Ride North – Week 6: the Dalton Highway

Ah, the Dalton Highway. As I mentioned in my last post, this is it: the most Northern, and one of the most deadly and challenging roads in the United States.

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Known to locals as the ‘Haul road’, the Dalton Highway is used all year round by truckers to haul huge shipments of oil and oil products and equipment to the biggest oil field in North America at Prudhoe Bay. Prudhoe Bay also marks the end of the road on the American continent; it’s the unofficial end of the ‘Pan-American Highway’ and the furthest North you can go.

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Ride North – Week 5

Just as we left with the departure with Skagway, Alaska in the last post, we now start a week that took us through the North of the Yukon and into Alaska proper – our third border crossing into Alaska so far!

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We departed Skagway with our route planned to take us from Whitehorse, Yukon up to Dawson City, Yukon. A quaint gold-rush era town with mud streets, we’d heard a few good things about Dawson City but apparently not everything, as we were about to find out.

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Ride North – Week 4

Last week, we may have dipped into Alaska by most technical definitions of the Canadian-Alaskan border by visiting Hyder, but it didn’t quite feel like it. We left and ahead of us lay the North end of British Columbia, the Yukon, and finally Alaska proper. The roads up to all this were two legendary highways: the Stewart-Cassiar Highway (or simply ‘the Cassiar’) and the Big One, the Alaskan Highway (also known as ‘the Alcan’).

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Setting off from Stewert and Hyder, Alaska we found ourselves on a long stretch of road that would eventually connect with the Alaskan Highway. We had over half a thousand miles ahead of us before we’d make it there.

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Our first stop from Stewart was Deese Lake. The road there was occasionally broken up into a gravel two-lane road and at times deteriorated into what could generously be called a ‘mud road’. The GT1000 handled all this fairly well, though. You get used to it quickly.

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Ride North – Week 3

An overdue update! We finally hit the roads in what can be legitimately considered wilderness, so our updates will be somewhat irregular and Wallpaper-A-Week backers will have to be a bit more patient… our apologies! I am writing this from what is technically Alaska: Skagway!

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I’m getting ahead of myself. First, we have to detail how we ended up in the Yukon. We left off in Vancouver last time…

Vancouver treated us well. When we rode into town, we originally planned to stay with a Couchsurfing host, but as it was Canada Day the hosts we were planning to meet up with were off getting drunk somewhere on Granville Island, a small island in the middle of the city. We headed there, somewhat tired and very much thirsty after riding for hours without water and as we got off our bikes in the middle of thick (more drunk than not) crowds in Canada’s red and white colors we immediately got treated to Canadian friendliness. We struck up a conversation with a mother and son and Stuart talked with some other locals.

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