Gone to a place that is unknown to many...

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Dalton Highway (July 9-11)

The number one reason why I wanted to go to Alaska is to drive on the Dalton Highway. It is also known as the "Haul Road." We started at Livengood, about 80 miles away from Fairbanks, and ended at Deadhorse. On the highway, there are many scenic views, wildlife and recreational opportunities.

The Dalton Highway is considered to be one of the state's most remote and challenging roads. The road surface is mostly gravel, which could be tough on tires of any car. Flat tires happen often on this highway. That is why a trick part of the trip was to find a rental car agency that would allow us to drive on the highway. A lot of rental car agencies would not allow their cars to be driven on the highway. Make sure you do homework if you plan to drive on the Dalton Highway. We surely did a lot of homework before traveling on this highway! Alright, let's take a look at pictures I took last week.

Three pictures shown above are exactly what we saw immediately after we started the trip.

It is 100 percent impossible to miss the Trans-Alaska Pipeline while being on the road. It is 800 miles long, running from Valdez to Deadhorse, for the purpose of transporting oil.

After driving 56 miles from the starting point, we reached the Yukon River.

We did saw a moose on the way.

3.39 dollars per gallon! We cannot afford to be a cheapass or else we would be stuck in middle of nowhere. Better safe than sorry.

Apparently, we picked right time to drive on this highway. It appeared that there was a wildlife not long ago.

At mile 115, we reached the Arctic Circle. By looking at picture above, you would think that we got there during the late afternoon. The truth is that we got there at 10:30pm! A lot of people turned around and left after this site, but not us! Let's keep going!

There are two towns on the highway, Coldfoot (pop. 15) and Wiseman (pop. 29). Many truckers stop at Coldfoot and a restaurant even have its own "trucker's table." Wiseman is an active mining area and even have its own post office.

240 miles! We gotta be prepared for it!

On the way to Sukakpak Mountain

We stopped at Galbraith Camp (mile 275) at 4am. We were going to camp out, but slept in the car due to poor weather and invasion of blood-thirsty mosquitos. We continued to north after few hours of sleep. Even before we reached Deadhorse, Jon and I both agreed that this road trip is the best ever and it wasn't even over yet!

The tundra of Arctic coastal plain.

The end of the Dalton Highway!

Prudhoe Bay is a town with the largest oil field in the United States. I don't think you would want to live there during the winter. How does minus 56 degrees Fahrenheit sound to you? That does not include wind chilling!

Yeah, it's cold in the Arctic Ocean, but not that cold.


The only cat in the town. Yeah, Deadhorse Denver is pretty big!

On the way back, we passed Atigun Pass (elevation 4800 feet), the highest highway pass in Alaska. We were surprised to see how the mountains of the Brooks Range were covered completely by snow. That's because we passed the same area several hours ago and there were no snow on the mountains! It was an awesome experience driving through that pass.

That is what happened when you complete this awesome 1000 miles round trip on the Dalton Highway. Can't even see the license plate of this car!

Jon and I have no idea if there's a deaf person who have ever taken a trip on the Dalton Highway. I guess you could say that you know two deaf guys who completed this trip! If you know anyone else who took the same trip, please let me know.

I have one advice for you if you ever decide to drive on the Dalton Highway - buy the magazine, The Milepost. Find one in any bookstore (B&N would be better) near you. It was an unique and fun trip!

Few things we did in Alaska

HIKING ON THE WORTHINGTON GLACIER, JULY 11: It was such an unique experience of hiking on the glacier! If you decide to go to Alaska, you should make glacier hiking one of your things-to-do list!

FLIGHTSEEING AROUND MT. MCKINLEY, JULY 8: I think I will let pictures shown below speak for themselves.

That is all I am going to post on this blog. Be glad you don't have to wait until next month before finally seeing these pictures. Gotta do this for friends that had me into their minds during my whole trip!

Me in Homer Spit

By the way, Clement, yes, you can blog from your own sidekick. Go comment and say, "I understand now!" Be a good doggie!