Alaska 2013 – Third Week (The Dalton Highway)

Third week and this time it is all about the road to Prudhoe Bay, at the northern tip of Alaska. Some people refer to it as Deadhorse, but no matter what name you end up using, the road remains the same: around 450 of some of the most challenging and rewarding miles a motorcyclist can dream of. It starts around 80 miles north of Fairbanks, and there are just very few places to stop until you reach Coldfoot, about halfway through it. That’s also the second (and last) stop for gas, and at that point, you are already almost 100 miles past the Arctic Circle. After Coldfoot, there is around 240 miles of pure nothing (or everything, depending on what you are prepared to see): indescribable vastness, ample skies and a completely different landscape, almost a surreal one. It’s very deserted, and one can’t help but feel incredibly peaceful out there. The only traffic is big trucks, some bikers who adventure in this remote place and the odd car or RV. Nothing much else.

This road is famous for being difficult and extremely dangerous, depending on the weather and the road conditions. If you’re lucky, the rough areas will be short and dry, and all you have to deal with is a lot of dust and the always complicated big rigs speeding past by and showering you with baseball-sized rocks stones. If Mother Nature decides to make your life miserable, it can be almost impossible to go through. After carefully checking the weather, I saw a window of opportunity and made up my mind to go. I left Fairbanks on July 4 and drove the first 250 miles to Wiseman (close to Coldfoot), to sleep there and get ready for the “assault” to Prudhoe the next day. On the 5th, I left early and rode to Prudhoe Bay, stopping along the way for photos all the time (much to the delight of the monstrous mosquitoes everywhere…). I finally made it to Prudhoe by around 3pm, got something to eat, refueled and by 5pm I was back on the road for the 240 miles back to Wiseman.

At this time of the year, the sun doesn’t set here, and the ride back was something I will remember forever. If I dare to be a bit philosophical about it, I’d say it was an almost mystical experience: no traffic on the road at all, a magical light all the time (with the exception of maybe half an hour of heavy rain) and a feeling of solitude I’ve never experienced before. Solitude, but not loneliness, which is hard to explain but easy to feel when you’re out there. I got back to Coldfoot for a very late dinner, close to midnight, and then back again to Wiseman for a very special resting night. I felt as happy as I could feel, the Dalton being everything I imagined and then so much more. After that, all there was left to do was to ride back to Fairbanks the next day and get the bike cleaned as much as it could be. I leave here with the firm belief that nobody “conquers” this road: the Dalton will allow you to go through, if you respect it, or it just won’t. It treated me very well and it offered the best moment of my life riding a motorcycle, bar none…

I took Sunday to catch up with everything, as it is becoming the routine on this trip, and on Monday I’m headed to Anchorage to continue this Alaskan tour. On the plans, Homer, Seward, Whittier, Valdez and possibly Denali, if the skies clear a bit. It will be hard to beat the thrill of the Dalton, but for the next few days at least I will enjoy some less challenging ways and a few scenic and peaceful roads on the South. Alaska is something else for sure…

23 comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

  • Vanda Abreumaravilha! continuação de boa viagem 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Andre ArrudaNo words can describe it, pal. The Road is the Destiny. Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • Paula SeixasWow Ricardo! Que bacana! Quem tira fotos de voce na moto? Vai em paz e com segurança!ReplyCancel

  • Lusia MauraContinuo acompanhando por aqui encantada, repito, QUE VIAGEM, QUE FOTOS!!! Continue na paz, bjoos.ReplyCancel

  • Mônica Monteiro Cunha PachecoNossaaaa isso é só o começo! Continue com a proteção divina. BjsReplyCancel

  • Eliane DiasTemos que agradecer a voce Ricardo por cada foto dessa sua aventura que encantam nossos olhos!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Santa RosaSENSACIONAL! As paisagens são um colírio para olhos. Siga em frente! Love you <3.ReplyCancel

  • Maria Helena BulcaoESPETÁCULO! Bonito demais! Você já está voltando?ReplyCancel

  • Tania Battistuci FreitasQue experiencia maravilhosa vc estah tendo Ricardo! As fotos transmitem uma paz incrivel. Mal posso imaginar como vc estah se sentindo vendo tamanha beleza! Essa natureza exuberante eh prova viva de que Deus existe! Boa viagem e continue nos mandando mais fotos lindas!ReplyCancel

  • Rubens SimoesRicardo..to vendo suas fotos aqui… to imaginando que loco que deve ser viajar pra dentro desse Alaska! Vai na paz pq Deus ta te acompanhando cara.ReplyCancel

  • Edward N Patricia MarinEspectacular!,,ReplyCancel

  • Bebel Trompierisem palavras! muito lindo! boa viagem!ReplyCancel

  • Antonio Carlos Duarte Thedim CancellaRicardo acredito que seja apenas uma amostra rápida das fotos. Este projeto the um belo livro.ReplyCancel

  • Inês Serra LopesImpressionante! Cease the day, Ricardo!ReplyCancel

  • Genecy Toti JuniorOla Ricardo encontramos vc em Beaver Creek e na James dalton Parabéns pelas fotos e pela bela viagem foi um prazer em conhecer vc abr.ReplyCancel

  • Paulo Serpa Vollmercada tempo que dedico para acompanhar sua jornada é um tempo de reflexão para mim.
    é uma bela jornada.
    🙂ReplyCancel

  • Guilherme Fortes FerreiraRicardo Serpa vai dar para escrever um livro com tantas fotos legais e histórias para contar. Abs.ReplyCancel

  • Fatima FreitasQue máximo!!!ReplyCancel

  • Carmen BerfordGente, que espetáculo!!!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Santa Rosa@[655306894:2048:Fatima Freitas], não se anima para fazer de bicicleta?? 😉ReplyCancel

  • Fatima Freitaskkkk isso seria um sonho!!!……. kkkkkReplyCancel

  • Lusia Maura@[100000296050153:2048:Carmen Berford], o Ricardo é meu amigo de longas datas, ele é fotógrafo tbm e hoje em dia mora em Miami com a família. Essa viagem é um sonho dos nossos tempos de moto, que ele está realizando. Fantástico né!ReplyCancel

  • Rogério DucasbleRicardo eu e a @[1596801705:2048:Lusia Maura] estamos “babando” com tudo,siga com Deus e mande sempre as notícias/fotos ! Abs…ReplyCancel

MAGDALENA

+1 (954) 895-7792
Sunny Isles Beach, FL
USA