Wednesday, 16 May 2012

June 9th-12th, 2010 pt.2

Last night was fairly chilly; good thing we had a lot of layers on.  We woke up at around 10:00am, filled up our gas tanks back at Yukon River Camp, and were back on the road by noon.  Forecast for today was just as predicted; lots of sunshine.  The gravel road for the most part was hard packed with a few soft patches here and there.  There were times when the road went from gravel to pavement, then back to gravel again.  These transitions can be tricky if you’re not paying attention because it’s usually loose gravel you’re dealing with at the start of these transitions.  Then we have the 16-wheeler trucks we have to contend with, which has us slowing down and signaling them to pass.  Highly recommend not trying to outrun them; they move very fast.  Same thing goes for oncoming trucks too unless you don’t mind a piece of rock shattering your face shield.  

Finger Rock, a fitting name

Sometimes you just gotta rip off your shirt and howl like a wild man to realize how far you’ve come

North of the Arctic Circle, the sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year and below the horizon for 24 continuous hours, which occur on the summer and winter solstice. 

We started to feel tired and pulled over to the side of the road to take a nap.  Aphasia back in Long Island, NY was the one who taught us the technique of drinking your energy drink (5-Hour Power) right before you take a nap when you’re feeling dead tired.  By the time you wake up, you feel like a million bucks and raring to go.  A girl we had met back in Grand Canyon told us that if we keep fabric softener sheets handy, it should repel mosquitoes.  Clearly, the expression on my face says it does not. 

We woke up an hour later and got back on the road.  We saw an ambulance up ahead tending to a fallen rider.  Nearby was his Honda Goldwing shattered in pieces off to the side of the road.  We approached slowly, waiting to see if anyone flagged us to come over and assist.  Nobody did, so we kept riding.  We found out later the rider was renowned adventure motorcyclist Italo Barazzutti from Italy.  He had to be air lifted to Anchorage for treatment.  His injuries were non-life threatening. 

We stopped at Coldfoot Camp to top up on fuel and were back on the road by midnight with plenty of light out.  We had a little scare after we took this picture when Amanda’s bike didn’t want to start up again.  After a few tries, it finally did.  Behind us stands Sukakpak Mountain.

Another shot of Sukakpak Mountain from the North

Approaching Atigun Pass at around 2:00am. 

Elevation is at 4,739 feet and it started to get really cold

If you look carefully, the little black dot on the road is Amanda 

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline zigzags through the wilderness from Prudoe Bay to Valdez

We camped at Galbraith Camp where it was free to camp.  An outhouse and bear box was available for us to use. 

We were in our sleeping bags by 3:00am.  We don’t need to tell you how cold it was; this picture says it all. 

352 km

Trucks get right of way.

Watch out for that loose gravel!

Entering Arctic. 

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