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Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

Read the original post and follow Gypsy Biker's overland adventures on their website: Gypsy Biker.


It has taken us two full days to reach the northern-most point in the Americas… The 568 miles (820 km) of Dalton Highway has taken us more than 15 hours to ride…

If you’ve watched the program Ice-road Truckers, you will know that the Dalton Highway is no picnic…!! In the words of these truckers, which can be found on many T-shirts and bumper stickers, the Dalton is TOUGH…!!

1.2 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

…and the serious stuff begins…!!

We have been lucky enough to pick what seems to be the perfect weather window to get up here… Although we have had overnight rain, both in Fairbanks and in Coldfoot, the days have been mostly dry, and this had made the going far easier than it might have been…

When we left Coldfoot this morning, and rode the three miles down a greasy dirt track, back to the Dalton Highway to resume our ride north, I felt the pin-prick of emotion in the corners of my eyes…

This was the last big target on my journey around the world… I had reached the southernmost and northernmost tips of Africa, Europe, Australia and South America, and all that was missing from my wish list in this regard, was Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean…

Once we reached the asphalt, I knew there was just 8 miles of it left before the gravel road began, and I used this time to compose myself, hanging back behind Trevor and Mark, while the memories of the other great rides I had made flashed through my mind…

Once we hit the gravel, I was completely focused on the ride we had planned, and but for a few gut-wrenching moments further north, we hardly put a wheel wrong, all the way to Prudhoe Bay…

Today’s ride was 260 miles, or 420 km, of either gravel, hard packed dirt, busted stretches of old asphalt, and a few long sections of  ”road under construction”; the most dangerous parts of the ride by far…!!

I will update this post with more detail when I get time to write, but in the mean time, here are a collection of photos I took today, to give you and idea of what we accomplished…

2.1 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

GB takes control of the lollipop once again…!! This was at the first of many construction sections that we were forced to stop at…

3.1 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

When it is raining, this road becomes an ice-rink…!! Ever tried skating with 360 kgs of machinery attached to you…??

4.1 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

Heading towards Atigun Pass, the highest point on the Dalton Highway, at close to 5 000 ft above sea level…

5.1 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

Trevor and Mark pick their way over slippery ground and into the mist at the top of Atigun Pass… I began to have visions of “slip sliding away”, when we began the descent…

6.1 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

The Alaskan Tundra…. Stark, beautiful and magical…!!

7. Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

Road made rough by inconsiderate construction workers, hell-bent on making it as difficult as possible to reach Prudhoe Bay…!!

8.1 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

The road crosses the oil pipeline, that runs all the way to the Arctic Ocean…

9.1 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

The one who has made it all possible…!! The Big Fella takes a breather on the Dalton….

10.1 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

Trevor and Mark get to grips with the “snotty stuff”… It was on a long, wet and muddy section like this one, that all three of us almost came to grief….!!

11.1 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

This guy didn’t make it to Prudhoe…

12. Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

And this truck didn’t make it back to Coldfoot…!!

13. Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

There was still time to do some cloud-gazing….

After close to seven hours of sometimes nail-biting riding, we made to Deadhorse, the town at the end of the Dalton Highway… There were high-fives, bear-hugs and a little moisture around the eyes for all of us…

14. Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

Eight days after setting out from Vancouver, over 4 300 km to the south, it’s the end of the line for the Prudhoe Posse, and the last stop on the road north for the GBWT… The long ride home begins here…!!

15. Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

First a lap of honour around the parking lot in front of the Deadhorse Post Office….

16. Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

Then the photo that says it all…

17 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

The guys that made it much more fun that it would have been had I ridden alone… Mark Piff, and my brother from another mother, Trevor Wilson…!! Trevor and Chenty have already ridden more kilometres with me than any other rider on my journey, and we still have about 5 000 km to go before we split up again in Early August…

18. Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

Muddied but not bloodied….!! The Big Fella took the Dalton in his stride, probably more worried about his rider, then I was about him…!!

19. Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

Chenty and Mark model the unique footwear required to enter the Prudhoe Bay Hotel…. The fetching blue “booties” are worn to prevent half the Tundra being carried into the hotel…!!

It has been a big, big day for all of us… For Trevor, Chenty and Mark, this was the start of their own journey to the End of the World in Argentina, which they will resume in the next year or so… This will make them a part of the unique group of people who have ridden to the two ends of the Americas…

For me and the Big Fella, it was the culmination of a dream we had dared to dream… I was both filled with intense pride, as well as a strange feeling that although I had reached yet another goal, there would still be many more wonderful things to come on my long ride “home”…

sshot 12 Prudhoe Bay…!! We’ve Made it…!!

It’s taken 8 solid days of riding to reach the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay…

I tried hard to remind myself that it was not all over yet… There was still about 10 000 km between New Jersey and where we now stood…

And at the end of THAT ride, the beginning of a new dream awaited…

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