Saturday the 27th of July Day 254 Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs 115km

Today is seen as a Rest-Day as we only rode 115km today. We slept late and only ate “Breakfast” at 8h00. Breakfast at a “Super” 8 is not Super, and one can’t expect much, you get what you pay for. It should rather be called “Morning Selection of Starch with Coffee and Juice” as one get starch in many forms, with weak coffee and Juice, not an egg in sight and the pigs also did not have to get involved with this Breakfast as no bacon was used in the preparation of this breakfast.

We are over half-way in the total kilometres we will be doing and about half-way in the number of days we will be riding, the Trip Data so far:

That works out to 18,9km per litre, and no wonder my bum hurt, been in the saddle for 62 hours.

After Breakfast we took the bikes to the local Car-wash to wash off all the toksic mud that we got onto them over the last 4 days on the Dalton Highway. What they use on the roads is :

This is what makes their gravel road hard, but it is very corrosive, so one need to get it off a.s.a.p.

The bikes looked like new, we then did some maintenance, adjusted some chains and waxed the chains, then we packed away the Rain Gear as it was nice and Sunny.

Then the group split-up into three, the two guys with their better-halves and Dog took the Hired Car to deliver a package in Northpole to a couple who’s family are still living in South Africa, so they played Santa in Santa’s back-yard, then they went in search of a trailer to rent as we were not able to get a new Sprocket and chan for Dogs bike in Fairbanks, we are having one sent to Anchorage, but we still need to get his bike to Anchorage and the jury is out on that if thew bike will make it. This is what the teeth on a back-sprocket should look:

Look at the state of Dod’s Teeth

Peens jumped on his bike and took off to Anchorage area in search of catching a Halibut. He had caught, Salmon, upside-down Salmon, Cod and Trout but when he wanted to catch Halibut his licence was only valid for Halibut on a Tuesday and Thursday, and to think that the people here control the very expensive Fishing Licenses is really impressive.

Rocky, Milsy and I took the Chena Hotsprings Road and rode the 100km to the springs where we later met the others.

The ride to the Hot Springs was a small little tar road that runs next to the Chena River, with many Boat-Launch sites onto the river, there are several parking areas where you can park your car and go for a hike, where you start is called the Trail Head.

Many people could be seen standing deep into the water wearing Waders, catching fish. There was so many little Beaver-Dams (built by beavers to dam-up little streams,) and small ponds all along the ride today.


And then we got to:

This is a Resort, very much like Buffels Poort or Warm Bad, where families and lovers come to hang-out. There are many activities one can do, like going on a tour to see the Husky-Slay-Dogs at their Kennels and learn about the winter sport of Slay-dog-racing. There is a race over the sea between Russia and Alaska when it gets frozen and it takes the dogs only 22 hours to race across to Russia, and it is a big thing here.

There are hiking trails and horse trailsQuadbike tours and ATV Tours in these 6 seater ATV’s

One can go to the Geo-Thermal Power Station and many other little tours, but as it is my Rest Day I will only do one tour, the Ice Museum Tour, in a big deep-freeze. First is the workshop where they make all the ise-carvings. Here this lady is making Martini Glasses as they serve their drinks at the bar in ice glasses.

Chappel for wedding ceremonies

There were many big ice carvings but the lighting for them were not very good as they were just too big to light-up properly, making it very difficult to photograph.

Ice Chandeliers
They freeze Flowers inside the ice for extra decor

The Northern Lights is obviously big business here in the Winter with many tourist coming to view it here, like in Wiseman, there is a better chance of not having mist come off the sea, like in Norway, and a better chance of less cloudcover.

Note the domed-glass roof of the trailer\bus where the people sit in
Photo taken from a photo against the wall advertising the Northern lights

This is the little vehicle they use to take the tourists up the mountain to a type of glass igloo where they then sit and watch the Northern Lights. These are only visible in their winter when the sun never shines.

Because the Winters are so severe up here, the people make the most of their short summer to plant some flowers and the gardens are in full-bloom everywhere one looks.

Milsy was in the water of the Hot Spring Lake 1st, much warmer than his last swim, here the water bubbles out of the ground at 74 degrees Celsius.

This old cabin, built in the typical Alaskan style, with soil and vegitation on the roof for insulation was converted into a Massage Room. Many of these old cabins have sunken into the ground as they were built on Permafrost which defrosted.

My cousin who stayed in Canada and is more familiar with Musk-ox tells me they are the only animals that dont migrate South in the Winter but stay inside the Arctic Circle for the entire winter, staying warm by standing in a big circle:

But I hear they are not the most cleverer animals and dont try to flee Bears (only Polar and Grizzly bears) who then catch them and eat them.

I forgot to mention that we did see a Wolf yesterday, so it is really now only the Grizzly Bear that we have not yet seen.

If any one of you ever do the Dalton Highway I suggest you look Clutch’s details up on the Internet, here is his sign:

” Sourdough” Pankakes is what he makes you in the morning in his little cabin to eat, he has two Barber Chairs you sit in when you watch old Documentarerys on Wiseman and the Goldrush they had.
What a Character old Cutch !!!!

Tomorrow we ride to Denali National Park to continue playing Tourist.

God Bless

Fleisch

2 Comments

  1. I think you are all glad that you are on the return leg. Well done chaps and good luck for the last few days

  2. So enjoying all your reports. Information and pictures amazing. Taking us all to real places and people so far from us yet so close. Thanks for bringing alive the Alaskan outback. Milsy a chip off the old block with daring swims in the freezing cold and hot Springs. Wonderful times and memories for all of you.
    God bless
    Sally Perks

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