24 hours sunlight, hills, headwinds, and mosquitoes. Such are the joys of cycling in Alaska along the Dalton Highway! Day 3 of my bike tour in Alaska.
Cycling from Galbraith Lake to a random roadside
(Blog post written: Friday 24 July 2009)
I got up a bit later today, around 09.00 ish, and my legs felt all the better for it. The beauty of 24 hour sunlight is that it doesn't really matter what time of day you start, because there is always more sunlight left.
As I was sorting breakfast out at one of the helpfully placed picnic tables at Galbraith Lake Alaska, the mosquitoes became more and more irritating, and finally, I had to resort to wearing a head net.
I had been warned about the mosquitoes before I set out, and they would be a source of annoyance over the following days. The head net helped a bit, but I knew it wasn't going to be possible to wear it when riding the bike.
Note for other people planning to use this campground in Northern Alaska – Bring as much mosquito repellent as you can, a head net, and be quick when putting up and taking down your tent!
Leaving Galbraith Lake Alaska
After breakfast which consisted of oatmeal , (eat whilst hot or it tastes like cats vomit), hot chocolate and tea, I packed the gear away and set off from Galbraith Lake. Right into a headwind. That and the hills were with me for another day.
There was a lot of stopping and starting, and a little bit of shouting, but I eventually made it to Atigun Pass. The angle of the road needs to be seen to be believed, but although it was a tough old slog, I didn't think it was as bad as the road that had led up to it.
Cycling the Haul Road in Alaska is certainly challenging!
Finding a random place to camp for the night
Cycling downhill at last, I went on for another ten miles or so, and pulled over into a little truck access passage to a creek. There are a few of these along the Dalton Highway, and they are there so that water trucks can fill up with water should there be a problem with the pipeline.
When I had finished, I turned around, and looking down, I noticed a series of huge bear footprints in the mud. I kept the bear spray handy that night I can tell you. (Yes, really, bear spray. Its like a heavy duty pepper spray).
Read more about this bikepacking tour
If you plan to cycle in this region, use the links below to read more information and blog entries from this cycling trip:
You might also want to check out:
– Dave Briggs
Dave wrote this travel guide about cycling from Galbraith Lake when bikepacking from Alaska to Argentina.
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