Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alaska Ride 2011: live from Prudhoe Bay!

Well, I'm half way to earning the right to put my Survived the Dalton sticker on the Strom. The road is everything I have ever heard, and worse. But paradoxically, better.The gravel, mud and grades are treacherous. But, the views, and sense of accomplishment I felt on Atigun Pass, and again when pulling into Prudhoe, are incomparable. The oilfields themselves, are nothing to write home about, although I am sending a few post cards from the Post Office here. This ride truly is about the journey, and not the destination.

This is the first half of a journey I have longed for. Other riders I met along the way, and at Prudhoe universally have the same thoughts on the ride: it is an accomplishment, but now I'm out of here.

I made the run from Coldfoot, 240 miles, in just over 4 hours. People from other riders, to the clerk that took my fee for the tour said that was very good time. I guess I just fixed my eyes on the goal and got on with it.  And I did take some pictures, of stunning landscapes along the way, but no animals. Yet.

Next up is the tour, and then the Strom points south for the long, 4300 mile ride home. I want to get at least 50 or so miles down the road before I set up camp, as the winds are brutal here. I will have much more to say about this place, and many others. But a frigid  Arctic dip is waiting for me.Actually, another rider I talked to said it wasn't that bad, and he dove completely in, which technically isn't allowed.Since I'm jumping back on the bike shortly after, I think I'll be a bit more subdued.Pictures coming.

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