Monday, August 17, 2015

The Arctic's Beaufort Sea to Fairbanks, Alaska

Dirty is too gentle a term for the condition of my RV once in Prudoe Bay.  It took $38 in quarters to get it near normal at a car wash once back in Fairbanks.
I had passed this young man Tyson, P. who was on a bicycle. I was then traveling north but decided to stop and see if he needed anything on my trip back south.  He, like the other rider, Radu the Romanian, I chatted with days earlier, asked for water. I also gave him a couple of cokes (His expression was like a child at Christmas!  His eyes lit up when seeing the cold cans of coke!  Funny.)

We exchanged info and traveled on but I've been in contact with him.. he's fine and now in Fairbanks.
It's a long trip on 2 wheels, when you are alone in bear country.  He had a scary story to tell me..but that's another story.

I stopped once again in Wiseman, Ak., a very small village off the main road.  Something told me I needed to see more and I did.  I ran into the man who had created a mini museum there and he took the time to open it up and discuss his history and that of his village.

Clutch is his name and hockey was his game.  He still plays in Masters events around the state.

We were supposedly trying to get a photo of the Caterpillar casting shown on the top of this radiator, but we kept joking around.

The prayer chapel was another place I wanted to revisit.  A time capsule saved for visitors and the locals.  It felt magically special inside.  Definitely there was a presence.
 The chapel had a 'mud room' at it's entry, for wood storage, a little generator and a sign in book.

 The rear of  the 20' room.
The original wood burning stove and some coffee makings for anyone to enjoy.

This state is huge!  Did I say that before?  Yikes it's big.  Miles and miles of Miles and miles....but so captivating! Often 30 mile visibility in all directions and probably no other human but yourself.
 Gravel roads with plenty of patches and pot holes.

 From the northern city of Fairbanks to nearly 500 miles further north to the end at latitude 70deg.15.19min., the single road was often in miserable condition but drivable.  When it was raining, which was often, the pot holes which were often deep, would fill with water, so you would have no idea as to how deep they were.  One wheel or the other was always in one.  For 125 miles to and from Camp Deadhorse at the northern end, I averaged 15 mph, to save by class c from being too beaten up by the roads.  One of my engine batteries broke loose so I had to McGyver it back into a safe position and part of my air suspension bent out of shape, pinched an airline causing my RV to drive at an angle..but I made the trip all the way back to Florida, just fine.
This was inside camp Dead Horse at Prudoe Bay. Even here, they could not keep up with road maintenance.

Yes, I stopped to let geese cross the road.

 Oh yes....snow and fog especially in the Atigun Pass and the drive 50 miles north of it.  Often the visability was maybe 100' and that was in avalanche zones.

A black bear had been sitting on the right side of the road.  He had noticed me before I noticed him, but quickly took off running.  I blasted my horn to make sure he kept running away, wanting him to fear roads.  click the video. (my little dog Pete, could not control himself verbally!)

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