Geoff, Myself, Sara and the F8 at the Arctic Circle
Geoff, Myself, Sara and the F8 at the Arctic Circle

Day 12

Woke up at 7am, and promptly began packing stuff on the bike.

Because of staying in the dorm, I had most everything packed the night before, so by 7:30 we were off to McDonald’s for some breakfast, and then soon afterwords on the road towards Fox, our last fuel stop before hitting the Dalton and the Yukon River Camp.

We fueled up in Fox, and set off, 42 more miles until the Dalton.

Soon, we pulled on to the Dalton, Geoff to the opportunity to have me take his picture at the Dalton Highway sign, but a busload of people who pulled in behind us, decided to jump right in before I could get to mine. Jackass’s, the whole lot of them.

With that, we pulled out. I made sure, with my blown exhaust, to pay them my respects by reving much higher, and for much longer than needed. Damn bikers and their ridiculously loud exhausts.

The morning seemed to go by quick, and soon we were at the Yukon River Camp.

I stopped at the Information center while Geoff went and fueled up.

I questioned on the location of the fire, as the smoke filled the air, like a thick fog. They said it was off to the south east, and that it would not prevent travel, and that it should start clearing in about 10 miles.

It must have been the direction of wind, because the smoke did not seem to clear for awhile.

With that, we pushed on, until finally reaching the Arctic Circle.

The turnout is not marked until you come up on it, we both hit our brakes, and turned in.

It's hard to carry the world on your shoulders!
It’s hard to carry the world on your shoulders!

We had just shown up behind another busload of people, so had to wait about 20 minutes to be able to get a photo op.

Geoff got a bit impatient with the last 2 people taking photo’s. They just seemed to be hanging around the sign, once in a while taking a photo, so he decided to just pull right up on his bike and get in their way. That seemed to get their attention and Geoff and I took various photo’s at the circle. I’m glad that Jerome talked me into bringing a Tripod, as it became very handy for these photo’s.

As we finished packing back up our photo gear, it occurred to me. I had completed the first part of this Journey.

I had successfully made it to the Arctic Circle, something I had been dreaming of doing for years.

But now it was time to move on, now was time to go beyond the Arctic Circle, to above it, to where the arctic meets the mainland.

With the photo’s out of the way, it was a push on to Coldfoot for fuel.

Now, I didn’t realize that we would be in so much mountainous terrain. The mountains are rather unique in this area, as are the tree’s.

The tree’s, are skinny, with lots of branches.

Te Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot Alaska
Te Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot Alaska

I found out, that a 5 inch diameter tree is roughly 250 years of age. Due to the lack of precipitation, which is about 5 inches annually. This strikes me odd, that tree’s even grow here. That lack of precipitation reminds me of a desert. I guess that is why it is called the Tundra. Not hot enough to keep vegetation away, allowing moisture to collect and be able to sustain various plant life throughout the year.

Finally we arrived in Cold Foot, and with that, we stopped at the information center to find out where the Campground was located. I also took this time to fill out and stamp my certificate for passing over the Arctic Circle.

A bit corny, maybe, but it’s a milestone for this trip.

So with that, we fueled up, headed down the road a few miles, which we had to do behind a pilot car as their was construction going on, and setup camp.

Currently it’s about 75 degree’s out. Very comfortable, and there is light cloud cover, giving a slight silvery hue to the sky, with breaks of blue here and there.

The mountains are spectacular at this location, and I have taken several photo’s while walking around the campsite.

Because of the terrain, tent spots are platforms, that your tents are setup on. This is the first time I set my tent up without stakes. It took me a bit longer, and it is a bit weird not being able to have the vestibules firmly staked out, but it will due.

The Brooks Range - As seen from our camp spot outside Coldfoot
The Brooks Range – As seen from our camp spot outside Coldfoot

If I was more certain on the weather tonight, I may have opted to sleep without the rainfly. But the rainfly will help keep some light out, not much, but maybe enough to get some sleep.

The sun never sets here at this current part of the year, so sleeping will be tough.

I meant to pick up a sleep mask at Walmart, but failed to remember.

Oh well, I’ll make due.

This seems like a short update, but there is not much to really write about. The morning went fast, and we setup camp early, and will make the rest of our trip come tomorrow morning.

Hopefully I’ll have a bit more to write about tomorrow.

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Arctic Expedition: Day 11

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Arctic Expedition: Day 13

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