Thursday, August 28, 2008

Alaska, Part 1: Yukon? Oh.

In the northern hinterlands of Alaska (even hinterlandier than the rest of Alaska), the Dalton Highway stretches 414 miles from just above the town of Livengood (and its neighbor, Manly Hot Springs) past the Arctic Circle into the far reaches of Deadhorse. This road, originally built in 1974 alongside the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, lacks the staples of traditional highways, such as pavement, lane lines, or "services" (read: gas stations, hospitals, civilization) within a 200-mile radius. Instead, it offers an inconsistent surface—dirt, gravel, active airstrip—pocked with potholes and a right-of-way policy best summarized as "smoosh, or be smooshed."

This is not a location I would normally wish upon myself or others.