Thursday, 12 July 2012

The sun was at our back all day and...

It shone all night.
At this time of the year the sun is like a perpetual slipped halo here because of the 23.5deg angle of the earth's axis.
We are able to sleep OK because the rooms have small windows and black out curtains and generally we are tired after a day's work riding.
Day 14: Wiseman to Deadhorse 402km
We set off at 9.00am after a leisurely breakfast. The fine weather was very welcome. We were fortunate that the rain the previous days had dampened down the dust and yet the roads had dried.
Most of the road was gravel and I am under instructions from my driver not to take photos when the road is rough.
The Dalton Highway was built in the 1970's while the Alaskan pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez was being built. The pipeline is ever present. I am in awe of the engineering but sometimes I just want to 'twink' it out of the landscape. Of course I realise that the reason we are able to do this trip is because we have access to petrol/gasoline and also a road to ride on. Neither of which would be available without the pipeline
Both today and yesterday the temperatures have been around 19-20deg C - much warmer that any day since Vancouver yet here we are north of the Arctic Circle.
We arrived at Deadhorse at 4pm and found our accommodation which is a workers' hostel. Meals are included and there is a wide range of snacks, fruit and drinks available- just like being on a cruise!

We rode for an hour or two over the Brookes Mountain Range, following the pipeline as is snaked along above ground and at times dove underground, sometime beneath streams.

This lovely lady controls the traffic through road works. She is kind to motorcyclists and shepherded us to the front of the line. We followed the pilot vehicle like ducklings...

as we avoided the huge machines....

as they thundered by.

17miles of road was being repaired.

After we were over Atigun Pass and the hills we had about 100miles of straight roads and we saw
blue skies...

Two cyclists..

And pretty flowers at 71deg north.

More straight roads

Until we arrived at Deadhorse, the settlement close to Prudhoe Bay and the North Slope oilfields.

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