Tuesday, January 03, 2012

YouTube Video: Overlanders4X4 Takes You From Key West, Florida To Deadhorse, Alaska In Less Than Eight Minutes

Interesting video posted on KTUU Channel 2. A contingent from Overlanders4X4 decided to take a road trip from Key West, Florida to Deadhorse, Alaska, and filmed segments of the trip shown on the video embedded below. For most of you, it will be the closest you ever get to the Dalton Highway which goes from Fairbanks to Deadhorse on the Arctic Coast:


Ah, but there is much more to this story. The group also documented their trip in several posts on the Overlanders4X4.com blog. In this post, they state their trip took them through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska; they've not produced a video of their return trip yet. They drove a 2005 Venezuelan Toyota Landcruiser Autana (80 series). They spent 53 days on the road, drove a total of 17,500 miles, and spent $9,000 on gas.

In this post, they describe the segment from Prince George, B.C. to Fairbanks. A long drive with few gas stations and overpriced lodgings of low quality. Includes numerous photos.

In this post, they describe the segment from Whittier back to the Lower 48. The primary value here is you get a look at the 2.5 mile long Whittier Tunnel shared by cars and the train. It has only has one lane, so vehicular and train traffic are coordinated through signals, and the toll is $12. Also includes numerous photos.

In this post, they describe the segment from Fairbanks to Deadhorse. It shows photos of the road winding through the Brooks Range, which is the most scenic park. The travelers panned Coldfoot, describing it as a gas station with a costly bad hotel and a restaurant with super high prices. Coldfoot is the only fuel stop along the Dalton Highway. They noted that the 18-wheelers on the highway do not slow down or yield as they throw gravel onto the windshield causing cracks. They experienced a mechanical problem which they could repair on the road; they noticed a vibration which is characteristic of a malfunctioning cardan shaft. Upon investigation, they found that the problem was with the crosshead; they had to change it as soon as possible to avoid further damage. You have to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy before driving the Dalton; most people probably don't know what a cardan shaft is. Loads of photos included with this post.

They also saw the Hyder, Alaska ghost town, which is accessible only via Canada although it's located on Alaskan soil. They thought the Santa Claus House in North Pole was a bit of a letdown, expecting something more entertaining and adapted for visiting children. They also emphasized that during the late spring and early summer, mosquitoes are so numerous and pervasive that it rules out camping outside; if you can't find a hotel room, you keep on driving. But overall, they found their trip to be a good experience and they reported fairly on our state.

Overlanders Global Expeditioners was created by a team of professionals in different areas, who share a common passion for adventure and ecotourism, than after more than 16 years of travelling the world in different groups have decided to undertake more ambitious and extreme projects.

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