Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Road Trip To The Arctic Ocean

I have always enjoyed the feeling I get when I begin a long road trip. The surge of energy and rush of adrenaline pulsating through my veins. The longer the road trip the more rush I get.

I don't do well sitting around too long. Like a big wave surfer, if the sea is flat, so is my soul.
One of the ultimate road trips in Alaska is traveling from the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean. Crossing some of the most rugged landscapes in Alaska.

Just pass Coldfoot. Heading into the Brooks Range.

You will pass towering mountains, climb high passes, cross huge rivers, see lots of wildlife, and if lucky make it to the flat plains of the Arctic. You can almost feel yourself driving on top of the world.

Alaska doesn't have many roads, but the ones you can travel down will take you to some of the most breath taking places, and provide you experiences of a lifetime.
Spent three days backpacking in Denali National Park. Mt.Mckinley in the back ground.
It's a taste of pure freedom, music playing, windows down, the endless highway stretching out before you, a great big smile on your face, and the past disappearing in your rear view mirror.
The Dalton Highway is the gate way to the Arctic. Make sure to bring extra tires, gas cans, and camping gear. Between the town of Fox and Deadhorse, Coldfoot is the best place to fill up gas. It's nothing more than a truck stop. You can find gas at the Yukon River as well, but didn't stop there.

Bridge across Yukon River. Alaska's Longest River. It is possible to buy gas here.

There are campgrounds located along the way. The only one I used was the campground at the Arctic Circle. If you don't drive into the campground you will never see the sign telling you that you are at the Arctic Circle.

Watch for trucks driving along the road. They carry heavy loads and don't like tourists getting in their way.

After nearly 500 miles you reach the end of the road. Deadhorse isn't a scenic city.
Entering Deadhorse

Just outside Deadhorse.

Mt.Mckinley  from Denali National park.  North and South peaks of Mt.Mckinley. Mt. Mckinley is the highest mountain in North America. 20,320 feet.
Dark wolf feeding on a caribou it had killed.
By fall bears are nice and fat. There main goal since waking up last spring has been to gain as much weight as possible. Come late fall they will eat non stop, consuming thousands of berries a day.
Brooks Range, along Dalton Highway. Take your time and go hiking. You won't see another soul.

Heading up Atigun Pass

The Arctic Plains stretch as far as the eye can see.

Crossing the Denali Highway
They don't call it the haul road for nothing. Trucks race along the dirt road carrying equipment to the oil fields
Musk Ox on the Arctic Plains. Easiest animals to photograph because when they sense danger they come together and line up for a group photo.

Drilling platforms in Prudoe Bay.

Heading into the Brooks Range

The first time I had ever crossed the Arctic Circle. This sign is located off the road on the way tot the campground.

Yukon River. Largest river in Alaska.

You have to stop at Skinny Dicks on your way to Fairbanks.

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