One Man's Alaska

Ready to travel the Dalton Highway

August 20, 2007

I've done my research, and I'll be heading up the Dalton Highway to Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay, and the Arctic Ocean as soon as I can. I'm told that I'll need spare tires, and in one stretch there are no services of any kind for 240 miles, so I may need to carry a few extra tanks of gas to be cautious. I know there's not much to see when I get to the top, but I just want to take in the drive.

My biggest concerns are that the car still leaks, taking on water on the passenger side when it rains; and the noise in the steering column. The water leaks are waiting on "body plugs" from Toyota, while the Toyota dealer in Anchorage tells me that the noise in the steering column isn't a problem, that it's just the "steering wheel stops". I find that hard to believe, but this is one bad thing about living so remotely: you can't get a second opinion from a different dealer.

In happier news, yesterday's bike ride was over 20 miles, and I came back as refreshed as when I left. This makes me wish I had started the summer in this shape; I would have been tempted to try a long bike trip. For me there are three great things about long-distance bike rides. First, knowing that you can physically do it. Second, seeing new scenery for the first time, in a wide-open environment. Third, coming back to your familiar territory. It's like a feeling of recognition and "coming home" I didn't expect.

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