Thursday, 12 July 2012

To the Arctic circle and beyond

Day 14: Fairbanks to Wiseman. 430km
We set off fully laden and with some trepidation. We have heard many doomsday stories about Dalton Highway aka the Haul Highway fromFairbanks to Deadhorse near Prudhoe Bay and also about the unpredictable weather north of the Arctic Circle. If you have watched Icetruckers then you will have seen the road in winter conditions.
In the back of my mind was "I have survived Rohtang Pass in the Indian Himalayas; no road can be worse than that".

Dwarf spruce have repaced their larger cousins further south. They do a stirling job surviving on land which is just meters about permafrost.

The roads succumb to the permafrost and we encountered crack and undulations

And signs warning us off BUMPS and DIPS

Miles after mile of fireweed carpeted the forest floor, especially where there had been forest fires. More of fireweed in a later post.
For a considerable distance we were riding through treeless tundra.

Typically the roads swooped and climbed as if on a lazy roller coaster.

Portions of the road were unsealed and some were paved.

The Yukon River bridge took us by surprise. We crested a hill and then we're riding downhill on a timber decking. The Alaskan oil pipeline was tethered to the side of the bridge.

Voluptuous petunias at the Uukon camp cafe were as large as my hand. Plants are very busy growing, flowering, fruiting, seeding during the 8 weeks of arctic summer with plenty of sunshine.

Yes, we stopped at the Arctic Circle.

Our own log cabin for the night.

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