Arctic Expedition 2010: Seattle to the Arctic Circle and Beyond

In the fall of 2009, I had made up my mind to take 3 weeks off from work and start to plan a trip to the Arctic Circle. You can find my original pages and postings here: The Planning of Arctic Expedition 2010

So in June of 2010 I set off North on a KLR named Sara, a top box full of food, panniers full of supplies and what I thought as a general idea of where I was going.  Twists and Turns eventually took me on an adventure I had not planned on, and opened up my world to what I had long been missing since I was a child.

Here is my Journal

Day 1: The journey begins – Seattle to Salmon Arm

“So here I end up finally getting on Canada 1, about 100 miles from where the other 97 meets up with highway 1.

I push on East. I eventually end up in Salmon Arm, and decide on what to do. At this point I am broken.”

Day 2: Salmon Arm to Grand Cache

“With a little luck, I thought to myself, I may be able to still make it to Grand Cache. And get back on schedule.

I pushed on, limiting my stops, not taking half the pictures I would have liked to have taken. I must say, that the scenery that I saw, was spectacular. The way the mountains raise above you, dwarfing everything around them.”

Day 3: Grand Cache to Dawson Creek

“It didn’t take long to make the jaunt to Dawson Creek. I arrived sometime around noon, and stopped off at the information center, picked up a few post cards, and then took some pictures of the “Mile 0” Marker.”

Day 3: Extended

“Later that evening, a older gentleman pulled up to my camp spot on a Harley, got off, and came over while I was making my dinner.”

Day 4: Dawson Creek to Ft. Nelson

“It wasn’t long after leaving, and heading down the highway that we came across a sign that pointed to the Old Alaska Highway. A alternate 10km route that would take you over the original Kiskatinaw Curved Bridge, the only timber bridge left usable to this day.”

Day 5: Ft. Nelson to Watson Lake (Junction 37)

“Junction 37 has seen better days. Described as a full service park, with restaurant and saloon, all that remains is the campground with RV hookups in a state of disarray.”

Day 6: Watson Lake to Whitehorse

“We continued to ride on, with no stops until we had to fuel up in Teslin. It was there, that we both agreed to get a hot meal and coffee (Tea for Doug) and hope that the rain would soon let up.”

Day 7: Whitehorse to Dawson City

“Once packed, I grabbed my gear, and said goodbye to Doug, and wished him safe travels to Alaska, and for his return home with his wife, who he would be meeting at the airport come Tuesday morning.”

Day 8: Dawson City – Dust to Dawson

“With that decision, I decided to change my plans and head towards Prudhoe Bay along with Geoff.

So with that, we came back to the Hostel, grabbed my “Mile Post” book, and made our plans and reservations at various points.”

Day 9: Dawson City – Dredge #4 and the surrounding area

“The whole history behind, and the operation of a dredge is very interesting. The destruction they left behind though, will be apparent for many generations to come.”

Day 10: Dawson City to Fairbanks

“After pulling over, we discovered that the entire end cap of my muffler had blown off, including all of the internals of it.”

Day 11: Fairbanks – Preparing for the haul road

“Soon we were back on the road, and heading to the dorms to drop off our Walmart purchases and then off to Adventure Cycle Works to have my rear tire fitted.”

Day 12: Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle and Beyond

“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.”

Day 13: Coldfoot to Prudhoe Bay – The end of the road

“Getting this far, has been an amazing adventure, and I hope that one day, I will be able to replicate it, in some other part of the world.”

Day 14: The Arctic Ocean

“I had arrived, I had made it. With that, I took off my boots, socks and rolled up my jeans, and walked out into the ocean, to feel for about 30 seconds the cold surround me feet, before they finally went numb.”

Day 15: Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks

“It didn’t seem like it took long, but soon enough we turned off of the Dalton, giving the bang bang hand signal to the Dalton Highway sign, hit the tarmac and rode to Fox, fueled up, before hitting McDonalds and finally the dorm.”

Day 16: Fairbanks to Whitehorse

“The KLR lifted from the ground, and for a moment, that pig flew. But without wings, it came down hard.”

Day 17: Whitehorse to Junction 37

“In and out of rain most of the way (See, 20% is pretty close to 100%), I finally stop at the Continental Divide. I wanted to stop my last time through here, but the rain prevented it. This time, I was in a dry pocket, and took the opportunity to snap a few photo’s of the sign.”

Day 18: Junction 37 to Bell II Lodge

“Not but a couple miles down the road, I saw a sign greeting me to British Columbia. Passing the sign, I noticed on the left hand side, a small bear hanging out, eating roadside vegetation. I stopped to turn around, in hopes to get a quick picture, but it decided to wonder off into the woods.”

Day 19: Bell II Lodge to Quesnel

“Thinking about it as I write, I am looking forward to finally being home. I could definitely spend more time riding around and camping, but being this close to home, all I can think about right now is my own bed.”

Day 20: The end of a journey – Quesnel to Seattle

“Just 90 miles and my trip would be complete.”

5 Comments

  1. November 5, 2009 at 7:28 AM — Reply

    […] Arctic Expedition 2010: Seattle to the Arctic Circle and Beyond […]

  2. November 5, 2009 at 7:28 AM — Reply

    […] Arctic Expedition 2010: Seattle to the Arctic Circle and Beyond […]

  3. […] Arctic Expedition 2010: Seattle to the Arctic Circle and Beyond […]

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  5. April 15, 2010 at 8:32 AM — Reply

    Mic,
    Great blog. I wish I was joining you on your Alaska trip. I will make that trip in the near future. Good luck to you.

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