~200 miles (TBD)
27 mpg (no trailer)
$0: Five Mile Campground, Coldfoot, Alaska
This is a great home-base for exploring further up the Dalton Highway. Ironically. The road to Coldfoot (115 miles) is actually much smoother than the previous 200. And in the early morning, I only saw two or three big-rigs, and a handful of cars/campers.
First, Finger Mountain. Desolate and quiet. I hear a truck in the distance, and it’s a few minutes before it passes by the ridge. No other sounds. The “finger” points towards Fairbanks.
And here we are – the Arctic Circle. The furthest point on this trip.
Worth it? Yes.
Do I feel the need to ever drive this again towing a trailer? No.
Next time – cruise ship.
(I had a video for this spot, but the signal is really weak)
The back of the Arctic Circle sign may be even more interesting than the front.
For some reason, at this hour, I am nearly alone at every vista and pull-off. My campground neighbors were up partying until 1am, so I guess they’re still asleep.
Although I knew there would be very little darkness, the long nights are surreal. Full moon rising in the dusk/dawn sky. The daylight has a winter-like hue to it, but still heats up the campground to 80+ degrees.
The mosquitoes are not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. Slightly annoying, but manageable up here in the dry arctic. Worse in Fairbanks at the state park.
Wildlife seen on this trip so far (alive):
- Fox (of different varieties)
- Black Bear (darting across the road)
- Bison (dozens, crossing the road)
- Big Horn sheep (curved horns, anyway)
My quick-fix for the broken fresh water low-point drain is working nicely. Just a little drip every 2 seconds. I walk over to the artesian well (so cold!), and fill a 1-gallon milk jug every once in awhile, using an unused funnel from one of the DEF jugs (why didn’t I think of this before?). I’ve washed dishes, and taken a shower. No problem. I might give it one more try with some more plumber tape to completely stop the leak. And if that works, I’ll be set the whole trip. Otherwise, I’ll look for an RV dealer in Fairbanks.
When I’m back in the land or 5 bars of Verizon LTE, I’ll post some more photos and video. The WiFi in Coldfoot seems to be spoon-feeding the ones and zeros of binary code one by one to WordPress….
For now, on to Wiseman. From there, we’ll see.