Cycle Touring the Dalton Highway

The Beginning: Cycle Touring the Dalton Highway

“It began in cold, snowy Alaska... Me, my bike, and way more stuff than I could really carry.

Bike and rider coated in mud, 100 miles south of Coldfoot on the Dalton Highway, Alaska

I had decided that I didn't want a 'normal' job, but I also didn’t know what I did want to do.

So I saved up and flew myself to Deadhorse - a very aptly named place on the far north coast of Alaska.

No food shops, no homes, no trees... A very bizarre place. Nothing except an oil field, truckers, thousands of mosquitoes, and a long road heading south.

Standing on the Arctic Ocean before setting out from Prudhoe Bay

The bleak road south

The road was made mostly of mud – thick and slick from the pouring rain. The wind howled relentlessly. I quickly had a cold sweat hugging my skin, and could barely balance my bike it was so heavy.

On the first morning, I woke up to find my bags had disappeared from outside my tent. Left without any food or equipment, I wondered if I would have to head home just a day into my trip. I got lucky though. A patrol guy I bumped into somehow found enough military ration packs to see me through to the nearest shop, 500 miles down the road.

My bike, right at the start of the Dalton Highway, considerably lightened after losing half my stuff

The muddy 'road' of the Dalton Highway, the skies clearing in between the endless downpours of rain

Some months and 3500 miles later I was in Vancouver, scrounging bits of work to buy my flight ticket home and start TentMeals, hoping never to eat such bad food again.”

Dancing around on the Dalton Highway, Alaska

Taking a rest in a rare moment of dryness

Jess Szekely, TentMeals Founder