Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 14 - June 27th, 2010 Tok, AK to Fairbanks, AK

Today promised to be a relatively easy day with only a couple hundred miles from Tok to Fairbanks.  But it had rained heavily all night and we had to start out with a very soggy tent, two partially wet sleeping bags, and driving thru six inch deep water just to leave the campground. 

Lots of other motorcyclists here to visit with about their trips.  Full dress Harley's to Suzuki V-Stroms to Kaw KLR's.  The Harley rider had just returned from a two-up ride to PrudhoeBay and back.  He claimed to have plugged his rear tire five times on the Haul Road.  I think he was being a little dramatic.

I promised Tammy hot coffee at the first stop outside Tok.  Little did I know that would be over 100 miles down the road and ended up being a bakery inside a grocery store.  But we were warm, the coffee was hot, the cinamon rolls were good, and we were drying out.

A quick stop in Delta Junction documented we had traveled to the north end of the Alaska Highway.

A local sign show that winter temperatures can be truly unbearable.

And then I got attacked by a local mosquito!

We were looking forward to our stay in Fairbanks.  We had reserved five nights in the University of Alaska at Fairbanks dormitory system; the middle three I would travel north on the Haul Road (Dalton Hwy) to Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse.  Tammy planned to rest up, be a tourist, and support the local coffee shops.  Dormitory rooms were only $43/night for a double and $35 for a single.  This is nearly $100 per night less than many motels in Fairbanks.

The manager of the UAF is an avid motorcyclist and promotes the dorm's summer usage by motorcyclists on several websites.  There were probably 10-15 motorcyclists there at any one time either getting ready to head north or having just returned from the Haul Road.  There was even gas cans available that could be borrowed for the trip with the understanding you'd return it for the next person heading north.

I had shipped a rear tire for the v-Strom to a small Fairbanks motorcycle shop and had them replace the tire that afternoon.  I paid $105 for the tire in IA plus $28 to ship it thru the USPS.  That tire alone would have cost me $226 in Fairbanks.  Cost me $45 to get it changed and I even took the rear wheel on and off my bike!   Alaska was proving to be a little pricey to say the least!

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