Thursday, 17 May 2012

June 9th-12th, 2010 pt.3

Today we make our final push to Deadhorse/Prudoe Bay.  Once again, the Gods have graced us with good weather.  We woke up at 8:30am and were on the road by 10:00am.  We noticed a bright red fox running along beside us trying to cross the road.  I adjust my speed to match the fox to see how long he’d run beside us before giving up.  By the time I had my camera out; the fox had slowed down, crossed the road, and ran up towards the mountains.  Truly, it was a “Dances with Wolves” moment.  

We came across a few construction crews re-grading the roads.  We were told to be careful as they spray calcium chloride on the road, which retains moisture for prolong periods.  This helps to hold down dust, but also makes the road very slick.  Calcium chloride is corrosive; it’s important that we wash the bikes as soon as possible.   

The last 50 miles or so, we saw an abundance of arctic caribou

The road conditions were not that great as it was soft-packed gravel from here on in.  We stayed in the ruts created by trucks, rode at a steady speed, and managed to do alright. 

The light at the end of the tunnel

We made it!  The northernmost point by road in North America!

Nothing much can be said about Deadhorse; it’s a work camp.  Almost everyone wore hard hats and had construction boots on and was busy doing something.  You can book a bus tour to see the Arctic Ocean as long as you book 24 hours in advance along with your passport number for security reasons.  Traveling on your own is prohibited.  I was having a hard time enjoying the moment as I was already thinking about getting out of here as soon as possible while it was still fairly warm.  I was anxious to tackle that section of soft-packed gravel while it was still fresh in my nerves.  I did, however, took the time to accept the fact that this was another one of those monumental points on our journey. 

They have very strict rules when it comes to chemical spills here in Deadhorse

This is the only convenience store in town

Getting a picture of this sign is a must.  There’s really nothing else to do here. 

This is about as close as we can get to see the Arctic Ocean

Back at Galbraith Lake.  We decided to press on to take advantage of the ideal weather conditions.

We took our time soaking in Atigun Pass on the way back…

…and some TLC for this special tree.

237 km

Dances with foxes.

Slow and steady keeps you safe.

A long way from home.

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