The town of Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay, marks the start of our planned Alaska to Argentina cycle tour. The furthest point north in Alaska reachable by road, Deadhorse exists purely to facilitate and support the extraction of oil from beneath its frozen tundra. Just a few kilometres from the Arctic Ocean coastline (only accessible via a private road owned by BP), this town was established after oil was discovered in 1968. During the late 1970s an ambitious pipeline project was initiated to transport this precious liquid 800 miles to its Valdez Terminal.

The Dalton Highway (also known as the North Slope Haul Road) is our route south and was built in 1977 to service the construction of the pipeline. These days it continues to be used for pipeline maintenance and for the delivery of supplies to the oil workers at Deadhorse, whose numbers range from 3500 – 5000, despite Deadhorse having less than 50 permanent residents.

Arrival at Deadhorse. After months of preparation, the moment finally crystallises and we're outside the terminal of the Deadhorse Airport with two bike boxes, a carton and large tennis bag we bought for a few bucks in a charity shop. We'll leave Deadhorse with five days food and all our posessions in panniers and our Revelate Designs bikepacking kit.

Arrival at Deadhorse. After months of preparation, the moment finally crystallises and we’re outside the terminal of the Deadhorse Airport with two bike boxes, a carton and large tennis bag we bought for a few bucks in a charity shop. We’ll leave Deadhorse with five days food and all our possessions in panniers and our Revelate Designs bikepacking kit.


After a full day of travel we're keen to stretch the legs and check out our new surroundings. That's the Aurora Hotel to the left (our digs for two nights). It's below freezing, and this photo was taken about 10pm – we're about to start experiencing the phenomenon of 24 hour daylight.

After a full day of travel we’re keen to stretch the legs and check out our new surroundings. That’s the Aurora Hotel to the left (our digs for two nights). It’s below freezing, and this photo was taken about 10pm – we’re about to start experiencing the phenomenon of 24 hour daylight.


It's almost unsettlingly flat and the frozen lakes, grey sky and tan ground almost seem to merge into one. Distance is very hard to judge and most of the horzion is dotted with oil wells and other infrastructure.

It’s almost unsettlingly flat and the frozen lakes, grey sky and tan ground almost seem to merge into one. Distance is very hard to judge and most of the horizon is dotted with oil wells and other infrastructure.


Mostly frozen Colleen Lake, the view from our hotel.

The mostly frozen Colleen Lake, the view from our hotel.


I have heard Deadhorse described in many ways, mostly negative, and some people asked us why we were staying one night, let alone two. But this icy, utilitarian town at the juncture of a frozen sea and a barren landscape held a strange fascination for both of us.

I have heard Deadhorse described in many ways, mostly negative, and some people asked us why we were staying one night, let alone two. But this icy, utilitarian town at the juncture of a frozen sea and a barren landscape held a strange fascination for both of us.


During sleet showers we took a tour to the Arctic Ocean to check out the sea ice - this is looking across Prudhoe Bay.

During sleet showers we took a tour to the Arctic Ocean to check out the sea ice – this is looking across Prudhoe Bay.


Dipping a hand in a puddle on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean.

Dipping a hand in a puddle on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean.


The following day we hit the road, teaming up with Dutch cyclist Rik Smit who had attempted to ride out of Prudhoe during a storm the previous day and turned back. This morning it was around -2 deg and sunny with little wind – a good start on the Dalton Highway.

The following day we hit the road, teaming up with Dutch cyclist Rik Smit who had attempted to ride out of Prudhoe during a storm the previous day and turned back. This morning it was around -2 deg and sunny with little wind – a good start on the Dalton Highway.


The bulky shapes of oil derricks dot the landscape surrounding Deadhorse.

The bulky shapes of oil derricks dot the landscape surrounding Deadhorse.


Hell of a place to be a lollipop girl - sub zero and a 12 hour shift...

Hell of a place to be a lollipop girl – sub zero and a 12 hour shift…


The worst surface of the Dalton for cyclists is probably the first 50km out out Deadhorse – it's covered in loose stone, more heavily trafficked and chewed up in places. Much of the rest was good hardpack with occasional seal. I've heard it can be a different story after prolonged rain though.

The worst surface of the Dalton for cyclists is probably the first 50km out out Deadhorse – it’s covered in loose stone, more heavily trafficked and chewed up in places. Much of the rest was good hardpack with occasional seal. I’ve heard it can be a different story after prolonged rain though.


We follow the edge of the frozen Sag River for the first 80-odd kilometres with little to see on the horizon, but later the Brooks Range begins to take shape.

We follow the edge of the frozen Sag River for the first 80-odd kilometres with little to see on the horizon, but later the Brooks Range begins to take shape.


Lucky to spot caribou on the roadside.

Lucky to spot caribou on the roadside.


On the morning of day two we leave camp in cold and damp conditions and ride rolling hills, crossing paths with Gaye and Ed (Northbound for this section) who are also on an extended Americas tour. Check them out here.

On the morning of day two we leave camp in cold and damp conditions and ride rolling hills, crossing paths with Gaye and Ed (Northbound for this section) who are also on an extended Americas tour. Check them out here.


Muskox were a treat to see on the second day.

Muskox were a treat to see on the second day.


11 pump stations control the flow of oil in the pipeline - some speeding it up, but where it comes off the Brooks Range they slow down its flow.

11 pump stations control the flow of oil in the pipeline – some speeding it up, but where it comes off the Brooks Range they slow down its flow.


It's hard to find anywhere to get out of the wind the first few days on the road, and at the end of day two we ask permission to camp in the partial shelter of the yard for a service camp that has been set up to accommodate contractors working on fibre optic installation alongside the road. Each night Hana sends out a location 'ping' with out InReach - you can check out our nightly stops here: https://share.delorme.com/markhana

It’s hard to find anywhere to get out of the wind the first few days on the road, and at the end of day two we ask permission to camp in the partial shelter of the yard for a service camp that has been set up to accommodate contractors working on fibre optic installation alongside the road. Each night Hana sends out a location ‘ping’ with our InReach – you can check out our nightly stops here.


We're showered, fed, watered and entertained by the incredibly generous Thom and Marcie who are running the camp. Thom's camp manager and Marcie is an ace cook who insists we eat all the food that the 'meat and corn' contractors won't eat. We can't believe our luck, until the first flakes of snow begin to fall overnight and we wake to 10 centimetres over everything. My achilles tendon has become a problem over the past day, so with snow still falling we decide to take a day off - enjoying yet more amazing generosity from our hosts.

We’re showered, fed, watered and entertained by the incredibly generous Thom and Marcie who are running the camp. Thom’s camp manager and Marcie is an ace cook who insists we eat all the food that the ‘meat and corn’ contractors won’t eat. We can’t believe our luck, until the first flakes of snow begin to fall overnight and we wake to 10 centimetres over everything.
My achilles tendon has become a problem over the past day, so with snow still falling we decide to take a day off – enjoying yet more amazing generosity from our hosts.


The snow arrives.

The snow arrives.


The camp is designed for Arctic comfort: insulated tents, oil-heating and designed to withstand snow and storms. Thom's Alaskan huskies are great company too, when they're not catching z's.

The camp is designed for Arctic comfort: insulated tents, oil-heating and designed to withstand snow and storms. Thom’s Alaskan huskies are great company too, when they’re not catching z’s.


It also doubles as a rest stop for truckers making the 14 hour haul from Fairbanks.

It also doubles as a rest stop for truckers making the 14 hour haul from Fairbanks.


Marcie kept us well fed and entertained - and got us involved with a few kitchen duties.

Marcie kept us well fed and entertained – and got us involved with a few kitchen duties.


Rik is great company too, and lends his physiotherapy expertise to my inflamed achilles tendon. We picked a good person to team up with!

Rik is great company too, and lends his physiotherapy expertise to my inflamed achilles tendon. We picked a good person to team up with! Rik is on a ride from Alaska to Panama, raising money for charity Spieren voor Spieren (Muscles for Muscles). Check out his Facebook page here. 


Giant, the Alaskan husky.

Giant, the Alaskan husky.


During the late afternoon it cleared.

During the late afternoon it cleared.


Next day we were back on the road, soon passing the fibre optic trench digging crew who have some some fancy and fearsome toys.

Next day we were back on the road, soon passing the fibre optic trench digging crew who have some some fancy and fearsome toys.


It was good to be back on the road again, despite a dodgy tendon and we had very cold, clear conditions setting out, with virtually no wind. Sometime in the morning a 4WD pulled over and the occupants hollered to us that there was another storm coming that night with 5-8 inches of snow forecast.

It was good to be back on the road again, despite a dodgy tendon and we had very cold, clear conditions setting out, with virtually no wind. Sometime in the morning a 4WD pulled over and the occupants hollered to us that there was another storm coming that night with 5-8 inches of snow forecast.


The nearly omnipresent pipeline.

The omnipresent pipeline.


Secrets of the Dalton: Thom tipped us off about a mail box full of candy and other goodies. A great mid-morning treat!

Secrets of the Dalton: Thom tipped us off about a mail box full of candy and other goodies. A great mid-morning treat!


Lunch under the pipeline. Some clever mechanisms prevent the warm oil from melting the permafrost (and undermining the foundations) by cooling the supports with refrigerant. We had to isolate ourselves from the ground to prevent the permafrost from freezing us!

Lunch under the pipeline. Some clever mechanisms prevent the warm oil from melting the permafrost (and undermining the foundations) by cooling the supports with refrigerant. We had to isolate ourselves from the ground to prevent the permafrost from freezing us!


'Aufeis' in one of the streambeds feeding Galbraith Lake, just a few kilometres off the Dalton. We detoured to check out these great sheets of ice left behind from winter.

‘Aufeis’ in one of the streambeds feeding Galbraith Lake, just a few kilometres off the Dalton. We detoured to check out these great sheets of ice left behind from winter.


Aufeis is created as sucessive sheets of ice form on the lake and stream surface by water forced through cracks from the still flowing stream below.

Aufeis is created as successive sheets of ice form on the lake and stream surface by water forced through cracks from the still flowing stream below.


Left behind are serac-like blocks, distinctively layered and fractured.

Left behind are serac-like blocks, distinctively layered and fractured.


With a storm expected that night we decided to take refuge in a porch attached to the side of an unoccupied research hut. The wind did pick up and it snowed lightly all night, but not to the level expected.

With a storm expected that night we decided to take refuge in a porch attached to the side of an unoccupied research hut. The wind did pick up and it snowed lightly all night, but not to the level expected.


Wherever I lay my head...

Wherever I lay my head…


There was no increase in temps the following morning, with the mercury still hovering just below freezing.

There was no increase in temps the following morning, with the mercury still hovering just below freezing.


By now we'd left the flat of the North Slope well behind and endless, gently rolling hills had finally merged into the Brooks Range. The valleys narrowed further as we were squeezed towards Atigun Pass (1444m), the highpoint of the road.

By now we’d left the flat of the North Slope well behind and endless, gently rolling hills had finally merged into the Brooks Range. The valleys narrowed further as we were squeezed towards Atigun Pass (1444m), the highpoint of the road.


Climbing gently away from Galbraith Lake towards Atigun Pass. By means of some strange weather phenomenon, the higher we climbed and the further from the low ground of the North Slope we got, the less snow there was from storms the previous 48 hours.

Climbing gently away from Galbraith Lake towards Atigun Pass. By means of some strange weather phenomenon, the higher we climbed and the further from the low ground of the North Slope we got, the less snow there was from storms the previous 48 hours.


The geology and landforms never ceased to amaze.

The geology and landforms never ceased to amaze.


Just a couple of kilometres from the base of the pass.

Just a couple of kilometres from the base of the pass.


Atigun Pass (1444m). Sun's out finally and it's time to go down...

Atigun Pass (1444m). Sun’s out finally and it’s time to go down…


More aufeis in the stream on the south side of Atigun Pass.

More aufeis in the stream on the south side of Atigun Pass.


From the pass the road descends steeply for 500 metres to the Chandalar Shelf, which the road crosses for a few kilometres before dropping steeply again for another 300 metres.

From the pass the road descends steeply for 500 metres to the Chandalar Shelf, which the road crosses for a few kilometres before dropping steeply again for another 300 metres.


And before you know it, you're seeing the northern most trees on the highway. It's a profound change. The fridge-like northerly-influenced North Slope is rapidly left behind for an entirely different climate and soon we're ripping off leg warmers and jackets.

And before you know it, you’re seeing the northern most trees on the highway. It’s a profound change. The fridge-like northerly-influenced North Slope is rapidly left behind for an entirely different climate and soon we’re ripping off leg warmers and jackets.


The landscape takes on a fresh texture and the tan hills are cloaked in green.

The landscape takes on a fresh texture and the tan hills are cloaked in green.


The first night over the pass we camp near a beautiful clear river and it's warm enough to sit outside the tents without a down jacket on. Luxury.

The first night over the pass we camp near a beautiful clear river and it’s warm enough to sit outside the tents without a down jacket on. Luxury.


3am skies over our our campsite.

3am skies over our campsite.


We're loving the change of costume.

We’re loving the change of costume.


Rolling on down the valley – a scenic tour with easy pedalling.

Rolling on down the valley – a scenic tour with easy pedalling.


Interesting peaks tower over the valley.

Interesting peaks tower over the valley.


I forgot to mention the food at the Aurora Hotel in Deadhorse. The hotel isn't cheap, but it comes with three all-you-can-eat cooked meals a day, along with an open pantry stocked with fresh sandwiches, fruit, drinks, candy and pretty much every kind of convenient snack you can imagine - available 24/7. Rik filled his panniers with sandwiches from this pantry which he ate for breakfast and lunch for the following five days.

I forgot to mention the food at the Aurora Hotel in Deadhorse. The hotel isn’t cheap, but it comes with three all-you-can-eat cooked meals a day, along with an open pantry stocked with fresh sandwiches, fruit, drinks, candy and pretty much every kind of convenient snack you can imagine – available 24/7.
Rik filled his panniers with sandwiches from this pantry which he ate for breakfast and lunch for the following five days.


Heading down valley towards Sukakapak Mountain and Wiseman.

Heading down valley towards Sukakapak Mountain and Wiseman.


A truck driver pulls over ahead and places this 8 pack of Powerade on the road for us. Our black American benefactor's shy though and makes to drive off before we reach him, but we get there just in time, shaking his hand and marvelling at the generosity of this Pulp Fiction-like character.

A truck driver pulls over ahead and places this 8 pack of Powerade on the road for us. Our black American benefactor’s shy though and makes to drive off before we reach him, but we get there just in time, shaking his hand and marvelling at the generosity of this Pulp Fiction-like character.


We detoured to the tiny town of Wiseman to check out some local history. Gold once drove this town, but these days it consists of a just a few people, accommodation for Aurora Borealis tourists and a small souvenir shop/cafe. The friendly locals told us tales of the town prior to the Dalton Highway being built, when the only way in and out was via air.

We detoured to the tiny town of Wiseman to check out some local history. Gold once drove this town, but these days it consists of a just a few people, accommodation for Aurora Borealis tourists and a small souvenir shop/cafe. The friendly locals told us tales of the town prior to the Dalton Highway being built, when the only way in and out was via air.


Jim 'Sourdough Clutch' keenly told us a few local tales until we politely escaped in search of shade and some legendary cinnamon rolls which we caught fresh from the oven and dripping with icing.

Jim ‘Sourdough Clutch’ keenly told us a few local tales until we politely escaped in search of shade and some legendary cinnamon rolls which we caught fresh from the oven and dripping with icing.


Next stop, just 30km down the road, was Coldfoot - the first gas station since leaving Deadhorse and the only place you can buy a hot meal other than Wiseman.

Next stop, just 30km down the road, was Coldfoot – the first gas station since leaving Deadhorse and the only place you can buy a hot meal other than Wiseman.


After a quick $14 shower we tucked into the all-you-can-eat buffet, sharing the dining room with pipeline workers, truck drivers and contactors.

After a quick $14 shower we tucked into the all-you-can-eat buffet, sharing the dining room with pipeline workers, truck drivers and contractors.


We were happy to pick up our food parcel too. Without this facility, we'd have been carrying 11 days food from Deadhorse instead of the 5 we started off with.

We were happy to pick up our food parcel too. Without this facility, we’d have been carrying 11 days food from Deadhorse instead of the 5 we started off with.


The camp was established initially as a maintenance camp for for the road and pipeline. These days it mostly serves truckers making the long drive north, but a small stream of tourists (mostly touring motorcyclists) passed through the two nights we were there.

The camp was established initially as a maintenance camp for the road and pipeline. These days it mostly serves truckers making the long drive north, but a small stream of tourists (mostly touring motorcyclists) passed through the two nights we were there.


Not an attractive spot and an absolute dustbowl when the wnd blows, but heaven for tired cyclists.

Not an attractive spot and an absolute dustbowl when the wind blows, but heaven for tired cyclists.


We took a couple of shorter 60-70km days out of Coldfoot to take it easier on my achilles, lupines sometimes adding colour to the now constant green either side of us.

We took a couple of shorter 60-70km days out of Coldfoot to take it easier on my achilles, lupines sometimes adding colour to the now constant green either side of us.


With forest and warm temps come mosquitos - big ones!

With forest and warm temps come mosquitos – big ones!


Fire helps keep them at bay.

Fire helps keep them at bay.


Our crossing of the Arctic Circle turned into quite a social occasion; Hana met a man who grew up in Lyttelton, a couple of motorcyclists arrived - including Luis whom had ridden from his home in Ushuaia...

Our crossing of the Arctic Circle turned into quite a social occasion; Hana met a man who grew up in Lyttelton, a couple of motorcyclists arrived – including Luis whom had ridden from his home in Ushuaia…


And this amazing guy ran in, with his crew of three . Weking van Reeth is running 590 marathons in a row - from Deadhorse to Ushuaia. 42.2 km a day ... mostly following the Pan American Highway. Check them out here: http://www.viapanam.be/

And this amazing guy ran in, with his support crew of three. Weking van Reeth is running 590 marathons in a row – from Deadhorse to Ushuaia. 42.2 km a day … mostly following the Pan American Highway.
Check them out here.


The granite tors atop Finger Mountain - a well known highway landmark, made a good place to stop for the night.

The granite tors atop Finger Mountain – a well known highway landmark, made a good place to stop for the night.


We shared the road with truckers consistently, though on the whole traffic was quite light, with a vehicle only every few minutes with sometimes long gaps between. The road's wide enough for comfort and the drivers were amazingly courteous - usually slowing and giving us a wide berth.

We shared the road with truckers consistently, though on the whole traffic was quite light, with a vehicle only every few minutes with sometimes long gaps between. The road’s wide enough for comfort and the drivers were amazingly courteous – usually slowing and giving us a wide berth.


The stunted nature of these far north spuce trees reminds us of high elevation forest back home.

The stunted nature of these far north spuce trees reminds us of high elevation forest back home.


But it's striking cloud-scapes that catch our attention most of that morning.

But it’s striking cloud-scapes that catch our attention most of that morning.


Swampy lowlands en route to the Yukon.

Swampy lowlands en route to the Yukon.


A landscape that's easy on the eye.

A landscape that’s easy on the eye.


From Finger Mountain the road rolls gently on a downward course towards the Yukon River, seemingly endless boreal forest either side. We have to remind ourselves that this is the only road for thousands of kilometres, the rest is simply wilderness.

From Finger Mountain the road rolls gently on a downward course towards the Yukon River, seemingly endless boreal forest either side. We have to remind ourselves that this is the only road for thousands of kilometres, the rest is simply wilderness.


After the Yukon River the road hits the hills again - big ones - and we have several days in a row with around 1500m of climbing. On this day we struggled finding water, and a reasonable campsite after over seven hours pedalling and ended up in the mosquito infested fibre optic cable margin along side the road. It was baking hot, but without enough clothes you'd be eaten alive. It's tricky eating dinner with a head net on.

After the Yukon River the road hits the hills again – big ones – and we have several days in a row with around 1500m of climbing. On this day we struggled finding water, and a reasonable campsite after over seven hours pedalling and ended up in the mosquito infested fibre optic cable margin along side the road. It was baking hot, but without enough clothes you’d be eaten alive. It’s tricky eating dinner with a head net on.


End of the highway... now onto the Elliot Highway for a couple of days to Fairbanks.

End of the highway… now onto the Elliot Highway for a couple of days to Fairbanks.


Leaving a nice campsite alongside the Tolovana River.

Leaving a nice campsite alongside the Tolovana River.


A sunny morning perked the spirits but it was soon roasting hot again.

A sunny morning perked the spirits but it was soon roasting hot again.


Millions of barrels a day pumping through nearby...

Millions of barrels a day pumping through nearby…


The Elliot Highway was all sealed and bit busier than the Dalton. Small pockets of humanity begin to appear.

The Elliot Highway was all sealed and bit busier than the Dalton. Small pockets of humanity begin to appear.


And we met some more cyclists - Ratna and Patrick heading north.

And we met some more cyclists – Ratna and Patrick heading north.


After three days of hot temps we make it to Fairbanks and stay with generous Warmshowers hosts Marilyn and Simon who keep us very well fed and help us with maintenance and a trip into town for parts and shopping. Simon is a local legend and very experienced bike pioneer and mechanic and is great for discussions of all things technical concerning bikes. The garage starts to overflow with bikes when Jenny and Curtis (another pair of cycle tourists from Texas) arrive via truck with a broken derailleur. It's a full house that night! We stayed three nights catching up on some work and to let my tendon settle, parting ways with Rik who has been excellent company for the first 850km of our ride.

After three days of hot temps we make it to Fairbanks and stay with generous Warmshowers hosts Marilyn and Simon who keep us very well fed and help us with maintenance and a trip into town for parts and shopping. Simon is a local legend and very experienced bike pioneer and mechanic and is great for discussions of all things technical concerning bikes. The garage starts to overflow with bikes when Jenny and Curtis (another pair of cycle tourists from Texas) arrive via truck with a broken derailleur. It’s a full house that night!
We stayed three nights catching up on some work and to let my tendon settle, parting ways with Rik who has been excellent company for the first 850km of our ride.

The Nuts & Bolts

⊕ The Dalton and Elliot Highways from Deadhorse to Fairbanks: 839 kilometres.
⊕ We paid US$270 for two for a room in Deadhorse inc. 24/7 snacks and three all-you-can-eat meals a day.
⊕ To avoid carrying supplies the whole route, food parcels can be posted to Coldfoot.
⊕ Services exist at Wiseman (limited), Coldfoot, Hotspot Cafe (just north of the Yukon River), truck stop at Yukon River and at Hilltop, just before Fox.
⊕ We experienced everything from -5c to 28c over 12 days (with two rest days).
⊕ The usual window for cycling the Dalton starts early June (though sometimes very keen people start earlier, check out http://www.julihirata.com)

⊕ BLM provide this useful resource all about riding the Dalton Highway.

Follow our progress via InReach here.

Thanks to Revelate Designs and Biomaxa.

17 Comments

  • Rik says:

    Mint summary of our trip together with really good pictures. See you soon. Rik

  • Scott says:

    Awesomeness Champ! Lovely images and words.

  • Grace says:

    Some absolutely stunning pictures, really enjoyed the writeup!

  • Racahel says:

    Great write-up! Looking forward to the next installment.

  • James McLafferty says:

    Mark – great adventuring! Just saw where you guys are – awesome! roll on

  • Jeff says:

    Excellent story and great photos. You guys are off to a great start.

  • Patrick says:

    An extremely informative and interesting write-up, especially for those of us who (may) wish to do a similar trip someday. I am excited to follow along! Enjoy the ride.

  • Loved the post! Great pics too.

  • Shawn Ambrose says:

    Thanks for posting your adventure – I’m planning to ride from Fairbanks to Deadhorse in 2018. Thanks!

    Shawn

  • Stevan says:

    Yay! You got to get some goodies from the Toolik Field Station mail box! I was working there at that time and probably filled it up. Looks like slim pickens. We usually pack it full as every week or so, but the truckers have caught on I think. Unfortunately, Toolik can’t accept unannounced visitors, but we try to help out travelers with some snacks and candy. Here’s what goes on there if you’re interested: https://toolik.alaska.edu/

    I’ll be in NZ in a month or so for some tramping and packrafting and planning on the GDMBR in August-October. Your posts on that have definitely been helpful and inspiring. Have a wonderful rest of the ride!

    Tailwinds!

    • Mark Watson says:

      Thanks Stevan! That candy was such a treat – love that you guys to that. It’s such a bonus when you have limited food :-). Have a great time in NZ – it’s a special place! The GDMBR was a fantastic ride too – we loved the whole experience! ??

  • Stephen Hammond says:

    Hello,
    I’m fellow kiwi currently riding The America’s, but doing it in stages.
    I left LA on Oct 5th and I’m now in Popayan, Colombia. On this leg I’m riding to Santiago, Chile and will then fly back to NZ for the month of June.
    I’d like to fly up to Deadhorse in July of this year and ride to LA to complete that section. What was your flight(s) NZ to Deadhorse?
    Did you use the 90 day visa waiver system or did you apply for a longer Visa before leaving NZ? I doubt 90 days is sufficient for Deadhorse to LA!!
    Can you get all necessary supplies for the trip in Deadhorse?? Camping gas?
    Did you send your food parcel ahead for re supply from Deadhorse?? Is that a simple process??
    Any other hints, tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    I was surprised to read you had freezing temps at that time of year! I’ll definitely need to upgrade some of my kit before leaving NZ.
    Thanks in advance. I hope you’re enjoying your rest in Peru…..I follow you on insta….I’m stevehammondlifebehindbars
    Cheers 😁👍

    • Mark Watson says:

      Hi Stephen. Sounds like a great trip you are on. If you come through Cusco, let us know. We’ll be based around here until May 1st, thereabouts.

      We booked and flew to DH from Vancouver. So it was Van-Seattle-Anchorage-DH with Alaska Air.
      Re visas, we both have multiple reentry US visas, which makes life a little easier. But you should be able to get a fresh 90 days when you come from Canada back into the USA, especially if you explain your situation. Technically, they can say no.

      You can buy very little in Deadhorse, and its expensive. But notably you CAN buy bear spray and gasoline. I’d suggest taking 5-7 days riding food with you and sending another week’s worth to the post office at Coldfoot. That’s the first settlement you reach but there are no grocery supplies. Just snacks and restaurant meals. You can do your shopping and postage in Anchorage.

      Only other notable thing is strong cord for hanging your food, an Ursack to hang/store it in (so the bears dont eat it), bear spray and mosquito head net – they are heinous in places!

      Freezing temps? Well it is the arctic. The sea was still frozen when we were there. I can’t speak for July conditions exactly, but you should expect and be prepared for anything on the North Slope. It’s extremely exposed. Once over the Brooks Range (Atigun Pass) you should expect fairly consistent summery temps and much hotter days. Hope that helps.

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