arto wouldn't wait and left without us.
finally, we were off.
the yukon river
we arrived at the gift shop for tourists / cafeteria for pipeline workers / last stop for gas before the arctic circle.
by placing the arctic circle in the lower half, this map served only to remind us how badly we were wussing out. should've done deadhorse.
and it was at this point that we realized the gas station closes at 9:00pm. it was quarter to nine already and even though we'd filled the bikes of gas, it's
a 200 mile round trip to get to the arctic circle and back to fairbanks. there was no way we would make it without finding a way to stash some petrol.
surprisingly, the gas station had no jerrycans to sell. patrick and i paced around outside in a slight panic but ended up finding a stray one out back.
the cashier told us it belonged to a man named jeremy. big red beard, can't miss him.
all we asked was to borrow his gas can
but we ended up in his leaky boat, heading precariously farther from shore,
rip roaring up and down the yukon river at "dusk".
patrick had done nearly too much research for this ride and knew all the stories, all the turns and all the hairy spots along the way.
here, he checks out “rollercoaster hill” which is steeper than your average hill but not by much. it’s just the damp gravel that makes it a little sketchy.
we made it!
this was patrick’s trip; he’s always wanted to do it and in honour of his forthcoming nuptials, i was glad to have finally done it with him.
we were trying to take our tourist pictures but could hardly stand still for the torturous hoard of blood sucking bastard mosquitos.
and so took shelter in the bathrooms, mustering stoke and congratulations where others come to shit.
it must've been about midnight when we left the circle. i kept my eye on the sun in my mirror and this was about as far as i saw it go
before turning around and coming right back up.
it was a strange light and landscape. this, together with the onset of delirium and i felt like i was on another planet.
we stopped to refuel from our stashed gas can, have a drink of water, a cigarette and to pace around like absolute maniacs trying to outrun
as anyone who has ever lived or worked this far north can attest, it is a futile game. i nearly had a breakdown trying to put my tent together.
it was five or six o'clock in the morning when we finally set down to sleep on the side of the dalton highway and i spent nearly half an hour making
sure to kill every last mosquito that got into my tent in the time it took me to get inside.
despite the long mentally taxing day of riding previous and having to fall asleep in blazing daylight, the loud hum of the mozzies
lull me swiftly to rest.