. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: July 8, 1997

Tuesday, July 8, 1997
Chena River State Park to Lower Chatanika River State Recreation Area, Alaska
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Lower Chatanika River State Recreation Area, Alaska:
Latitude: 65° 5' 11" North
Longitude: 147° 44' 1" West
Altitude: 648 feet
From Seattle: 1671 miles
Lodging: Camp - Whitefish

Today's Travel:
Country: United States
Region: Alaska
Route: Chena Hot Springs Rd, SR6 (Steese Highway), SR2 (Elliott Highway), SR11 (Dalton Highway)
Start: Chena River State Park
Stop 1. Yukon River at the Dalton Highway
Stop 2. Artic Circle
Stop 3. Coldfoot
End:Lower Chatanika River State Recreation Area, Alaska
Road Miles:516 miles
Linear:400 miles
Weather: Partial Sun / Rain

Available Photos:

Trans-Alaskan Pipeline ~Mile 45, Dalton Highway, AK

Me at the boundary to the Arctic Circle Arctic Circle Marker, Mile 117, Dalton Highway, AK

Summer Arctic tundra Arctic Circle Marker, Mile 117, Dalton Highway, AK

My car at the circle Arctic Circle Marker, Mile 117, Dalton Highway, AK

Sunset, arctic Summer style Mile 51.7, Dalton Highway, AK

Sunset, trees silhouetted Mile 26.6, Dalton Highway, AK

Sunset Mile 22.7, Dalton Highway, AK

Sunset, trees silhouetted Mile 18.3, Dalton Highway, AK

Sunset behind a cloud Mile 9.3, Dalton Highway, AK

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 89
Miles Driven:18540
Linear Dist: 59251
Countries Visited: 2
Regions Visited: 38
More stats...
Hotels: 30
Friends / Family: 26
Camping: 22
Hostels: 7
Transit: 4
Beers: 255

Journal Entry:
Well I survived my trip to the Arctic Circle. The road wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, I was easily able to maintain 50 mph, and in places quite a bit faster.

At the Arctic Circle marker there was almost a line of people waiting to get their pictures taken with it (ok two other cars, not exactly a line, but more than I expected). It was mostly sunny and warm when I got there, but within a few minutes it had started raining. While I was there I compared true North (from the GPS) with magnetic North (from my compass), and magnetic North was more than 80 degrees off. That's what I knew should happen, but it was still kind of strange to see it.

Since I hadn't seen any wildlife yet I decided to continue North at least as far as Coldfoot, about another 60 miles. Made it to Coldfoot without seeing any wildlife, and got to pay $1.89 a gallon for gas! Coldfoot is the home of the farthest North saloon in the Americas, so I tried to get a beer but it was closed. I think it only opens for the tour busses.

On my way back towards Fairbanks I stopped at the Arctic Circle marker again, and did a quick inspection of my car (tires, headlights, etc). Not 20 miles later I had a flat. Lucky me, it had been raining where I got a flat so I had several inches of mud to deal with as well as getting very wet. But then it got worse, it stopped raining at I was instantly swarmed by mosquitoes. I don't know how many bites I got in the 20 minutes it took me to change my tire, but my sanity was definitely threatened at some points. I stopped at the Hot Spot Cafe (a couple trailers off the side of the road at mile 60) for dinner. I was not impressed by the way it looked, but I was hungry. It was probably the best cheeseburger I've ever had. Everything there was home made, and good. I highly recommend it on your next Arctic Circle trip.

After dinner I was treated to an amazing sunset. The great thing about a sunset here, this time of year, is that it goes on forever. I enjoyed the spectacular colors for over an hour (since the sun never completely sets) before it got blocked out by storm clouds. I also got to see some more BIG lightning.

I finally got to a campground in a state rec. area about 30 miles North of Fairbanks at about 2am. Goodnight.

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