May 11, 2003 GMT
18. Alaska - Deadhorse or bust!

Having convinced Rob he may as well go as far north as possible – we set forth like madmen on a mission towards the top of Alaska, aiming to get there before we froze on route.

Of course, nature reminded us who’s the boss, as we were ravaged ( no overstatement ) by the meanest mob of mongrel mosquitos you’ve ever imagined near a place called Dot Lake. The only way to avoid ‘getting bit’ was complete coverage – as Rob demonstrated with his travel accessory I would have normally laughed at…


Beautiful headware Rob...

En route we were stunned by a performance of the Northern Lights - just awesome to lie back and watch the most amazing show of surreal light dancing across the sky. Not able to catch it on camera – but incredible. The only thing I could compare it to is the image from the movie Solaris starring George Clooney, just a little less colourful.

We continued on through via a town called the North Pole ( couldn’t find Santa though ) – and even got treated to a display from the US Airforce showing off it’s A-10 tank buster planes, impressive trainspotting I can tell you.

Next milestone was camping out at Latitude 66’ Longitude 33’, otherwise known as the Arctic Circle. Very very cold night, and very nearly had a second one as road works blocked the road not two minutes after we’d done our pose….

Finally made the Arctic Circle - click here for a larger image

Travelling along the Dalton highway really brought it home I was closing in on completing the Pan American proper. The scenery travelling along the Alaskan oil pipeline road had us taking photos like Japanese tourists….

The Alaskan Oil Pipeline
The Alaskan Oil Pipeline, Dalton Highway - click here for a larger image

As we neared Deadhorse, the colder riding conditions made me thank other riders who’d suggested the electric vest, and that we were truly lucky it wasn’t so cold that we’d freeze solid on the bikes. A week or so later it would have been a real mission. Call me soft if you like – but Rob and I both had to stop and thaw out by holding on to our exhaust mufflers and doing ridiculous versions of Jane Fonda’s work out tapes. The reality was out hands were getting so cold ( even me with my heated grips ) that we were losing the ability to control out hands. As the blood returned each time we stopped it was excrutiating…

We made Deadhorse close to dusk , 2nd September – absolutely shattered from out efforts. It’s a mining community servicing the pipeline, and is essentially a network of insulated containers modified into living quarters. Not much to see really, a bit of an anticlimax it has to be said, as since 9/11 the road to Prudhoe bay is closed to the public. STILL, it was pure and distilled satisfaction to reach the Northernmost point of the Panamerican….

I do believe that fat lady is singing!

Just to prove it...


A very celubrious puff...

To celebrate we booked ourselves into the very expensive accommodation that is the camp, but it promised warm showers, very good ( all you eat food ), and a solid nights sleep. Rob thought about setting up camp in the car park, but I shouted the accommodation seeing as I’d dragged him all the way up there. Bliss !

As we rolled around in luxury, fed, showered and warm ( amazing how the basic things become treats ), we got the word that a bear was molesting our bikes just outside. I grabbed rob in time to see that a police officer was peppering a brown bear with plastic buck shot from his shot gun, and he warned us to stay inside ( doh ! ) until ‘toby’ had left.

Rob had left some bread in one of his panniers – and the bear tossed the bike like salad dressing, leaving Rob a wee momento.


Lucky you weren't camping outside me thinks !!!

So there you have it – a bear called toby wrestling a BMW R80 – a fitting climax on reaching Deadhorse.

Posted by Jeremy Andrews at 05:09 AM GMT

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!