Monday, 19 June 2017

Detail of the Dalton Highway

Hi there,

Thanks for checking in to my latest Arctic Ride Alaska blog update.

I'm still very much in the research and planning stage of my ride but the current plan is to complete the ride in Summer 2018. I still haven't confirmed what bike I'll use or the exact dates but I'm working very hard to get the bike and dates nailed down.

I'm also working hard to secure some more corporate sponsors of the ride to raise as much money as possible for Tiny Lives and Cerebra. If you are interested in discussing cooperate sponsorship, please get in touch via this blog or my social media.

While the 2,000 mile Arctic Ride Alaska isn't as long as my 6,000 mile trip to Arctic Norway in 2014, its certainly more dangerous for several factors, including; the even more unpredictable weather, the wildlife, and the road itself... The Dalton Highway has the distinction of (among other things) having the longest stretch of serviceless road in North America ....more to come on those topics in another blog.

Glenn Highway, Alaska (copyright www.travelalaska.com)

Detail of the Dalton

To get to Alaska I'll make the 20 hour flight from the UK to Anchorage where I will pick up my motorcycle.

The plan is to pick up any supplies I haven't been able to bring from the UK (food, some camping equipment, medical supplies, road flares, bear spray) and then head North ~400miles through the Denali National Park on to the former Gold-Rush town of Fairbanks.

Fairbanks is the last point of civilisation as I know it before I head up the Dalton. Here I'll do a final supply check before heading into the 5 day, 828 mile round trip into wilderness of the Dalton and the biggest challenge of my life.

After doing a lot of research and talking to several veterans of the Dalton, I can't stress enough how much of a challenge this ride is going to be. To quote WikiTravel:

"Small cars and motorcycles are highly discouraged. The road is extremely primitive in places, and small car and motorcycle wrecks are extremely common. Most motorcycle wrecks result in injuries, and the nearest EMS and medical services are in Coldfoot and Deadhorse. There is no cell phone coverage on the road, and some satellite phones do not work within the Brooks range. Motorcycles are EXTREMELY discouraged from making the journey." 

...... SH*T

Welcome to Fairbanks

From Fairbanks, I will continue North along the Elliot Highway before starting the  Dalton Highway. After 115 miles North I'll cross the Arctic Circle. From then road continues North over the Sukapak Mountain and the Atigun Pass and I continue to Galbraith Lake camp at mile 275. Its then another 139 miles to Deadhorse, the end of the Dalton Highway and the top of Alaska.

Galbraith Lake Camp 'intersection', Arctic Alaska
I will then return taking the same, and only route, back to Fairbanks and on to Anchorage.

While some of the pictures look stunning, I'm only starting to comprehend the danger of taking on this road and how careful I'm going to have to be to ensure I complete this challenge and come home in one piece.

Some other advice I have been given for the road:

  • Travelers are advised to have basic survival supplies, repair equipment, and equipment for camping.
  • There are only 3 petrol stations... Mile 56 at the Yukon River crossing, Mile 175 at Coldfoot and Mile 414 at Deadhorse. The stretch between Coldfoot and Deadhorse (240 miles) is the longest such stretch in the United States WITHOUT FOOD OR GAS STOPS.

Thats all for this weeks blog. Keep up to date with my progress on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you would like to donate to two worthy causes please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/thearcticrider

Until next time, ride safe.

Gordon