University of Alaska Fairbanks

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.

Route for July 19, 2016


Arctic Ocean

The highlight of the day was going to the Arctic Ocean and dipping my toe in it. My modesty prevented me from skinny dipping. However, if others were going to do it I could easily have been convinced. It is on my bucket list and what better place 🙂 Three people did strip to their underwear in go in though.

It was also a time to reflect, as this will be the furthest north I will and can go by motorcycle. It is all down from here. Down to Ushuaia, Argentina.


I found my pet rock 🙂 I’ll match it up with one from Ushuaia.


Unexpected flowers at the Ocean.


Aurora Hotel

It was back to to the Aurora Hotel to do laundry – for free!


I also washed my Klim motorcycle suit, Touratech helmet and Dainese boots.I took some ribbing from Brent over this who figured I was OCD. After all they were just going to get dirty again. However, he especially felt this way after I told him I use to disinfect my desk each night before going home. Huuuuummmm he may have a point. Andrea? Dave? Nah …. I just want to leave in the morning with clean clothes.

Did I tell you I am not the only one? The Aurora Hotel makes you put on blue booties when you enter the hotel!


Next was something to eat. I told you too that all the food you want is free here too! When the restaurant is closed there is a snack room to grab whatever you want.



The restaurant is cafeteria style with a main course area, salad bar, dessert table, ice cream area. Pretty cool. I just ate salad Carllee 🙂 (my dietitian daughter).



The view is pretty good as well.


My Route for July 16, 2016

Went through the backroads from Deadhorse to Prudhoe Bay to where the marker is.


Dangerous Ride to Deadhorse

We left Wiseman early and cruised along on some of the best asphalt we had since leaving Fairbanks. It wasn’t long before it turned back to a dirt road and we started through the Atigun Pass.


Atigun Pass

Atigun Pass, sometimes also called the Atican Pass, reaches an elevation of 4739 ft. As we crossed it we were crossing the Continental Divide. Rivers to the north empty into the Arctic Ocean, while rivers to the south empty into the Bering Sea. North of the Atigun Pass, the permafrost is present almost everywhere.

As we started the climb we took a breakfast break. There are no stops for the 224 miles to Deadhorse. Pretty Awesome view already. And on the mountainside there was a Dall sheep eating.


We took another break in the pass. As I was parking my bike I misjudged the camber of the road. Down went my bike. The damage was a broken brake lever tip. They are suppose to come off on a hard fall to protect the rest of the lever. Wasn’t too much to get the bike upright again. A lesson learned. And a lesson to not let it ruin the amazing experience.


I was using my GoPro for the first time. Unfortunately, I had the camera angle pointing down too much 🙁 On the way back I will need to rectify that.


The views were awesome though.

After we left the pass were the most spectacular views and ones that made me reflect. I have been working of absorbing and experiencing intensely everything I see. I want to take it all in and make it part of me.

The Dalton Highway

Up until this point the Dalton Highway was for from being one of the Most Dangerous Highways in the World. Sure there was some lose dirt and corrugated sections, but really nothing that would cause anyone more than a minor concern. That was about to change.

About 30 miles outside of Deadhorse there was major road construction taking place. This was no simple road construction. It consisted on laying down loose stones up to the size of my fist! These were present in large stretches throughout the 30 miles.

Brent went first behind the pilot car and I went next. I could see the pilot car losing grip in the stone road. Brent’s rear tire would swerve all over the place. My strategy was to hang back to put distance between me and Brent during the simple dirt portions. As I approached the loose stones, I would speed up in an attempt to fly over the stones.

Stones were also flying. I could hear then bang against my motorcycle and also felt them careen off of my right leg. A couple of times I was sure I was going down. The flag staff had told us of motorcyclists who lost it. One who had broken his ribs. I was going to be one of the stories. Compounding the problem was a strong wind and being engulfed in dust as trucks passed. Miraculously, I powered through it all.

As we reached the end of the 30 mile stretch, Brent pumped his arm in a sign of victory. I was laughing out of relief and glad it was over. Until we had to go back anyways.

I’m going to try to get good pictures on the way back.

Aurora Hotel

Brent had booked us into the Aurora Hotel. It is expensive at $150 US a night. However, with that, you get all the food you can eat! Also free laundry! The rooms are nice and the whole hotel has the feel of a cruise ship.

As you can imagine it is tough to keep the inside clean with all the dust. to combat that you have to wear blue booties when entering the hotel.

It was a welcome relief to clean up and hit the cafeteria to load up.



Route for July 15, 2016


Translate »