North on The Dalton Highway

Trip Start Jul 15, 2008
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Trip End Sep 15, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Sunday, August 3, 2008

Today was a late start as it drizzled last night and I tried to let the tent dry out somewhat. It was west on the Alaska Highway to Delta Junction, the official end of the Alaska Highway. It is marked similarly to the start point in Dawson Creek, so it is necessary to have the official photograph taken. It was quite interesting when I arrived, as there were a number of people taken photographs at the sign, so I waited until everyone was finished then I rode my motorcycle in front of the sign. Suddenly one of the ladies adamantly said that I would be blocking the view for others, so I told her I was here to take one quick picture, and then I would park the motorcycle in the parking lot. I then asked if she'd mind taking the picture, so she cooled off from that point on, and I immediately moved the motorcycle.
There is a small information booth at this site which shows the different sizes of the Alaska Pipeline that runs from the Prudhoe Bay, Alaska on the Arctic Ocean to Valdez, Alaska on the Pacific Ocean.
There is also a "Pipeline Pig" which is pushed through the pipeline to clean out any residue that might build up over time.
I then continued west to Fairbanks Alaska, and found two very helpful ladies at the North Pole tourist bureau. I was able to make a reservation for a room at the Yukon River on the Dalton Highway. The lady at the hotel said that there had been a "highway warning" put up this morning because of high water, but expected it to be lifted by noon. This was a real stress creator for me as I now wondered what the road conditions would be like.
From Fairbanks the Dalton Highway, or Haul Road, runs north to the Arctic Ocean. I decided to start the ride as I was feeling quite good, it wasn't raining and I could get 200 Km of the Dalton completed today, leaving 600 Km for tomorrow. The road is a tease, as it starts out as pavement, then gravel, then pavement, really bad gravel, then muddy in some sections, then pavement, and gravel, finally arriving at the Yukon River where a large bridge crosses the river with the Alaska Pipeline hanging on the side of the bridge.. On the north side is the Yukon River Lodge, which is about a one star motel, with five star rates. I am paying $179.00 for a room that is 10 feet by 10 feet, no TV, and the washroom is "down the hall". The problem is that there is no choice; pay the price or go home.
I met a couple who had just completed thirty three days kayaking down the Yukon River for over six hundred miles. They were attempting to get someone on the highway to stop and carry them and their two kayaks to Fairbanks, two hundred Kms away. And within a few hours somehow someone knew somebody who would be passing by at 2:00 am tomorrow on his way to Fairbanks and would pick them up. It all came together.
I saw a very large moose today who was very interested in me and the bike, so she was a great subject for the picture session.
Distance Traveled: 346 Miles 553 Km
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