Fairbanks > Wiseman > Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay – 803km
Days 1 and 2
After a rest day in Fairbanks, it was off to Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Ocean via the Dalton Highway also known as the Haul Rd on TV.
Typical of the first part of the Highway.
Shorter trees around here. We were told that many of the forest fires are started by lightening and if lives are not endangered they just let them burn as the result is pasture regrowth for the animals such as moose etc
Yes they were, very rust-ic – Yukon River “Camp”
The Arctic Circle – we were there
Main entrance to the town of Coldfoot – got its name from the miners who turned back here because they got cold feet.
This is Coldfoot – better accommodation in Wiseman 13m north on a good tarseal road.
We want to go to the Arctic Ocean but there is no public road so have to book on a tour bus. This needs to be done 24hrs in advance as they do a security check on everybody. You can get the telephone number from the Visitors Centre at Coldfoot and book from there.
Our accommodation in Wiseman – a log cabin in the forest, was so cosy.
Heidi our host was raised in this small settlement, pop 15. Her father was a bush pilot and back then there was no road so very remote. She moved to the States, eventually got married and brought her husband to show him where she grew up. He loved it so much he wanted to stay.
The road was built in 1974 to support the oil base at Deadhorse, and the building of the pipeline. It was opened to the public in the 90’s.
Video of Wiseman…
On the road from Wiseman to Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay, I was in my very very happy place going through this spectacular scenery. The road was a mixture of pavement, hard packed gravel, and the standard of that varied from good to very rough potholes and corrugations. The roadworks were somewhat gnarly, I was glad to be on the back of Charlie.
After the pass its the Coastal Plains
Here is a video of part of the road – not a very good one, we were just learning how to use the camera.
…and this is why.
The mosquitos are huge and prolific, we didn’t dare to open our helmets while waiting for the Pilot vehicle to take us through the roadworks, and apparently they can get 100 times worse!
This is our accommodation and is very typical of the buildings here – Stallion Lodge. Breakfast lunch and dinner plus all day snacks included in the room price.
Room with a view
Take a look at the fancy footwear – blue plastic disposable booties so as to not take mud inside
Deadhorse is quite unique in that its not a town as such, but rather a workers camp for the oilfield. It has around 6000 non-permanent residents – there are no permanent residents at all. All the buildings are up off the ground to prevent heat melting the permafrost underneath, and they are very well insulated. Everything is mud after the rain, that we missed 🙂 This morning there are brown bears wandering around this camp, a sow with her cub so we need to be watchful. Also, the temp is 2, almost.