So here we are, back at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Freshly showered, staring at my mud soaked Klim jacket and pants. My helmet is currently camouflage in mud with a cool new GoPro mount Scott gave me. More on that later.
Here's the past 2 days journey.
As you can tell, shit was poppin' in this place. People everywhere, cars zooming by, bands at every street corner. Should be a top destination for everybody in my opinion!
I picked up some gas early in the AM before heading over to meet Chuck and Scott. Filled up my 2 extra walmart gas tanks so i could make the 240 mile push with no gas stations. I was unable to take one of the tours to actually see the Arctic Ocean since my security clearance couldn't be pushed forward a day. It sucked, I really wanted to see it, but what ya gonna do. Glad i didn't stick around for a later tour, you'll see why later.
Met Chuck and Scott and we headed over to the famous Prudhoe Bay General Store. This is where all the motorcycle geeks get their pictures taken. Of course I'm too cool for that....
Ok, maybe not. This picture really captures really how short Chuck is and how bald Scott is. There's just so much you can learn from a GoPro on a stick! I also found out that Chuck has a really big family or a big fan club. I think he sent out like 45 post cards or something like that. Shit, after he makes this run from Boulder, CO to the Arctic ocean on a WR250 dirt bike, we should all be fans!
We headed out into much nicer weather than we arrived in. The tundra was clear, the temps were crisp, but surely not 31 deg like the night before.
I didn't take a whole lot of pictures on this day from Prudhoe Bay to Coldfoot since my camera was broken. That pink girlie one i had slung around my neck got some dirt in it and BROKE. Don't tell Amanda please, she doesn't know i broke it yet!
About half way back to ColdFoot (150ish miles in), we came up on the MotoQuest group. MotoQuest is a motorcycle touring company where you can rent bikes and they take you on a pre determined route. We actually ran into this group the prior day at lunch. Maybe 10 of them or so. Well this time when we ran into them, it was for a rider down. One of the guys hit some soft gravel on the side of the road and ran off the road down into some bushes, over some small boulders and hit his noggin. No Bueno. His bike was all fudged up. We dragged it out of the bushes and waited while they contacted help.
When we started to get more near the mtn passes coming back towards Coldfoot, we hit some serious clouds. Lightning and thunder were passing and we decided to see which way it was headed before driving through it. I've never been struck by lightning, but it probably sucks. I've been on the road for like 20 days now. I think I can spare 5 minutes to wait for the lightning to pass...
^^^^ Damn, that's a pretty cool picture!
It almost looked like there was a funnel cloud forming. Check out Chuck "The Tornado Chaser" Lee.
It was interesting that all the rain up to this point would come from a passing cloud. It wasn't as if the whole sky was fully grey, just small groups of dark clouds in an otherwise blue sky.
When we hit Atigun Pass, it was another story. Cold, muddy, snowy, cold and cold. It was even hard to take a pee up there. It would freeze before it hit the ground. Or at least that's what i heard...????
The boys are loving this Go Pro. And it makes me look like a bobble head.
Once down the pass, I think we hit some of the most scenic landscapes on the whole trip. Thank god I had my little pink camera, oh wait, that's broken.
Chuck needed to fill up his gas tank, so we took this opportunity to snap some pics. It was a good thing Chuck had that tiny tank, I never had to stop the crew to pee or change clothing. If I needed to, i'd just wait 15 minutes and Chucks' little gas tank would be empty again and I could fix anything. His only had an 80-90 mile range on his tank.
This is pretty much how i was feeling by this point in the ride...
We skirted down to Cold Foot where we stayed the night. It looked like gnarly weather was rolling in so we set up camp for the night in this grassy area along the road.
Yes, that's a mosquito net. They love my blood.
We woke up in the AM to SOAKING WET roads. Dirt roads. No bueno x 15,000.
260 miles left until Fairbanks, it's go time! But wait, my radiator is caked with mud. It had about 1/4 inch thick mud at once point. I had to clean this over and over about 10 times total in the past 24hrs. Scott's bike also started to over heat. We were really giving these beasts a workout.
This was AFTER i cleaned it.
Scotts did the same...
We stopped at the Arctic Circle sign again and took some pics. There was a volunteer lady there giving out certificates saying we made it to the Arctic Circle. They were cool and all, but the coolest thing she had was this electronic mosquito zapper! So sweet!!
Hey Scott, I hope your pics come out good, your GoPro had a quarter inch of mud on it!
Here are some more pics on the day...
We rolled into Fairbanks and got a few rooms at the University. We crushed some Thai food and chatted for a few hours. This was really the first time we all sat down together and chatted for more than just over lunch. We exchanged information with each other since we will be parting ways tomorrow. It was good riding with these guys. I'm fairly weird, but the 3 of us got along well and our riding was on par with each other. I had a great time and I really appreciate them taking me along with them to Prudhoe Bay. Thanks again guys, be safe riding.
Tomorrow I'll be headed to Dawson, back into the Yukon. There will be a large motorcycle gathering in Dawson City on friday. Probably some cool pictures to come. Until then, buenos noche.