Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fairbanks and the Dalton Highway

We had a couple of interesting days here in Alaska. Yesterday we took the dogs to a dog park and it was a little disappointing. The park is a temporary off leash park until the final park is built. It was about the dirtiest dog park we visited but the worse thing is that there was no water for the dogs. So we had Coco and Jodie running back and forth in the 75 degree weather and there was no water. We quit soon and took them home for water and to cool off.

later on we went to dinner at The Alaska Salmon Bake. This is served buffet style outdoors. Prime rib, grilled salmon, fried halibut, and fried cod were available along with a salad bar, soft drinks, and a desert cabin. It was all good, but the halibut was out of this world!

Today we wanted to take the Riverboat Discovery Tour, but when I called for reservations, it was sold out. Plan B was to take the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle, and we did. We find that the terms "highway" and "expressway" do not mean the same thing here as it does elsewhere. The expressways are major arteries, but with stop lights and intersections. The Dalton Highway is primarily a washboard dirt road for the most part. It's 115 miles along the Dalton to the Arctic Circle and its about 95 miles from the campground to the Dalton. Mud! That was the worst problem. We did get to the Circle as the following picture shows.

The two pictures below are examples of the Dalton Highway.

And this is what we shared the road with. They drove SO FAST that when they were coming behind us, we'd take a turnout to let them pass. They are very large rigs that transport equipment and supplies to Prudhoe Bay and they look even bigger looking up from a Jeep Cherokee.

The following is a small, very small, portion of the Alaska Pipeline. The way it snakes back and forth as it runs from the wells to Valdez is awesome. It was quite the undertaking.

The next two pictures are of the Jeep after the trip. The mud was caked on so deep underneath and in the wheel wells that it came off in large clumps when I hit it with a stream of water. This campground has a complimentary vehicle wash, and I was able to clean the Jeep again.

I washed the Jeep the first day we got here, so the following picture is both a before the Dalton picture and after another cleaning picture.

It was a long, long ride and though it's nice to say I did it, if I had known how grueling it would be I would have let this particular attraction pass.


  1. Wow that road sure was dusty and muddy, Can't get over it all the way to the Arctic circle, try not to fall off the end of the earth while your up there, Sam is gpoing to take the trailer to Iowa for a couple days of Train photography and just relaxing, Rigg's is already in moping mood when he saw Sam put the travel bag he uses in front of the basement door, he knows his Dad is taking a trip without him.Have fun, and be safe out there. watch out for low leaping kangeroo's. Sam & Donna.

  2. OK...Eric really wants to go up into the Arctic Circle. Our plan is to go up the Dempster in the Yukon, but have the Dalton as a back-up plan just in case. Maybe I just need to take my photo-shop skills and add us into the pic with you guys and just say we were there?!!
    And our Cherokee is just not as nice as yours. That makes it OK to get dirty...but I wonder if it will just fall apart on that Hwy!