Four days of riding brought me to Coldfoot. Today (25th) is a rest day here.
The Arctic is spectacular including crossing 4800ft Atigun Pass yesterday. I walked the steepest parts (12% grade) but made it. Huge change on the other end and now in the spruce forest. It has been four challenging days of riding, roughly summarized as follows:
- Tuesday, 30F and snowing. The weather forecast had said finishing by 2pm but it kept all day. Rode 48 miles of sometimes muddy gravel road and had to take a pilot car through 4 mile construction zone and another 8 mile construction zone to end up at mile 355.
- Wednesday, white world with fresh snow starting out but sunny! More hills today but much warmer as followed the Sag river slowly uphill to end at mile 307
- Thursday, crossed multiple drainages to come close to the Brooks Range. Good views of the pipeline. Took close to 10 hours on the road to get 48 miles again. Camped next to Trevor Creek beside the road.
- Friday, long and spectacular day. I was 14 miles and 2000ft before the pass. First 10 miles weren’t bad and then the uphill started for real. Reached Atigun Pass followed by descents of 12% and 10% on loaded touring bike. After reaching first spruce tree the road became considerably better, ~26 miles of smooth gravel followed by 34 miles of pavement, following river valley. It was a long day of 13 hours in the saddle but given choice between freeze-dried eggs and buffet dinner, pushed on.
Today pretty relaxing watching the world go by in Coldfoot. Burst of activity in morning as all gets going followed by morning lull. As evening approaches busier again. Reminds me a bit of Australian roadhouse. Photos will have to wait until Fairbanks. Started out with someone from Delhi, though got ahead as he was even slower than my snail pace. Will see if we meet here. Could still take 5-6 days from here pending road conditions.
Oh yes, having fun.