Trans USA & Canada Week 14, 8/24-8/30

Day 93 (8/24): So yesterday I started to notice all day that every time I started my vehicle it took longer and longer. I first thought it was my starter going. Then I slowly pieced together that it was my main starter battery. Great this thing is 8 weeks old and I bought it in Moab while I was going through. The manufacture date on it was 6/15. Hell it was only made within the last 90 days. It was made after I started my trip. When I parked for the night I through a volts meter on it and within the first 2 mins it went from 12.6 volts to 12.1 volts and 5 minutes later it was at 11.9. By the morning it was 10.4 volts. Well that was going to do very little on this chilly morning to start my vehicle. So I tried to start it with it and no luck. So I switched my duel battery controller to manual override and started up my vehicle it took a second but it worked. I then headed down the road with the idea to make it to Fairbanks so I can get another battery if not today at least by tomorrow. I continued down the Denali Highway with some more spectacular views.
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I finally made it back to pavement. Hopefully I have cell service soon so I can work on finding a battery.
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I finally got cell service and in touch with one of the guys of the “4×4 Podcast” who is stationed near Fairbanks. With his help we were able to order a new battery to be delivered tomorrow by the afternoon from Anchorage. I continued on enjoying the view but due to gas levels and not wanting to stop the vehicle I did not pull over to often.
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On my way to Fairbanks I stopped for gas in a small town of Delta as I was filling up I noticed a Napa store across the way. I figured why not stop in and check. I asked and they told me they had 3 in stock and asked for a receipt for the other battery. So I went back outside and pulled my battery. I looked my for my receipt but could not find it. Hmm, Now what. So I carried the battery inside and showed them how new it was. They hooked me up for a fully warranty. They went in the back and grabbed the “new” battery. Manufactured 9/12, wow a 3 year old battery. But they were covering it under full warranty and this new one was going to have a new warranty plus a receipt. So I took the deal because who knows what the other Napa was going to do about the no receipt. Hopefully this thing last until Fairbanks. So I ran up to Fairbanks and while my host for the night was running errands around town for a upcoming trip. I decided to finally pick up some spare part for my trailer. We finally met up in the later afternoon talked a while and they made a fantastic home cooked meal. The best meal I have had in weeks. Sweeten carrots, blackened green beans, rice, and fried halibut. I then recorded an interview for the “4×4 Podcast” about my trip. After talking for a while I soon realized I could talk about this trip for days. We called it a night and tomorrow I’m headed towards the top of the Americas!
Day 94 (8/25): I left this morning and it was pretty chilly out. I headed towards the Dalton Highway. On my way out of the Air Force Base I stopped and took a few photos of aircraft on my way out.
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By the time I filled up all my Jerry Cans and fuel tanks and made it to the Dalton Highway it was raining. For the remainder of the day it rained and never warmed up above 50 degrees.
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I ended up making it to the Arctic Circle. I also filled up on gas at Coldfoot. ($5.00/gal)
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I stopped just over half way to Prudhoe Bay the trees are beautiful but with the fog was unable to take any good pictures of the land scape. Hopefully it is better weather on my way south. I can tell winter is coming fast.
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Day 95 (8/26): I woke up to a chilly morning and hit the Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay. It rained all night and was still raining the whole way there. Along with that the clouds were low and the fog was thick so I did not get any picture on my way there. About half way there from Coldfoot there are no longer trees. The road is mainly a dirt road with patches of pavement. People say this road tears up tires, to be honest it is smother then 80% of the roads I’ve been on so far. Once I reached the open tundra it was a weird feeling knowing there is nothing around for hundreds of miles besides the pipeline and pumping stations and the town in front of me and behind me. Also it was relatively boring.
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This is extremely disappointing. There was construction on the road near Prudhoe Bay which made the dirt road extremely sloppy and muddier then the rest of the road. For most of the road I could not see out the side windows of my vehicle since they were covered with mud. Once I reached Prudhoe Bay I realized I was not going to stay there for the night. It is 100% an oil field town. So I turned around and headed back to Coldfoot. On my way back the fog and rain started to clear up and I started to be able to enjoy the views.
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About twenty miles from my campsite I noticed a cow moose and calf on the side of the road.
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I got back to camp at 11pm and quickly made myself some food and I could not quite tell if it started to rain again or snow. I opened up my camper and wow what a disaster. I don’t know what happened but it seems like my door and window seals both failed. I have wet sheets and blankets. And there is actually mud piled up on top of my sheets. And everything was closed. Not a good end to a very long day. I will be doing laundry as soon as possible and have to clean the mud out of all the drain holes as soon as possible.
Day 96 (8/27): Today was another cold and wet day. I’m getting sick and tired of this and it is becoming miserable. I stopped by at the Arctic Circle post again.
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I continued on south towards Fairbanks.
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I stopped for the night just north of Fairbanks and did some much needed cleaning. Tomorrow I’m going to try to find a laundry mat to clean up all these muddy sheets and towels. Along with rotating my tires for hopefully the last time on this trip.
Day 97 (8/28): I woke up this morning to it being cold again. I packed up my wet awning and table and headed into Fairbanks which was about forty miles away. I filled up on gas and most of my jerry cans. I stopped by Walmart and picked up a few things including leather gloves and another blanket. I checked the weather and saw it is supposed to warm up within a week. With this news I decided to brave on and not head south. I headed to North Pole and stopped at a car wash and cleaned all the mud off my vehicle. I also stopped here and picked up a few movies. Yes Blockbuster is still around and this is not the first one I’ve seen. I guess if you live where there is not internet or cable you still need to rent movies. I also noticed in Alaska I have not seen a Redbox someone needs to jump on this investment opportunity.
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I hit the road again and headed towards the boarder. Already having driven this road and going in and out of rain storms I decided not to take to many pictures.
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After going through Tok I found a quite camp ground. I ran across a fellow Xterra driver there who was from Florida. He only just started modifying his vehicle. I gave him a #IKnowBlueBerry sticker. I talked over a few different option and companies he should go through for suspension and such. I then setup camp and stretched out the awning to let it dry and rotated my tires. Here is to some warmer weather in a few days!
Day 98 (8/29): I woke up and headed down the Top of the World Highway which goes from Tok, Alaska to Dawson, Yukon. It was a great drive with pretty good senory.
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I stopped by Chicken, Alaska which is a small town with a few shops and a RV park. They also had an old gold dreg there that made you think of the people that hauled this stuff by dog sled or on their back over all the passes during the gold rush.
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As I continued on towards the boarder it started to snow as I reached the boarder.
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I found a great camp site and when I dropped elevation it felt a little warmer then it been. The campsite is right on the Yukon River across from Dawson.
Day 99 (8/30): This morning was cold but dry which was refreshing for once. It was nice to wake up next to the Yukon river. I soon packed up my things and headed towards the ferry. It was a quick crossing and by watching the ferry you could really get a handle on how fast the current truly was.
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Soon enough I was in the famous gold town of Dawson. The whole town is essentially a tourist trap. No modern hotels or even gas stations. All the buildings look like they were built in the early 1900’s. I stopped by the visitor center and asked about the Dempster Highway and what the weather is predicted to be like up there. They told me it is around a 4 day drive and part of the area is predicted to have snow maybe a blizzard. I then got the number of a local guy who fills chips in windshields. I called him and he said call back in an hour. I went and had some breakfast at a local bistro. It was bad besides for the toast which was not home made. I met a local couple who was going to go part way up the Dempster today to fish but decided against it due to weather. I walked around a little the town is small and it seems like most people just walk. I then called the guy a gain and he gave me directions to his house. I then sat around and watched him fix the chip in my windshield. I asked him about the Dempster and traveling it and he said why would you want to drive it if you did not half too. But do to a facebook post I was being forced up it. I headed out of town and as soon as you leave town all you see is trailing from gold mining. I then started to go up the Dempster.
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It was a standard gravel road. After about one hundred miles it started to snow.
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It would snow then rain and snow again as I changed elevations. The road became sloppier and sloppier the longer I drove through it.
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After about another 150 miles of snow and rain I finally made it to the first refueling station. I picked up some windshield wash and filled up. I asked about boondock camping and the guy told me just pick a spot. I was trying to find a local favorite but that works too. About another thirty miles down the road I saw this great turn off where the road went downhill in this man made raven and the turn off stayed level and went to a great lookout. For those of you on facebook who told me to take this road you owe me about fifty dollars to clean my trailer and vehicle. Also I am freezing cold and soaking wet. And the wind gusts do not help.
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