Thursday, July 8, 2010
July 5th - On the Way to Prudhoe Bay - in the rain
Well, I ‘m crazy. The people at the Information Center said the road (Dalton Highway) was passable so I figured that I’d give it a try. Well, it’s raining – and raining quite nicely. That means that much of the Dalton Highway is a sea of mud – see pics of the car. I tried to keep the back window clear but that became impossible. Now the rear squirter won’t work - but oh well. Despite that , this is the most challenging and most interesting road that I have ever been on. It was completed in 1974 and it serves one purpose – to service the pipeline. There is a remarkable amount of big – and I mean really big – truck traffic on the road. They are either delivering supplies to Coldfoot or Deadhorse or are engaged in maintaining the road itself. I can appreciate why gas is $4.49 a gallon up here.
So anyway, like all of the rest that I have seen, the views are spectacular. Stopped at Finger mountain – all granite – and you can see how it got its name. Another tourist there said he had just seen a herd of Caribou – I missed them . I then crossed the Arctic Circle – it was 50 Degrees and kept going north to a pull of by the side of the road south of Coldfoot where I spent the night. It was an old gravel dig area where the road crews came and got shale for the road. Unfortunately, just too much rain so it was wet.. A lot of mud in the car just from the road – clinging to the back hatch , door handles, etc.
Tomorrow am, will fill up in Coldfoot Coldfoot has the last gasoline – or any kind of service for 250 miles to Deadhorse – naturally it is a popular place with us tenderfoots heading north or south.
That’s the other traffic – meatheads like me who want to go as far north as possible. Warning – don’t do this unless you have 4WD – and you are better off in a truck than in a Subaru with bald tires.
389.2 miles today, 67.11 N, 150.18 W