Today was a day to clean all the Dalton Highway mud, guck, and smell that permeated all my bags and belongings. I tried just rinsing it off under a tap. That didn’t work. Everything had to be washed. Luckily, the washers and dryers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks dorms are free! I spent from the morning until about 3 pm washing and repacking. This is where I spent most of my day.
As a final conclusion to the Dalton Highway I put on the stickers on my motorcycle to say, “I did it.”
The rest of the day was just relaxing and ordering in Chinese food for dinner.
Thoughts on the Dalton Highway
As I mentioned in a previous post, the Dalton Highway is considered one of the most dangerous highways in the world. From my experience the Dalton Highway changes daily and is never the same. On my ride to Deadhorse it was clear skies and sunny. The road was dry. Until we got 30 miles outside of Deadhorse, we were wandering what all the fuss was about the Dalton. The scenery was amazing and I took it all in as I thoroughly enjoyed the ride past the Arctic Circle, over the Atigun Pass, and into the tundra. So beautiful.
Then 30 miles outside of Deadhorse the Dalton Highway took on a different personality with the construction. Because it was dry and sunny we had to contend with the big loose rocks that pounding our motorcycles and our feet as we squirmed our way through the section. Construction changes the Dalton Highways into a different animal.
On our return, the Dalton Highway reared its ugly side as the rain changed the complexion of the road to something unrecognizable from when we came up. The construction area morphed itself into a muddy mess. After our falls we were glad to get to the loose rock portions. Due to the rain, the rest of the Dalton was coated in a slimy mess that made our back wheels come out from under me from time to time.
The Dalton Highway cannot be categorized into a specific descriptor. It will be many things to many people depending on the weather, construction, motorcycle, and riding skills.
I am glad I had the sunny days on the way up to enjoy its beauty. And in retrospect, one day ha ha ha, I will be glad for the challenge it gave me, and the damage it caused, so that I can say I made it through one of the most dangerous roads in the world.