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Thread: Arctic Circle AK

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mesa
    Posts
    6,430

    Default Arctic Circle AK

    I will do my best to capture the trip but that is a tall task. There is so much that words and pictures just can’t do justice to.

    We arrived at 1am Friday night/ Saturday morning. Flights were easy and there was no issue with getting my gun to Alaska. The adventure started as soon as we walked out the doors. The car rental company was going to give us a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee to use but there was an issue and we got an email saying it would now be a Suburban. Sweet! They parked it in the airport parking so it would be there for us when we arrived. The parking lot at Fairbanks Airport is small, however there are still a more than enough cars to make you look.

    The issue is that all we had for information was that it was a suburban. No color. No location. No plate #. We scan the lot and boom find it with no problems. Its slightly lifted with 33’s on it. It has lights and a CB as well as mud from other trips down a dirt road. Number 193 is on the fender and the keys were in the gas door like they said. Easy as pie! We load up and head out. I pay the bill for the parking and complain that they had parked it there a few days early so my ticket it $65… Whatever… Im in Alaska!!!!

    A few miles down the road I just have this nagging feeling that something isn’t correct. I have Mike look for anything with the rental company name on it. Nothing turns up. I remember seeing a VIN # on the contract so I pull into a gas station and look. This is not our car… We stole a car from the airport!!! Back we go to find our car and return the stolen car.

    After more searching we find our all stock 2017 Suburban and keys that have the company name. We did leave a nice note for the owner of the other rig letting them know we paid their parking.

    Not a bad way to start the trip. More to come.













    Last edited by Skatchkins; 10-19-2017 at 09:05 AM.
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mesa
    Posts
    6,430

    Default

    Day two: Dalton Highway
    We got going about 9am. It was overcast and the locals said there would be snow. After a quick stop to Walmart for ammo, water, and snacks we headed out. It wasn’t long till the road changed to dirt but the condition of the road wasn’t any worse. The dirt road was better than any back road that I had been on in AZ. People told us to be ready to have everything in your body shaken. These people have never done CK. Just saying…

    The road was paved in parts and that’s when it got bad. The potholes that were in the road could eat a 35” tire. Mike did a great job at hitting all of them. ALL OF THEM… Im kidding. He worked that road and we avoided most of them. There were a few that were just too wide to avoid.

    The road turned to mud in a few places and we found out that if you go fast enough when you hit the whoops section you could get all 4 tires off the ground in a curve over a bridge at 65mph… That will wake you up and it makes me giggle every time.

    We made the stop at Yukon river and walked down. Nothing much to see. The bridge over the river was wood slats and was way cool to drive on. There was a guy that had a nice all tent on a barge that looked like it was his home. Kinda cool.

    We stopped off at an old bridge and took pics. I looked for fish but didn’t see anything.

    Next stop was the Arctic Circle. It was… well… underwhelming. Yeah it was cool that we crossed over but the sign itself and the pull out was just Meh. We made sure to take lots of pics and put the HG flag up. That flag has been all over the world. That’s just cool to think about.

    We made our way to Cold Foot where they had the last gas and food till Prudhoe Bay. From there we headed a few more miles down to Wiseman where the population was 10 or less. We checked in to our cabin and walked the town. Neat place. 100% of the income had to be from the cabin rentals.

    We posted up down at the river and took pictures as the sun set over the mountains. It was nothing like an Arizona sunset but it still moved me the same as the shadows danced on the mountains and the river made its way past us. We watched the sky and realized the cloud cover wasn’t letting up. We checked on the night sky till we went to bed and then I set my alarm for every few hours to get up and check to see if it cleared up. No such luck.
    The northern lights just weren’t meant to be for this trip.
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Murica
    Posts
    4,666

    Default

    So glad you guys were able to go do this!

  4. #4

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    Trying out the medium size Imgur hosting from Instagram pics.

    Disclaimably quotastic
    I are photographer
    armchaircrisis.com

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Glendale, AZ
    Posts
    8,509

    Default

    I seriously want to like in your photos, Mike. Not the real world where you took them, but just IN your actual photos. So good, brother. So good.
    The Dusty Gnome / White Collar Publishing
    Follow @thedustygnome on Twitter and at www.thedustygnome.com or White Collar Publishing on FB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Peoria AZ
    Posts
    1,645

    Default

    Pics of the stolen suburban?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mesa
    Posts
    6,430

    Default

    No outside pics. BUT... It looked a lot like yours in white.
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mesa
    Posts
    6,430

    Default

    Day 3: North of Wiseman
    We had been talking to the owner of the cabin we were staying at and he was very adamant that if we turned around now we would be missing out on some of the best that the Dalton Highway had to offer. We told us we needed to travel 99 miles more. No more no less than that. Apparently that is the point that you start to drop out of the mountains and into more open land. If the weather was good then the views should be amazing. Mike and I discussed the plan and we decided that we would rather do the 99 miles that were amazing, per a 30 year native of the area, than drive back for a short afternoon of looking at mining camps.
    We loaded up after breakfast with the owners and another traveler. A English gentleman who flew into Alaska and purchased a new Dodge Ram Rebel, and was going to take a year to drive the Pan-American Highway.
    The roads weren’t too bad other than one section of construction that had deep ruts. There were a few times I fell into the ruts and was dragging the frame. Once past that we were cooking along. The scenery began to change and the distant mountains became the hills on either side of us. As we continues to climb we found some great views that just needed to be taken in… and peed on. That road and redbull just seemed to make me have to go.
    Mike was the first to spot the wild life and we were coming over the mountain pass. He spotted a mountain goat eating a bush off the side of the road. We stopped and watched and then realized there were about 20-30 of these guys eating. They even had a few little ones in the mix.
    We found snow and ice… lots of ice. The suburban did a great job on the ice and only slid a little when I came to a stop for Mike to get a picture. Mike also found the ice about the same time. I was watching in the rear view when I saw it… Two leg up in the air, a loud thump of something hitting the back of the SUV and then Mike was out of view. I looked in the side mirror and could see Mike on the ground crawling.
    “Mike! You ok?”
    “Im ok. I just have to get my phone.”
    “Are you sure?”
    “Yeah. My hip broke my fall”
    We made it to the Continental divide / Atigun Pass. The highest-altitude point on the road (elevation 4,739 ft / 1,422 m); Rivers to the south flow to the Pacific Ocean or Bering Sea and rivers north of here flow into the Arctic Ocean
    At this point the road was just ice and there was a morning fog that cut visibility to about 50 feet. We kept going. I told Mike I wasn’t real comfortable on the road and with the fog I didn’t know how much further we should go. It’s not like we were going to be seeing much from the overlook.
    We found a pull out about 95 into the trip and turned around. It was 6 degrees out and about 10:30-11.
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  10. #10

    Default





    Wiseman cabin


    Good read


    Fairbanks 2 story cabin in the woods


    I pooped in here


    And in here




    Snow exploring




    Last edited by Skatchkins; 10-19-2017 at 09:12 AM.
    Disclaimably quotastic
    I are photographer
    armchaircrisis.com

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