We’re falling way behind on the updates. It turns out that Alaska is not conducive to blogging. Where were we? Oh yeah… Coldfoot.
The next day, we stopped in Coldfoot (named after the gold miners who left because they got ‘cold feet’) for a quick break and fuel before heading farther up the road to a detour in Wiseman. This is basically the only detour on the entire route. Twenty-two hardy souls live here year-round. Quiet place.
In general, the roads up here are rough, but we’ve seen worse. We took it slow and easy. The smoke continued over the Atigun pass and onto the north slope. Some of the drive was actually paved, so we enjoyed a bit of smooth sailing before getting back on gravel. We camped for the night at Galbrith Lake and could barely even get out of the car to use the bathroom due to the mosquitoes. We’ve never seen anything like it. Not aggressive biters, but swarming by the thousands – up our nose, ears, mouth. All orifices were fair game.
We kicked out the last 100 miles or so the next day and even stopped to help a guy with a flat. He was a tobacco-chewin’ Virginian oilfield worker in a rental car. No jack, no tire iron, and a flat spare. Red Beard had the gear to get him going and we sent him happily on his way.
In Deadhorse, we made reservations for a quick ‘tour’ the next day and pulled over in a gravel pit to sleep for the night. 24 hours of sunlight up here, but not a damn thing to do.