The Dalton Highway is kind to Rudi and Jesse in the first hours of their journey. When they get to the Yukon River Crossing and the gas drum there, they are feeling kind of cocky. The roads in the Yukon had been rougher and more isolated.
Over the best blueberry pie either had ever tasted, they told a group of young men on bikes that the Dalton was looking pretty tame. Bad move. The reserved guys suddenly came alive in a most macho manner telling us we didn’t know jack, that the mud was four feet deep for them and we had better watch out! … or attitudes to that effect.
About then Rudi noticed the Glock 9mm pistols strapped to various parts of their bodies and decided that the Dalton was, indeed, a damned tough ride, maybe the toughest ride he’d ever seen, you betcha’!
While rolling on his back with his belly exposed in the classic “submission” manner in the canine world, Rudi thought he might talk less than normal from now on while on the Dalton. Jesse told Rudi later that these guys had that “military” look to them with the hard bodies, trimmed hair, and short fuses. The airbase in Fairbanks is home to many admirable airmen and women, just don’t question their manhood in public!
The video below gives a good look at the Dalton as it moves north from the Arctic Circle sign, through Coldfoot Camp, where you get gas for the remaining 240 mile stretch, and on into the Brooks mountain range toward Antigun Pass, the highest pass in Alaska. Many riders turn back at Coldfoot or at the pass, but a few fools carry on (Jesse is no fool, but he may be riding with one as a partner).
We decided at Coldfoot to take advantage of the “weather window” we were in and avoid the conditions the gunmen at the Yukon River had told us about. In wet weather the Dalton becomes more of a demon; slow, treacherous, and accident-inducing. Thus we rode on into the bright night sun, watching our bodies and minds for fatigue and inattentiveness. Focus, focus, focus … that’s the ticket!
Take a look.
Now wasn’t that fun? Since this post is not in real time (it’s been a week since we completed our Deadhorse run, but lack of energy and wifi have us running behind on daily updates, to the sorrow of thousands, Rudi is sure he is missed)., bob will give a brief update on our present location etc.
KP wants to see pix of the “girls”. Here for you is Celeste after a couple of days in Alaska.
Rudi strikes again! Ha! Here is what Bob looks like as he failed to prepare properly too.
Sorry for this you motorcyclists out there hoping to read something meaningful about the trip. Too much “helmet time” so be careful yourselves!
OK, KP, here’s the real deal, frightening fish near the Nenana River a few days ago.
And for good measure, Angel, Jesse, Celeste and Rudi at an eatery outside Denali Nation park three days ago.
The girls drive the 25 foot RV, and the guys lead or follow. We pitch a tent each night for all the bike gear, fish, sightsee, relax ,and Rudi, of course, consumes vast quantities of grog … he may end up assigned to the tent permanently! He is useful when it comes time to dump the holding tanks of the RV, so they may keep him around for the trip.
The next post will conclude our video ride to Deadhorse, and we will then “return to our regularly schedule programming.” Only those 50-years-old and older will understand that last sentence.
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Rudi G & Jesse