Day 20: South?

200 miles
17 mpg
$15: Whitefish Campground, Elliott Highway, milepost 11

I haven’t seen the compass direction “South” in so long, I’ve forgotten what it looks like. But’s that just where I headed.

But first, a bit about yesterday’s adventures after I signed off WiFi at the Coldfoot Cafe. From there, I headed north to Wiseman. I stopped within 200 miles of Prudhoe Bay. It was gorgeous, and cruelly, the road was smooth as glass.

This is the last view north I will have on this trip.

Then, I turned around.

Did I mention it was gorgeous? And totally worth the daily headaches of travel. Just me, and millions of gallons of oil being pumped south.

And of course, the ubiquitous Arctic Circle shot:

This morning, I lubed all all the hitch parts for another bumpy ride down to Fairbanks.

You can see what all that friction does to the weight distributing hitch. So, periodically, I grease ’em up.

Why does my navigation think 121 miles will take 6 hours?

Well, maybe because about 80 miles from Fairbanks…

Let me start by saying I’m fine. No blowout. No tow trucks. Just needed a plug in the tire.

Somewhere, I picked up a nail, or one worked its way loose, and I had a slow leak. I have a nice 12-volt air pump, so every 3-5 miles, I add 3-5lb of pressure to the tire. All the way to the nearest campground (Whitefish – see above), where I dumped the trailer, and headed on into Fairbanks to a tire shop without the worry of the trailer. While I was there, I did laundry and filled a propane tank.

It made for a stressful final leg on the Dalton and Elliott Highways as I navigated gravel, and frost heaves, but props to Continental tire – it held enough air to get me to Fairbanks. In three to five-mile segments.

So, between loads at the B&C Laundry, I edited this little video of me heading south.

I guess South will be the new North.

11 thoughts on “Day 20: South?

  1. Gah, LOVE that last vid. Nice editing/music. Makes me long to travel and see new places…. someday….!

  2. What an adventure! Loved the last view north. Don’t think I’ve ever seen sky that blue. Coldfoot Cafe sounds like something out of Northern Exposure, one of my favorite TV series.

  3. Beautiful – and you’ve had almost perfect weather so far.
    How do you get the drone to come back to you and how far from you can it go? It’s way up there as you’re driving south (on the unpaved road).
    Thank you for taking us on your dream trip with you.
    Stay safe –

    1. For the far away shot, I just got the drone to hover in place (I’m just out of the shot). I got in the car and drove ahead of it, stopped, the navigated the drone back to me. For the tracking shot, I set the drone to follow me. I was surprised how well it did (and how fast).

  4. Lines on a map seem like such firm demarcations, and yet at the Arctic Circle you can take one step on this side, one step on that. Like a birthday is another today after a yesterday before a tomorrow. Maybe some of our own “borders” are actually beautiful, evergreen-lined places that require adventure and perseverance to achieve before we can turn around with fresh perspective and continue our journeys.

    Thanks, Dan, for even more of a view than your amazing drone delivers. May your travels be smooth.

  5. You are living my dream. I can’t see you video yet, I have zero widi where I am, which generally says I am in a beautiful quiet place, I have enjoyed all your posts, althought I still have a few to read. I know I might have adked you thid before, did you own a T@B? I did, the name was T@badoodle. We are out three monther, working Irish Festivals, but sone I will be living you dream. Thank you for sharing, this is so great to follow.

  6. Dan, great stubble short hair beard you’ve been sporting on this trip. Nice to see you as the naturalist. Maybe you’re the next Dick Proenneke who decided to build his own cabin somewhere out in the wild (that great documentary on PBS)? I hope you make to Wiseman. This has been so great traveling with you. Thanks for creating and keeping up the blog.

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