2005 - North America

Introduction

Cycling route map

This year my friend and I cycled through North America;

2005 Cycling trip logo
The North America Adventure

The North America Adventure was a three month (July, August, September 2005) cycling trip of more than 7000 km. The trip, through the U.S.A. and Canada, started in Prudhoe Bay (Alaska) and ended in Reno (Nevada).

During this trip we kept a diary on northamericaadventure.blogspot.com. The stories and pictures of this diary are told here.

After a long flight from Amsterdam (The Netherlands) to Prudhoe Bay (Alaska), we start cycling on the Dalton Highway south...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Our first message; from Fairbanks, Alaska

After 720 km we arrived in Fairbanks. We started our cycling trip on the Dalton Highway, a gravel road, which sometimes can be very difficult to cycle. We crossed the highest pass in Alaska (the Atigun Pass (1500 m)) and crossed the Gates of the Arctic National Park. We saw a lot of wildlife (cariboes, grizly bear, chipmunks, fox and eagle). A big forest fire along the Dalton Highway forced us to get a lift past the fires, which were hazardous for our health. We're ok and enjoying ourselfs very much; we're cycling through very beautiful surroundings.
Now we arrived in Fairbanks and on paved roads (since the last 100 km) again. We'll be heading south to Denali National Park.

Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle reached


Hills after Coldfoot
Climbing the hills after Coldfoot


Muddy road
The muddy road makes cycling difficult


Steep road climb
Many steep roads need to be climbed...


Forest fire
A big forest fire made cycling part of road impossible

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Reached Delta Junction (Alaska).

After a long time we're able to update our internet diary again. We're now at Delta Junction and we're able to update this diary in the local library. We've cycled the Parks Highway from Fairbanks to Denali National Park. At Denali we cycled the park road, which gave us some incredible sights and we also saw some wildlife again (bears, caribou and chipmunks). After our visit to Denali we continued on towards Cantwell and the Denali Highway. This Denali Highway is a gravel road along the Alaska Range, which again took us through some incredible beautiful surroundings! Though the gravel road was very bad and we could not get a high average speed on this road. We passed the McLarren Pass (second highest pass of Alaska) and at the end of the Denali Highway we cycled north again on the Richardson highway (accross the Isabel Pass) towards Delta Junction. On this highway today we saw some bisons. Now we will be driving on the Alaska Highway towards the Canadian border.

Denali National Park Sign
Denali National Park Sign


Caribou Denali
Caribou Denali Park Road


Polychrome Pass Denali
Polychrome Pass on Denali Park Road


Denali Highway
Denali Highway


Delta Junction
Arrived at Delta Junction


Squirrel on bike
Squirrel on bicycle


Mt. McKinley
Mt. McKinley (we're lucky to see McKinley the whole day).

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Reached Tok (Alaska)

Today we've reached Tok. We expect it will take about two days to reach the Canadian border. The last days we really have beautiful weather; clear skies with a warm sun.

Wild camping
Wild camping.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Reached Border City (Alaska)

We're now at Border City, 3 miles before the Alaska-Canadian border.
Today we cycled about 104 km, and we had a very warm day. We cycled today through the hills that border the Tanana River, which meant that the road went up and down a lot. Tomorrow we'll be entering Canada...

View of Tanana River
View of Tanana River.

Climbing the hills...
Climbing the hills...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Reached Haines Junction (Canada)

Today we've reached Haines Junction in Canada. Yes, we're now in Canada! After our last report we've crossed the border between Alaska and Canada and also now cycled more than 2000 km already.
The Alaska Highway we're cycling on now, should be paved al the way, but we found that there are still a lot of section that are with gravel. Also the wind has been blowing against us. So in all we've not been cycling as fast and easy as we would have liked to, but we're still getting forward very well and have now already reached Haines Junction. And we're planning for tomorrow to reach Whitehorse.
The surroundings where the Alaska Highway goes through are very beautiful and the highway runs next to the Kluane National Park, which is also very nice. So we're enjoying some incredible views during our cycling trip!

Canadian border
Crossing the Canadian border

2000 km total cycling
Cycled 2000 km total now!

View at Destruction Bay
View at Destruction Bay

Reflections on Kluane Lake
Reflections on Kluane Lake

Kluane National Park
Kluane National Park

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Reached Bell II (Canada)

Finally here a new update of our cycling trip through North America. We've not been able to write an update earlier, because all the villages we cycled through did not have any internet access.
Right after finishing our last report (the moment we left the library) we found that Jan Dirk rear tire was flat: All those gravel roads without any problem and within a village we get a flat tire!? Though this was quickly repaired.
We cycled a long way on the Alaska Highway and now we've left Yukon (Canada) and are cycling south on the Cassiar Highway (Hwy 37) through British Columbia (Canada). This is a very beautiful road with some gravel sections, but mainly paved. This road goes right through the Cassiar Mountains.
Mainly the weather has been nice, but the last two days we've seen some rain and storm (with the wind against us).
So now we've arrived at Bell II and we expect to require at least another three days to travel down the Cassiar Highway and then we'll be on the Yellowhead Highway.

We've met some other cyclists going up north (the other way). Some even started in Argentinia (and are now one and a half year on the road)!

Flat tire
Repairing the flat tire

Tent
Innerview of the tent

Campfire
Campfire at camping site

Canadian cyclists
Canadian cyclists (started in Argentinia)

Storm
Closing storm

Downhill???
Do we go downhill here???

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Reached Smithers (Canada)

Just after we left Bell II, we saw a black bear just crossing the road just in front of us. It just looked at us and we just looked at him. And then he slowly walked on. WOW!!!!. That's was a very nice and interesting experience!
Now we've reached Smithers and are now cycling on the Yellowhead Highway towards Jasper. The road is slowly climbing towards Jasper. It runs through some beautiful mountain scenery with some nice glaciers.

Black bear crossing
Black bear crossing

Friday, August 12, 2005

Reached Burns Lake (Canada)

Still on the Yellowhead Highway, we're now in Burns Lake. The scenery has gradually changed to agriculture with haystacks and cows. Traffic passing us is getter denser as well, lots of logging trucks and RV's.

Luckily the weather is still favorable, we're really catching a tan here!

On the road
On the road, side by side


Yellowhead Hwy
We're on the Yellowhead Hwy, heading east


Fred on the Cassiar Hwy
Fred on the Cassiar Hwy


Steep grades
Steep grades, trucks must check their brakes

Friday, August 19, 2005

Reached Jasper (Alberta, Canada)

We've reached the touristic town of Jasper in Alberta, Canada. Yes, we crossed the border of British Columbia into Alberta (losing one hour of time). We're also now in the National Park Jasper. We crossed the Yellowhead Pass (1131 m.) and are now turning on to the Icefields Parkway south towards Banff.
Today we've taken a day off to explore Jasper. This morning we first took the cable tram up to mount Whistler, and walked there all the way up to the summit.

Cyclist friends
Cycling friends

Farm land scenery
Farm land scenery

Rainy day
Rainy day

High mountain road
High mountain road

Great Divide
The Great Divide

Welcome to Alberta
Welcome to Alberta

Climbing mount Whistler
Climbing mount Whistler

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Reached Pincher Creek (Canada)

We cycled through the National Parks Jasper and Banff, which were incredible beautiful! We stood on top of the Athabascan Glacier, cycled accross the highest pass of Canada (Highwood Pass, 2206 m.), cycled through the Kananaskis Country and enjoyed the incredible beautiful surroundings of the Rocky Mountains! This morning when we woke up and exited the tent, it was only 4 degrees Celcius and the was lot of snow on top of the mountains. A realy beautiful sight. Today we passed the 5000 km cycling distance. Tomorrow we expect to cross the border into America. So in total: Our trip so far can be summarised as one realy incredible beautiful and great experience!

Jasper National Park
Jasper National Parl

Athabasca Glacier
On the Athabasca Glacier

Banff National Park
Banff National Park

Kananaskis Country
Through Kananaskis Country

Highwood Pass
Crossing the Highwood Pass

Rainy day
Rainy day with snow on top of mountains

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Reached Waterton Lake (Canada)

We're still in Canada. We're now in the Waterton Lakes National Park. Fred's bicycle chain was too worn, which inhibited cycling anymore. So we drove into the park and the Waterton Lake village. There at Pat's we ordered new parts for both our bikes (Jan Dirk's chain also was starting to wear out). This meant staying at least another day within the village, because the parts needed to be ordered and then installed. During this day we hiked de famous Crypt Lake Trail, which was very nice to do.
After the bikes are fixed we'll cross the border into the U.S.A. at Chief Mountain and then we'll take another famous and beautiful road; the going-to-the-sun road (through Glacier National Park). We'll tell you all about this within our next message.

Crypt Lake Trail

Crypt Lake Trail cliff

Pat of Pat's Waterton
Pat of Pat's in Waterton repairing our bikes, Thanks Pat!

Waterton Lakes National Park entry
Waterton Lakes National Park entry

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Reached West Yellowstone (Montana)

A week has passed after our last message. But in this week we cycled a lot of miles/kilometers:

  • We left Canada and cycled into Montana, U.S.A. The crossing of the border took us only half an hour (we needed to fill in a new visa-waiver form).

  • We cycled across the going-to-the-sun road in Glacier National Park. A very nice road, crossing the Logan Pass. Specially the going downhill after the pass, we were cycling along the walls of the mountains with a great view also!

  • We cycled all the way south to the entrance on Yellowstone National Park (which we'll visit extensively tomorrow). We cycled through many beautiful national forests and through mountains and valleys.
We get a lot of support along the way from the local people. They even asked us if they could buy our t-shirts (we made our own tour-shirts for our trip)! This is all super!

Into the USA
Crossing the border into the USA


Chief mountain
Chief mountain


Glacier NP
Entering Glacier National Park


Going-to-the-sun road
Going-to-the-sun road


Amsterdam
Far away from home?


Yellowstone National Park
Entering Yellowstone National Park

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Reached Moab (Utah)

Since our last report we've been travelling through some very beautiful parks:

  • Yellowstone National Park: A really beautiful park, specially the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River and the Grand Prismatic Spring are incredible!!!

  • Grand Teton National Park: Has very nice views on the Teton Mountain Range.

  • Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area: We camped within the Firehole Canyon; beautiful!!!
  • Dinosaur National Monument: A visitor center build around a hill side with dinosaur bones in it.

  • Colorado National Monument: We also camped within this park. A beautiful climb along the red colored rock face to get into the park.

  • Arches National Park: Many arches of rock, specially the Delicate Arch is beautiful.

Between Teton National Park and Arches National Park we took a rental car, because we're a bit behind schedule (we want to reach Reno, before the 30th of this month). We drove with the car to Moab and there started to cycle again; first into Arches National Park.

We had some incredibly beautiful scenery along our total trip. This trip already is one of our greatest trips!!!

Lower falls of the Yellowstone river
Lower falls of the Yellowstone river

Ojo caliente hot spring
Ojo caliente hot spring

Old Faithful
Old Faithful

Teton mountain range
Teton mountain range

Rental car
Rental car

Firehole canyon
Firehole canyon

Arches National Park
Arches National Park

Delicate arch
Delicate arch

Arches National Park
Arches National Park

Friday, September 23, 2005

Reached Zion Nat'l Park

After battling against some storms and cycling through beautiful country, here is a new update from our cycling trip. In Moab we stayed another day to wait for the winds to calm down (it was realy stormy!). During this day we visited Canyonlands Nat'l Park by rental car. After this we mounted our bicycles again and cycled to Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument first. Then through Glen Canyon to Capitol Reef Nat'l Park. Through the Grand Staircase-Escalante Nat'l Monument we reached Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park - an incredible and beautiful park!!!
Now we're in Zion Nat'l Park, which we'll explore more extensively tomorrow.

Deadhorse Point State Park
Deadhorse Point State Park

Canyonlands Nat'l Park - Needles
Canyonlands Nat'l Park - Needles

Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument
Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument

Glen Canyon
Glen Canyon

Calf Creek Falls
Calf Creek Falls

Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park
Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park

Canyonlands Nat'l Park - Island in the Sky
Canyonlands Nat'l Park - Island in the Sky

Capitol Reef Nat'l Park
Capitol Reef Nat'l Park

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Epilogue

On sunday (2-10-2005) we arrived by airplane at Amsterdam airport, where we were welcomed by our fathers. This is then the end of an incredible adventure!

After Zion Nat'l Park we did cycle further to St. George (just above Las Vegas). Because we did not have that many days left and we needed to be in Reno on time for our flight home, we rented a car here. With this car we then first drove to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Here we stayed for the night in a luxe cabin (there was exactly 1 left for us). The next day we went to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and after that by the Hoover Dam to Las Vegas. In Las vegas we visited the Stratosphere Tower. After this we spend a night at a campsite within Dead valley Nat'l Park (it even rained that night (it almost never rains there!)). We spend one day drive through this park (we visited de lowest point within America (Badwater), The Devils Golf Course, The Racetrack and The Dunes). Further we traveled via Sequoia Nat'l Park (Biggest tree of the world) and Kings Canyon Nat'l Park to Yosemite Nat'l Park. We arrived exactly 1 day before we needed to fly home in Reno, Nevada. Here we find bike boxes for transporting our bicycles back home at the airport and at a bike shop. We then fly the next day (30-9-2005) from Reno to Seattle. From Seattle we fly via Washington D.C. to Amsterdam, where we sunday morning (2-10-2005) at 6:30 hour landed.

A Grand Canyon View
A Grand Canyon View

Devils Golfcourse
Devils Golfcourse (Dead Valley N.P.)

Angels Landing Ascent
Angels Landing Ascent (Zion N.P.)

Yosemite Canyon view
Yosemite Canyon view

Reno
Arrived in Reno

In total we made about 4000 photo's, which all need to be edited and from which we will make a big photo book. The complete trip has been an incredible experience and a dream has come true!

Current weather

Current Prudhoe Bay, Alaska weather