|Coldfoot, The Dalton Highway and Dog Sled Racing
The Dalton Highway is a 414-mile road in Alaska. It begins at the Elliott Highway, north of Fairbanks, and ends at Deadhorse
near the Arctic Ocean and the Prudhoe Bay oil fields. It was built as a supply road to support the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in
1974. The highway, which directly parallels the pipeline, is one of the most isolated roads in the United States. There is only one
highway patrolman for the entire highway, much of it unpaved. The only place to find lodging or fuel during most of the year is at
Coldfoot, a truck stop half way up the highway, north of the Yukon River and the Arctic Circle. Coldfoot is where we spent five
nights waiting for the aurora. The population of Coldfoot in the 2010 census was ten people.
Slate Creek Inn, the lodging at Coldfoot, consists of prefab units used as campsites during the construction of the Dalton Highway.
|Trucks parked at the Coldfoot truck stop.
Each time we encountered a truck on the icy and narrow Dalton Highway, I held my breath hoping that we both stayed in our lane.
There were quite a few over size loads on the highway.
There is a saying on the Dalton Highway. "There are only two types of truck drivers. Those who have had a serious accident.
Those who will have a serious accident." That is why these guys earn six figure salaries and driving jobs are not hard to find.
The next few pictures were taken at a tourist stop which is only open during the summer.
|The beginning of the Dalton highway.
The Yukon River crosses the entire
state of Alaska, east to west, and the
only bridge across the river is the
bridge on the Dalton Highway.
Except for Coldfoot, the restrooms on the Dalton are all unheated outhouses.