June 14, 2011

     Rest day today so just did maintenance items.  Tightened and lubed chain on 99 and charged the Old Girl's battery.  Unfortunately the only battery available in Ohio was 20 amps and the bike takes a 30 amp.  With the slow speeds and large electrical draw coming up yesterday there wasn't enough to start it in the below freezing temps this morning.  Tried to "bump"| (push) start her but as all the road surfaces are gravel we couldn't get traction enough to turn over - even in 3rd.  Bought a battery charger locally (at a surprisingly good price) and after a couple of hours she started up fine.  both bikes look terrible due to being encrusted with Dalton mud.  A combination of mud and the calcium chloride they put on it to keep the dust down.  HA....when is it ever dry enough to cause dust.......I will believe it when I see it.  My opinion only YMMV.
99 has a dirty butt.
This started out as a nice shiny stainless steel muffler.  99 - you're such a filthy girl In the meantime we took the tour of the area and went to the Arctic ocean shore where we got each other's photo standing in the water.  We also got another bottle of water to match the one collected from the Gulf in Key West.  Traditions (sigh).

I'm actually standing on sea ice.  If you look to the right of my boots you can see one of many large holes in the ice.  Must be careful where you walk.

Charles thought he should have gone barefoot. He wasn't crazy enough to actually do it however.  Several people on the tour did and found that 30 degree sea water over ice is real real chilly. Sea water doesn't freeze in this area until below 28 degrees due to the high salinity.

Gathering the traditional water sample to match the one from the other end in Key West.  Quite a contrast to say the very least.
 In the afternoon we finalized our ride by getting the documentary requirements taken care of.  Photos of us and the bikes in front of Prudhoe bay landmarks and getting the local police officer to witness our log books.
Two fine young (at heart) gentlemen in front of the welcome sign for Deadhorse "End of the Dalton Highway" sign. Definitely a local landmark.
 Spent almost an hour with the police officer as he was at first reluctant to sign but when we were not with another Hoka Hey type ride he became quite friendly and was extremely accommodating.  Hopefully we made a good impression so the next person asking for a finish witness will be welcomed.  He was very impressed with the safety goals of the IBA and the safety equipment on the bikes and carried by Charles and myself.

Charles gets signed out by one of Deadhorse Detachment's finest.
 The "town" is really not a town but just a collection of company enclaves.  Each one separate and self contained.  Most people work two weeks on 12 hour shifts then two weeks off.  Most of the companies fly the people back and forth.  Very few people here have ever driven the Dalton. Seems strange to me that the only road into town hasn't been driven by the vast majority of people here.  I actually found this same situation in the town of Inuvik at the top of the Dempster Hwy. a few years ago.  Easier to fly so why bother. Strange.....to me at least.
   Early to bed so ready to tackle the route south tomorrow morning.  Probably won't be able to update this tomorrow as there is no internet in Coldfoot.  However if the weather is conducive to some better time we may just go on to Fairbanks.  This would be better as 99 has eaten another of her dancing slippers (rear tire) and it will need changing for the new one I bought in Whitehorse on the way up.  Fairbanks is the earliest this can be done properly. This will be the third one.  I've never had a bike eat rear tires like 99 does.  Haven't a clue why. Perhaps she dances just a little too hard.
It's late and I'm getting silly so Goodnight for now.

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