Round the World Motorcycle Journeys. Alaska to Patagonia 2012 and London to Capetown 2016
Saturday, 14 July 2012
DAY 15 DEADHORSE TO COLDFOOT. 395 km
At 8.15 am we went outside and did something highly symbolic. We turned the bikes around from heading North to heading due South. The long long trip to Ushuaia has begun!
You never know what is coming!
We start by having to hotfoot to Coldfoot ! We left Prudhoe Bay in stunningly fine weather which is now our third day in a row of sunny skies and balmy temperatures. When I look on the map Deadhorse is about 70.5 Degrees North i.e. only about 20 Degrees from the North Pole. In terms of latitude we would be well into Antactica at this longitude South. And of course we have well into the land of the midnight sun and the first sunset for the summer in Prudhoe Bay will be on the 15 th of August. We should get to Coldfoot by nightfall
Anyway about journeys south. Perhaps it is the fact we are going South but the journey seemed easier even though it took longer. The big surprise was meeting hugh oversized trucks heading North with big Landing Craft on them that are going to be used to service the offshore rigs in the brief summer that they have up here.
We stopped for lunch on the Atigun pass which is about 4000 ft high. I rode carefully down the other side as the lead bike. When I got right to the bottom I saw a truck coming towards me. Only then I realised that I had come down the entire pass on the wrong side of the road and I had reverted to my New Zealand habits.
The Atigun Pass. Attaboy Atigun !
Then from Atigun Pass it was a lovely trip down to the hamlet of Wiseman which is about 30 km north of Deadhorse. There we stayed in same log cabin as we had on the way up. That was just as well as I had taken the only key north with me and I still had it in my pocket!
The little log cabin in the woods of Wiseman.
DAY 16 COLDFOOT TO FAIRBANKS. 430 km
And it is back to civilization. It is all relative. On our way North I though Fairbanks was a real frontier town on the edge of the universe. Now having gone 800 km further north to the Arctic ocean and back it seems like it is a perfectly normal town in a perfectly normal location.
Boats and bears are both road hazards
And a final note about Coldfoot. In the Gentleman's toilets in Coldfoot there was a little notice reminding one that Fairbanks people are woosers as they start complaining and whining when the temperature gets down to minus 40 degrees ( translation from Fahrenheight ) below zero. It is all relative. What then would they think of Aucklanders up here in Coldfoot? I left the Gentleman's toilets quickly without pondering the answer to that question.
And now dear readers we are in the city of Fairbanks. Tonight we had a Salmon Bake which is what you are supposed to do here. Tomorrow it is off to Denali which is the National Park surrounding Mt McKinley.