Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fairbanks to Wiseman

This was the day that the trip really began. This was the reason we were on this trip. Mike wanted to ride the Dalton Highway. A road made famous, or semi-famous, by the show Ice Road Truckers. I think the road was always famous among so called adventure riders.

The road starts not far north of Fairbanks. The road is about 500 miles of mainly dirt. It's final destination is Prudhoe Bay or Deadhorse (much cooler name). There is only gas three places along the route with the final gas stop before Deadhorse being Coldfoot, which is 24o miles from Deadhorse. This distance is no problem for a car but it would be close on the bike.

We didn't really know what to expect and were hoping for the best. We planned to ride to the halfway point of Wiseman. I've got lots of pictures...

This is Mike getting gas after lunch at the Yukon Bridge. You can see how dirty the bike already is. It rained that morning.

The road ran parallel to the Alaskan Pipeline. You can't see it in this picture but I'll have pictures later. I thought seeing the pipeline was pretty cool. The road was better than we expected and at some points Mike was able to go as fast as 70mph. There wasn't too much traffic (as you can imagine) but it did have more traffic than I imagined it would.

Here we are crossing the Arctic Circle. Alaska had people stationed there to take your picture.

This was the bike after our first day on the Dalton!!

We stayed in Wiseman. The hotels are pretty expensive and are kind of dumpy in Coldfoot and Deadhorse. Mike had heard that we should stay in Wiseman, which is 18 miles north of Coldfoot. We had to mail a deposit to Igloo #8, so I wasn't sure what we would find when we got there. As you can see from the above picture, we were not disappointed and definitely came out better than staying in Coldfoot.

This was one of the highlights of the trip. Wiseman is a very unique community. I'm not sure how many people live here but I'm guessing about 15. There are a few houses. The family operates a bed and breakfast. Their home is on site and the guests stay in one of two guesthouses. One house has two rooms and a shared bathroom. The other (ours) is a cabin unto itself with it's own bathroom. It was very nice.

The family was very unique and friendly. The mother was from Munich, Germany and met her husband (from Wiseman) while he was on vacation in Germany. They have two children I'd guess to be 12 and 10. The family used solar panels and generators for power. The kids are obviously home schooled as the nearest school is over 250 miles south in Fairbanks. They had 4 huskies that they tie to themselves while cross county skiing. I couldn't imagine living this life but they truly seem to love it!!

This is a moose leg. Each dog had a leg to gnawl on. They said that they try to kill about two moose each year. They of course eat the meat.

This was just a short walk from the house in Wiseman. It was beautiful.

They were having 24 hours of daylight while we were there. You'll have to take my word for it but this picture was taken at midnight. It was pretty weird. You'd just pull the curtains and try to sleep.

This picture isn't clear but I love it. One of the dogs was very jumpy around people. We eventually became friends. She even rolled over and let me rub her belly. She was a sweetie!!

I was very leery of this part of the trip but was pleasantly surprised.


Susan said...

Wow, these are awesome pictures. Love the cabin & the one of you & the dog!

Annette said...

I wanna go!

Fred (a.k.a Dad) said...

Better than a Lee Child novel. Keep'em coming.

Sue said...

Love your photos....with the exception of the animal leg...EWWW!!! Looks like a wonderful trip!!