MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - WE'RE HERE -ALASKA
Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
159Trip End Jun 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
North Pole Hotel
Hotel North Pole
We made it. We're here in Alaska
At 6:30am we were up and ready to shower, but there was no water and no power. Lynn soon came over to our cabin to report that the power and water are switched off during the night and aren't switched on again until after 7:30am. That’s different, but then so much of the journey has been different. Flushing the toilet and showering was out of the question then. We ate breakfast and prepared to leave.
The border out of Canada was a mere 3 or 4 kilometers down the road from the 1202 Motel at Beaver Creek where we spent the night. No one was in attendance at the Exit Canada Border, so we all just rode on through. Twenty of so kilometers down the road, we came to the USA Border crossing into Alaska
At this point, we had realized our goal of riding from the most southerly city in the world Ushuaia, Argentina, right through South America, Central America and Northern America and into Alaska USA, and we were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves.
Through the border crossing, there was yet another stretch of roadway under repairs for us to negotiate. I asked the chap who held up the Stop sign, what he was doing. “Oh, we’re makin’ mud is all.” He joked.
I asked how long in miles the road works were. “Oh, just a couple of mile right here, but there's a few stretches further up that are being worked on too, so y'all wanna slow right down for those.”
Apparently, the perma frost which the roadway is built on, starts to thaw in patches after the winter, so there is always a road works crew ripping up stretches of road and repairing them with new pavement (they call it here). The areas which break up, roll up the bitumen and great ditches and ruts appear in the road. It’s tricky enough on the bike, but especially so for the many motor homes drivers who travel this way. All the broken areas are flagged or sign posted, so I applied the breaks well ahead of time
The morning was cool, but not icy, frosty and cold as it was when we left Dease Lake (and a few other places too). I didn’t need to plug in my heated jacket, or put my rain suit on, I did however, turn my heated handle grips on low once we got moving. The day warmed up to a beautiful 22 degrees Celcius, with no wind and very few clouds. It was lovely, and unbelievable to me, that Alaska, the land of ice and snow could actually have such mild days. When I mentioned that I didn’t realize that Alaska could be warm and sunny to the young lady in the tourist office in Delta Junction, she just drawled “Yeah, that’s right up there with those who think we all live in igloos.”
Delta Junction is the town at the end of the Alaskan Highway. It has a well equipped tourist office and a nice park and benches around it for weary travelers. We regrouped there and compared gravel and mud stories. None of them included injuries, so we just laughed at the state of our dirty bikes and the bugs on the windshields and visors.
We had all seen the beautiful white swan perched on a large stick nest in the middle of a small reflective brown lake, with her mate nearby
After a 484 kilometer ride to the North Pole, we checked into the new Hotel North Pole which was large and welcoming. The foyer was clean, spacious and smelled of freshly baked cookies, a specialty of the hotel, 'cookies and coffee at 5:30pm.’ The hotel wasn’t cheap, but we needed a good rest after the bug barrage the night before. It was lovely to be able to relax in comfort and enjoy our achievement. We were on a bit of a high.
In the evening we walked to the shops for a bite to eat. It was one of those serve yourself salad bars and you pay for the food by the pound. $5.99 per lb was reasonable and we had a generous feed there. It all tasted pretty good.
Perhaps the food had become contaminated during the course of the day, because it didn’t sit well with Des, and he spent the rest of the evening in the bathroom.