier. We had a great father son discussion about what Bernie had told Dylan. I needed to make sure it sunk in and he would remember it. I also told Dylan a saying that I have heard many times.

I have been a rock climber and have attempted to climb Mt. Rainier and have read quite a few books about mountaineering. A saying that always holds true in life or in mountaineering was at least attributed to Ed Viesturs, "Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory." If you put it into our context right now "Reaching your destination is optional. Getting home safely is mandatory." We were now starting to head for home. We need to do it safely. We both understood that and knew that today was going to be a long day. We needed to stop along the way and rest when we needed to.

The parting shot for this segment of the trip. Not the day, just this part of the journey.



Thanks for following along with us.

Todd & Dylan
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:36 PM   #105
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