The Ride South to the Arctic Circle
I had started out at Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay in Alaska and was now 400 kms to the South , headed towards the Arctic Circle. A few years ago I would have never imagined that my legs would be pedalling hard at this latitude, and now I was just a few kms from the symbolic summit-the Arctic Circle. But then I had already experienced the vast, seemingly endless horizon of the tundra and it’s complex ecological system. On the very first day, I had to face its frigid climate when a snow storm blew in from the Arctic Ocean. The very next day the glare of the hot sun scorched my skin. Such is the diversity and unpredictability of the weather in the land called the North Slope, The Far North, the land of the midnight sun.
My day had begun in Coldfoot on a drizzly morning. The Arctic circle was 100 kms away and as I cycled I realised today was going to be no ordinary day. The weather alternated between warm and chilly, the elevation gradients changed rapidly. One moment the road was paved and flat and the next moment I was climbing a hill on loose gravel. And of course, on some I had to push my bike for a few kms uphill. I reached the Arctic Circle after 13 hours of pedalling, stopping to take photos of the picturesque landscape and snacking on my energy bars. It was a rough but thoroughly enjoyable ride. Along the way I met Mickael , a friendly young man from France who was hitchhiking his way across continents.
The Arctic Circle area itself was very quiet at 11 pm and I lit a small fire, cooked a meal, pitched my tent near the Parking lot and had a short sleep before being up again at 6 am for the following days ride towards the Yukon river camp.