Sunday, June 27, 2010
Coldfoot to Deadhorse (Day 14)
This section of road was about the same level of difficulty as yesterday. There were a few sections where workers were laying down the calcium followed by a water truck to finish it off. Instant slime, but I knew how to handle it this time. I just rode slow and in the tracks, if there were any.
This whole highway has been the most challenging road I've been on. It's a test of skill, endurance, wits, and determination. Every other bike (except Paul) I've seen on the Dalton is a dual sport, and while it would still be a challenge on one of those bikes, it wouldn't last as long.
Today it took me about 9 hours to get 250 miles. From mud to light gravel, to deep gravel, to thick gravel, and occasionally the section of paved road where I still had to drive slow because of the monster potholes that would easily eat the tire of a 900 pound bike with 300+lbs of rider and gear.
I also saw Paul. He left for Deadhorse a couple days ago while I was staying in Fairbanks. We knew we would cross paths on this route, but didn't know where. It turned out to be almost exactly between Coldfoot and Deadhorse. He warned me of some big gravel up ahead and continued down to Coldfoot.
The temperature dropped to about 40 degrees and I started seeing ice in the bodies of water. I was pretty tired by the time I reached Deadhorse and ran out of fuel just as I reached town. I had 2x 1 liter bottles of fuel on the bike, so I used one to get me to the fuel station.
Tomorrow morning I'm going to take a sea tour in the Arctic. They require a driver's license and run some sort of light background check for security purposes surrounding the oil fields. The boats primary purpose is to transport oil crews and supplies from what I understand.
After the tour, it's back down to Coldfoot. I'll probably stay at the same Marion Creek campground again.