This trip was planned as a repeat of a trip I did last year with my wife and 2 sons with the addition of my Dad this year. Unfortunately my wife came down with both salmonella and giardia a few days from the trip so she opted to stay home and deal with an unpleasent weight loss program. lol We hadn't been camping much this year due to playing tour guide to family groups, so we're still unsure of the source. It was probably something she ate/picked up in Anchorage.
We left Anchorage early on the morning of August 2nd heading north for the Dalton Hwy, Happy Valley, and 800+ miles of adventure with either the Yukon River crossing or Coldfoot planned as an overnighter. We stopped at the Hot Spot just north of the Yukon River for their yummy burgers and collectively decided to push on to Coldfoot and the BLM campground for some sleep after 12 hours of driving. The next morning we refueled the truck and ourselves at Coldfoot and pressed on for points north. I had my dad drive up Chandalar and Atigun so he could go back home to Oregon and brag that he was now a qualified IRT'r (Ice Road Trucker) minus the ice and snow.
The next afternoon we arrived at Happy Valley and checked in with Mike at Seventy North. We weren't due to fly out until the next day and I'd planned on taking my Dad all the way into Deadhorse just so he could say he'd been to the end of the road. Mike suggested we spend the night at Deadhorse since the plane was scheduled to be there that evening anyways. After the the first trip in the morning we'd shuttle the truck between flights to the takeout and then meet the plane at Happy Valley for the second load. As luck would have it, the fog rolled into Deadhorse that evening forcing the plane to return to Happy Valley. The next morning we drove back south to Happy Valley, arranged a vehicle shuttle, and loaded up for a popular fly-in/float out Brooks Range river.
This river, like many in AK, is shallow and braided. I'd packed light last year and packed even lighter this year knowing that every pound in my raft would conspire against me and force us to drag back into deeper water. The water was slightly higher compared to last year, but this river doesn't get that much deeper. It just spreads out more.
OK! After the put-in it'll be left, right, left, left, then 3 rights, then.....oh forget about it. We'll just read and run and try to go the direction most of the water goes.
As always 70 North www.seventynorth.com provided great service and helped us pull the final details together to start another incredible trip. For anything in the Brooks or farther north you can't beat 70 North!