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  • Dee Dee Rinker

One Last Slip and Slide

We woke to clear skies in Coldfoot Camp this morning and we're ready to continue the journey to Fairbanks. The helicopters were up and gathering water for the forest fires farther south of us, so we knew we would be back into the smoke soon enough.

Riding back toward the Arctic Circle, which was halfway to Yukon River Camp, roads were dirt and gravel, but we made good time. If you would have told me a month ago that I would be riding gravel roads at 50 mph, I would have said you were crazy! We stopped at the Arctic Circle to fuel up. The next section was washboarded on the hills and my guess is that this section will soon be coated in water and calcium chloride to smooth it out.

We arrived at Yukon River Camp to fuel up again, only to discover that Joe's tool bag was hanging off the right side and completely empty of all his tools and parts .... Yard Sale! Steve and I waited at camp, while Joe took my bike back to look for his stuff. Did I mention that Steve had a yard sale yesterday, he lost his heated gloves and one of his full Armadillo fuel bags. Thankfully, it didn't bust and we tied it back on. Anyway, Joe returned almost three hours later with practically ALL of his stuff. Awesome! He said he had to walk along the road as it was scattered a ways and swore one of the haul road trucks tried to hit him, but he got his stuff.

Yukon River Bridge and a view of the Yukon River.

We encountered the 20 mile bypass road they were building and were escorted over it. It only had a few spots of big gravel this time to navigate through. Yuck! Then we got the pleasure of the "eel snot" one more time on a stretch of about 2 miles of downhill travel. I swear my backend tried to pass me at least six times, but I stayed ahead of it. What a ride! Over and done. We stopped off at the Dalton Highway sign for one last break before heading the last 100 miles into Fairbanks. I got a high five from a lady that had just rode through it with her husband in a truck and was shook up with her trip down that hill! Apparently, our stop allowed the concrete to set up on our bikes as I couldn't get mine above 2nd gear, so we had to stop and spray carb cleaner on the shifter and rod to break it free. Bike washes all round tomorrow!!!

It will be a maintenance day tomorrow going over the bikes and replacing tail light bulbs on both 39's and a headlight on Steve's as the roads shook the filaments out of them! Goodbye to the Dalton....been there, done that. (and quite frankly, not interested in going back)


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Don Gilmore
Don Gilmore

The adventure continues. Enjoy it while it lasts!

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