It is 7PM when I leave Deadhorse. The town quickly disappears out of sight in the fog and the first few miles on the Dalton Highway are just pure magic. There is nothing out here, no sound no car, nothing. Since it is becoming night temperatures drop to about zero and the wind chill makes the felt temperatures much colder.
So no time to waste standing around, the task for tonight is clear. Make my way south out of the area where polar bears still can be present so that camping becomes safer. And anyway I just want to cycle now as long as I want to.
The first 50/60km of the Dalton Highway are still paved and very flat. Fueled by exicetement (plus a nice tailwind) I almost fly the first 40km averaging 30km/h. But then the ride gets a sudden stop. Due to road works I cannot proceed. Discussions with the friendly workers were not worth the effort and I have to wait for the pilot car to get me to the other site of the construction area. After 10 minutes the car arrives and with Klaus in the back of the car and loud rap music I am on my way. 35km later I arrive at the end. Quite disappointing...
After a nice chat with a construction worker from the Phillipines I finally set out on the muddy gravel road that I was looking for. The first short but steep hills come my way and progress gets slower. I see some caribous and a fox. At 2AM and after 100km on the bike I decide to call it a day and set up the tent in the most appropriate of all locations - Happy Valley.